Microsoft Web Platform Installer

One of the cool new releases coming out this year is a small download manager - the Microsoft Web Platform Installer - that makes installing and configuring web server and web development stacks really easy.  It is a free tool that you can download from the www.microsoft.com/web site (here is the direct link to the installer – choose the 2.0 version).  It works with Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008.

The Web Platform Installer provides an easy way to quickly install and customize all the software you need to develop or deploy web sites and applications on a Windows machine.  The tool automatically analyses what your system currently has installed, allows you to easily mark additional components to be added, and then automates installing them all at once when you click the install button (saving you from having to manually install each one yourself). 

For example, you can click the “Web Server” section above to customize the individual IIS web server modules installed on the box.  This includes both the built-in IIS modules that ship with Windows (like the directory browsing module), as well as additional modules available as separate downloads.  Below I’ve selected two additional modules – the Application Request Routing and URL Rewrite modules – to be installed:

The URL Rewrite module is a free Microsoft module that enables you to publish custom URLs from your sites and optimize them for search engine optimization (SEO).  You can enforce SEO rules (consistent casing, embedded keywords, etc) and customize how your site looks from an external perspective however you want (the admin tool will even help guide you to write the regular expression rules):

The Application Request Routing is a free Microsoft module that supports forward-proxy style scenarios, and enables dynamic load-balancing of requests across multiple web-server machines (allowing you to scale out, move machines behind DMZ firewall scenarios, and bring machines in and out of a farm for maintenance without disruption). 

In addition to URL Rewrite and Application Request Routing, there are dozens of other web server modules you can select that enable WebDAV, Secure FTP, automated deployment, remote database management through the IIS admin tool for hosted scenarios, media server streaming scenarios, and more.  You can also install framework additions like ASP.NET MVC, .NET 3.5 SP1, SQL Express and associated SQL administration tools, Visual Web Developer 2008 Express, and more.

Windows Web Application Gallery

The web platform installer also integrates with the new Windows Web Application Gallery now online: www.microsoft.com/web/gallery 

This gallery allows you to easily install existing web applications onto your server.  The gallery contains a variety of popular .NET open source applications (like DotNetNuke, ScrewTurn Wiki and Umbraco CMS) as well as PHP open source applications (including WordPress and Drupal).  You can easily browse and install them using the Web Platform Installer as well (just click the “Web Applications” tab and check the applications you want to install):

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In addition to downloading the application, the web platform installer will create a new site/application root and configure the appropriate site settings and optionally install the database.

Summary

If you haven’t downloaded the Web Platform Installer yet I’d recommend taking a look at it.  I think you’ll find it makes it much easier to configure and get a box up and running, and makes it much easier to find and install the various components of the Windows web server stack, as well as find and install applications to use on top of it.  Overtime you’ll see us ship more and more functionality this way. 

You can download and start using the Web Platform Installer 2.0 Beta today.  We’ll ship the final release of it this summer.

Hope this helps,

Scott

Published Tuesday, June 2, 2009 2:21 AM by ScottGu

Comments

# re: Microsoft Web Platform Installer

Tuesday, June 2, 2009 5:33 AM by Matthew Jones

Wow, this sounds great! :)

Thanks Scott, this is going to save people lots of time and hassle!

# re: Microsoft Web Platform Installer

Tuesday, June 2, 2009 5:34 AM by vik20000in

yes this web installer is a really positive step by the asp.net team....

# re: Microsoft Web Platform Installer

Tuesday, June 2, 2009 5:34 AM by Hartvig

Woohooo - Umbraco CMS mentioned by TheGu (tm). What a great way to start a day :)

# re: Microsoft Web Platform Installer

Tuesday, June 2, 2009 5:36 AM by Lance Fisher

This is really cool.  Can I build "internal use only" packages that install with Web Platform Installer?

# re: Microsoft Web Platform Installer

Tuesday, June 2, 2009 5:37 AM by Vimpyboy

Works great!

I used it on Windows 7, and had no problems at all.

Looking forward for the RTW. :-)

/Mikael Söderström

# re: Microsoft Web Platform Installer

Tuesday, June 2, 2009 5:42 AM by ScottGu

@Lance Fischer

>>>>> This is really cool. Can I build "internal use only" packages that install with Web Platform Installer?

Yep - the cool thing is that the packages are MSDeploy based packages (which is now built-into VS10).  This means you can easily build packages that can be installed.  The contents of the admin tool are driven by RSS - so you can publish your own feed and use that to install them.

Hope this helps,

Scott

# re: Microsoft Web Platform Installer

Tuesday, June 2, 2009 7:01 AM by LukCAD

Thank you, Scott.

I have just installed PHP 5.2.9-2 and it was done very easy and reliable. Will possible somewhere configure the list of products for installation in future release of wp installer?

Sincerely, Mikhail.

# re: Microsoft Web Platform Installer

Tuesday, June 2, 2009 7:02 AM by Anthony Main

So how would we go about getting an application included in the gallery and installer?

We have an OpenSource MVC CMS we would love to get listed once we've polished it a little more

# re: Microsoft Web Platform Installer

Tuesday, June 2, 2009 7:11 AM by chrispont

Excellent. This is going to save me hours when rebuilding servers!

# re: Microsoft Web Platform Installer

Tuesday, June 2, 2009 7:45 AM by LukCAD

Nice, Installer is good, it points me automatically download all necessary files for new environment for required application.

Thank you again, Scott!

Sincerely, LukCAD.

# re: Microsoft Web Platform Installer

Tuesday, June 2, 2009 8:09 AM by Mickael

I've been using this tool for a little while now, and I can tell you it works like a charm! Saves so much time and hassle!

# re: Microsoft Web Platform Installer

Tuesday, June 2, 2009 8:21 AM by Johnny

Great stuff!  Thanks Scott.

# re: Microsoft Web Platform Installer

Tuesday, June 2, 2009 8:36 AM by Sandeep Kumar

Cool Stuff!!!

# re: Microsoft Web Platform Installer

Tuesday, June 2, 2009 9:43 AM by Corporate Employee

The images are blocked behind our corporate firewall, since you are using s3 (personal) storage. Maybe I check it at home...

# re: Microsoft Web Platform Installer

Tuesday, June 2, 2009 9:46 AM by Jon Humphrey

This tool is great in making sure your servers are up to date with the latest versions of "add-ons" EXCEPT when I tried to update the FastCGI from 1.0 to 1.5 it wouldn't have it! And to rub salt in the wound there was no explaination other than: ---------------------------

Microsoft Web Platform Installer

---------------------------

Product 'FastCGI 1.0 for IIS 6.0 and IIS 5.1' is incompatible with product 'FastCGI 1.5 for IIS 6.0 and IIS 5.1 - Beta'.

---------------------------

OK  

---------------------------

Hmmm, so what do I do now?

# re: Microsoft Web Platform Installer

Tuesday, June 2, 2009 9:58 AM by Anthony Grace

Scott,

Very cool addition! Quick question: when you mention installing existing Web applications, such as BlogEngine.net, what does this feature offer us as compared to a traditional deployment of the blog site and DLLs? :-)

# re: Microsoft Web Platform Installer

Tuesday, June 2, 2009 10:33 AM by rajbk

We are really impressed by WPI. Installing php, wordpress and silverstripe were super easy. We have these apps running for a month now without any issues.

Hopefully future versions will include support for installing MySQL.

Will WPI allow the user to update installed applications (ie. if there is a new version of wordpress) or is that a manual install?

For those of you thinking of installing wordpress, consider reading this post that explains how to enable "pretty permalinks"

blogs.iis.net/.../iis-7-url-rewrite-module-support-in-wordpress-2-8.aspx

- Raj Kaimal

# re: Microsoft Web Platform Installer

Tuesday, June 2, 2009 10:49 AM by Balint

Hi Scott, I had the following problem with the Web Platform Installer: I'm running Vista x64, with Windows Update enabled, so i'm up-to-date with all patches. WU never asked if I want to install SP1 or SP2. I've installed PHP with WPI, which created the FastCGI mapping, however when I run the site, it says FastCGI can't be found - and this is the truth, iisfcgi.dll is not present, just for Vista SP1. FastCGI has a separate installer for IIS6, but not for "out-of-box" IIS7.

Is there any particular reason why should I download and install 735Mb of data (SP1) for having a ~100Kb Dll?

Thanks,

Balint

# re: Microsoft Web Platform Installer

Tuesday, June 2, 2009 11:20 AM by Mark Brown

For those looking for the latest and greatest information on new features and applications for the Microsoft Web Platform Installer as they are released feel free to follow the MS Web Platform team at www.twitter.com/mswebplatform

# re: Microsoft Web Platform Installer

Tuesday, June 2, 2009 12:27 PM by ScottGu

@Anthony Main,

>>>>>> So how would we go about getting an application included in the gallery and installer?  We have an OpenSource MVC CMS we would love to get listed once we've polished it a little more

The good news is that you can submit new apps to the gallery pretty easily.  This url has more details on how to-do it: www.microsoft.com/.../developer.aspx

Hope this helps,

Scott

# re: Microsoft Web Platform Installer

Tuesday, June 2, 2009 12:30 PM by ScottGu

@LukCAD,

>>>>>>> I have just installed PHP 5.2.9-2 and it was done very easy and reliable. Will possible somewhere configure the list of products for installation in future release of wp installer?

The actual product list is provided via an RSS feed.  Every time you run the application it checks for updates - so you'll be able to find new releases really easily from the list.

Hope this helps,

Scott

# re: Microsoft Web Platform Installer

Tuesday, June 2, 2009 12:31 PM by ScottGu

@Jon Humphrey,

Sorry about that issue Jon.  I will point some people from the team to the thread to investigate.  One idea would be to try and uninstall the previous version of FastCGI first (maybe using add/remove programs in Windows) and then see if you can install the new version using WebPI.

Thanks,

Scott

# re: Microsoft Web Platform Installer

Tuesday, June 2, 2009 12:33 PM by ScottGu

@Anthony Grace,

>>>>>> Very cool addition! Quick question: when you mention installing existing Web applications, such as BlogEngine.net, what does this feature offer us as compared to a traditional deployment of the blog site and DLLs? :-)

Probably the biggest benefit of the app gallery side is with finding the applications, and then also with the admin tool WebPI uses to configure them.  The installer has a framework that allows app developers to expose settings that get surfaced through the install wizard of the tool - which can make configuring apps the first time a little easier.

Hope this helps,

Scott

# re: Microsoft Web Platform Installer

Tuesday, June 2, 2009 12:34 PM by ScottGu

@rajbk,

>>>>>> Will WPI allow the user to update installed applications (ie. if there is a new version of wordpress) or is that a manual install?

WebPI won't automatically update your applications when new releases come out.  But I believe the plan is to allow you to update to newer versions (depending on the application author).

Hope this helps,

Scott

# re: Microsoft Web Platform Installer

Tuesday, June 2, 2009 12:36 PM by ScottGu

@Balint,

Sorry you are running into this problem - can you send me email (scottgu@microsoft.com) and I'll direct you to some folks who can help?

Thanks,

Scott

# re: Microsoft Web Platform Installer

Tuesday, June 2, 2009 4:51 PM by celik

Very useful tool. Several tools that might be added IMHO:

VS Web deployment projects

silverlight toolkit

AJAX control toolkit

thanks

celik

# re: Microsoft Web Platform Installer

Tuesday, June 2, 2009 8:46 PM by Eduardo Cabre

Scott,

Thank you very much for the informative blog posting. Also, thanks for visiting us in Arizona last week, the conference was excellent as always.  Would you considering blogging more about Application Request Routing?  When will the MVC routing capabilities be available in ASP.NET webfoms?

Regards

# re: Microsoft Web Platform Installer

Wednesday, June 3, 2009 2:40 AM by haozes

can i install my web applications by this tool?just not this default web applications like DNN,dash blog.

# re: Microsoft Web Platform Installer

Wednesday, June 3, 2009 4:00 AM by Jack

Cool! very powerful.

Some times, we need to test some php web system, and mysql. If our Installer can support more(not enough currently) on php, mysql, it will be better.

# re: Microsoft Web Platform Installer

Wednesday, June 3, 2009 4:13 AM by Jack

Just hope the RTM will come soon.

# re: Microsoft Web Platform Installer

Wednesday, June 3, 2009 7:37 AM by Harry Jennerway

A mention of ResourceBlender would have been nice, but I can see why you chose the big names.

The Web PI is a fantastic innovation though, I think installing and configuring manually puts a lot of potential users off.

# re: Microsoft Web Platform Installer

Wednesday, June 3, 2009 12:48 PM by Goyuix

So what happens if, for example, I install IIS on Windows Vista Home Premium using this? Will it think I am evaluating/upgrading to Ultimate?

# re: Microsoft Web Platform Installer

Friday, June 5, 2009 1:44 AM by Deepak Sharma

Thanks for publishing such a usefull information for the developers community.