MIXing IT UP: Announcing Web PI V2, IIS Extensions and More

MIXing IT UP: Announcing Web PI V2, IIS Extensions and More

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They say that what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, but there’s no way we can keep to ourselves what was announced this morning here at MIX09. At our annual conference for Web developers and designers, Corporate VP Scott Guthrie, who runs our .NET Developer Platform group, unveiled a host of new releases and technologies that will make a huge difference to anyone building Web solutions on the Microsoft Web Platform.

As you know, the Microsoft Web Platform is a set of servers, tools and technologies that is the software of choice for businesses large and small when developing and creating any kind of online presence, including rich interactive applications, social networking sites, and data-driven e-commerce services. This morning we kicked that up a notch, showcasing a truly integrated and interoperable platform providing direct and simple access to a collection of community applications and Web server enhancements.

First up, we announced a beta of the Web Platform Installer V2. It has only been a few weeks since we released V1, but the team has been hard at work putting together a much more holistic solution for customers to get their Web server and Web sites up and running. It still delivers a single, integrated experience for locating and installing the various components of the platform, including IIS extensions, ASP.NET MVC, and free software such as SQL Server 2008 Express and Visual Web Developer 2008 Express, but now it also goes a step further and even installs and configures ready-made ASP.NET and PHP community applications to make it even easier to get your site online.

Web PI V2 is built on the IIS Web Deployment Tool application installation engine, which allows you to package up entire Web applications for easy deployment, and also install pre-built Web applications right there on your development or even production server. Integrating this technology with sophisticated detection mechanisms and dependency logic, we can take you from a plain Windows Server installation to a fully functional Web application server by installing the needed IIS components, IIS extensions, platform frameworks like ASP.NET or PHP, and then finally the application itself. And all with just a couple of clicks. Download the Web PI V2 beta yourself and be amazed.

Of course, Web PI V2 is also an interface to the Windows Web App Gallery, which is a community-driven hub of the most popular Open Source and community Web applications that run on Windows. Accessible anywhere through the Microsoft Web Platform site, it provides a streamlined way for users to explore, discover, and install ASP.NET, PHP, and other types of Web application for the Windows Platform, and as such provides Web developers with a “window” (ahem) to millions of Web users worldwide. And that’s what’s really cool – we have now opened up the Windows Web App Gallery to allow developers to submit their own applications for inclusion; once accepted (we have principles and guidelines to follow), your Web application will appear in the Web Platform Installer V2 for all to see and try.

On the Windows Server and IIS side, today was also a big day for announcements and new arrivals, with over ten different IIS extensions being released or updated. So what’s new? Here’s the lowdown:

  • Final RTW Versions of FTP Service 7.5, WebDAV 7.5, IIS Administration Pack: To ensure Web developers and site managers have secure, standards-oriented publishing technologies at their disposal, we are releasing FTP Service 7.5 and WebDAV 7.5. These extensions build on the enhancements delivered by the FTP 7.0 and WebDAV 7.0 releases that followed the launch of Windows Server 2008 and IIS 7.0, supporting more clients and simplifying site administration. The IIS 7.0 Administration Pack enhances the set of management features in IIS by providing management user interface extensions for ASP.NET authorization, custom errors, FastCGI configuration, Request Filtering, and a generic configuration editor. 
  • Release Candidate Versions of IIS Web Deployment Tool and IIS Database Manager: For server administrators and Web developers, it is important to be able to deploy, package, and migrate Web applications, and also to quickly view and manage Web application databases. These two release candidates have received very positive feedback from customers and have had numerous user interface improvements to bring them to production quality as we make final tweaks before RTW.
  • Beta Version of IIS Application Request Routing V2: Following the recent RTW of ARR V1, we are now making available a preview version of Version 2 of ARR. V2 will include new disk-caching functionality for edge servers to further enhance server farm scalability and availability.
  • IIS Media Services 2.0: Updating the IIS Media Pack to include Smooth Streaming and Advanced Logging, IIS Media Services 2.0 is an integrated HTTP-based media delivery platform, delivering true HD (720p+) streaming and providing real-time logging to measure media investments.

And is if that wasn’t enough for lucky MIX-goers, we also gave each attendee a copy of Windows Web Server 2008 so that they can develop, test and deploy all this goodness right away on a fully-functional Web server.

There is still lots more to come. Watch and listen to Principal Product Unit Manager for IIS, Mai-lan Tomsen Bukovec, and Senior Group Program Manager, Thomas Deml, as they describe all these releases in more detail and provide a roadmap for IIS extensions and the Microsoft Web Platform moving forward.

David Lowe.

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