A big day for Web pros: WebsiteSpark, Web PI and more!

Today we’re launching a number of really cool things for Web developers.



WebsiteSpark is a program designed to jumpstart Web development for individuals or small companies who make a living on the Web.  The program is free to join and runs for three years with no cost obligations other than a $100 program fee, payable on exit.  What is in it for you?

  • Windows Web Server 2008 R2 – 4 processor licenses for production use!
  • SQL Server 2008 – 4 processor licenses for production use!
  • Expression Studio 3 – 1 license including Expression Web, Blend and Sketchflow
  • Expression Web – 2 licenses
  • Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition – 3 licenses
  • DotNetPanel control panel (to manage your servers, and allow your customers to manage their site!)

Beyond just software you also get free support, training and Microsoft will even help drive business your way.  Anyone can join as long as 1) you build web sites or applications for other people and 2) your company has less than 10 employees.  If you meet these requirements, sign-up today!  As part of the sign-up process you will need a referral code.  Contact me if you need a code, I’d be happy to sponsor you into the program!  Read more about the program on the WebsiteSpark portal


Web Platform Installer 2

I’m also happy to announce that the Web Platform Installer 2.0 is available in final release form!  The Web Platform Installer (sometimes called Web PI) makes it easy to install the latest components of the Microsoft Web Platform including IIS, ASP.NET, Visual Web Developer, SQL Express and more!  New for the final release, we’ve fixed many bugs, improved usability, added new products including Expression Web, Azure Tools and the latest releases also being announced today.  We’re also launching WebPI in 9 different languages and allow users around the world to access the Web Platform in their regional language.  Look for more components of the Microsoft Web Platform to be added to Web PI v2 over time.  Web PI also makes it super easy to install any of the Web applications in the Windows Web App Gallery.  Web PI can also now install both PHP and MySQL for applications that require it.  Install Web PI today!

Trivia: since launching the Windows Web Application Gallery at MIX in March 2009 – just 5 months ago – Web PI has installed more than 840,000 applications!  Do you have a killer Web application just waiting to be discovered by the masses?  Want Microsoft to drive users to your community?  Submit your Web app to the gallery today!


Web Deployment Tool

The IIS team just released the final 1.0 version of the Web Deployment Tool, a super powerful deployment technology that you are going to see a lot of going forward.  It is like a swiss army knife for Web masters.  It can migrate sites or entire servers from IIS6 to IIS7.  It can synchronize Web sites or applications between multiple servers.  You can package a Web site or application and then push it out to your entire server farm.  It knows how to not only replicate content, but also configuration, databases, COM dll, GAC assemblies, certificates, ACLs, and a whole lot more.  After about three years of development I’m super excited to see this thing in final release form.  It is already being integrated into Visual Studio 2010 and from there you’ll be able to not only build but also package and deploy your applications with just a few clicks of the mouse.  Other teams around Microsoft are picking this thing up and integrating it as well, so you definitely want to get up to speed with this tool.  Download it today!!


Database Manager 1.0

The IIS team just released the 1.0 version of Database Manager, and IIS Manager extension that makes it super easy to manage your database, local or remote, from within the IIS Manager tool.  This thing rocks!  It supports SQL Server and MySQL and is one powerful tool, and completely free.  Check it out!


Search Engine Optimization Toolkit – Beta 2

The IIS team also announced the released the beta 2 of the Search Engine Optimization Toolkit, another IIS Manager extension that makes it possible to learn things about your site you can’t find anywhere else.  It crawls your Web site, local or remote, and reports on dozens of well known but hard to discover issues that cause your site to be less relevant to search engines.  This version includes many bugs fixes and new features over the previous release, definitely check it out and send feedback to the team on the forums


Application Request Routing 2 – Release Candidate

The IIS team is also releasing a Release Candidate of the 2.0 version of the Application Request Routing extension for IIS7/IIS7.5, which provides built-in routing, load balancing, proxying and caching support on the IIS platform.  This release includes an all-new disk cache option, bug fixes and performance improvements.  Read more about the release in the learn portal.   This powerful extension is available for free, download it today!


  • Anonymous:

    To see Expression , Azure Tools, etc. click on 'options' and select the 'developer tools' scenario. This will show a new tab in Web PI with additional tools as described. You can also get at the Media Platform tab from here.



  • NaviSite is happy to be a Microsoft WebsiteSpark Hosting Partner and is looking forward to hosting the great Websites and Web applications that WebsiteSpark members create. Eligible Web professionals can get nominated for WebsiteSpark through Network Partners or visiting NaviSite's WebsiteSpark page http://dedicatedhosting.navisite.com/specials/websitespark/ or Microsoft’s Website.

  • Hi Narendra -

    Sorry for the confusion...I'm not sure where you heard 'free hosting', as there is no free hosting as part of the WebsiteSpark offer. Many of the hosters may have a promotion going, and offer a discount on hosting if you sign-up through them with WebsiteSpark, but there is no free hosting as part of the offer. thanks,


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