IIS At MIX 2009: 10 New IIS Server Extensions, Windows Web Application Gallery, Web Platform Installer 2.0 beta

Today, at the 2009 MIX conference in Las Vegas, the IIS team rolls out a whole new set of releases...ten (yes,10) new free Web server extensions with a new end-to-end story for installing popular community applications like WordPress, Acquia Drupal, and DotNetNuke on IIS.

We started releasing free IIS extensions on IIS7's extensibility platform a year ago, when Windows Server 2008 launched. We shifted focus on these free Web download extensions because it gives us the ability to ship fully supported Microsoft software in 12-16 month cycles, including multiple pre-release versions. (We also continue to ship in Windows Server releases.)

Today, we announce the release of the these new extensions and extension packs:

  • Application Request Router (ARR) 2.0 beta, with disk cache and cache proxy support for edge configurations the IIS HTTP load balancer. ARR can be used as a complement to existing hardware load balancers, or as a standalone proxy.

  • FTP 7.5 RTW, with extensibility  support for developers who want to customize this IIS7 FTP publishing service.

  • WebDav 7.5 RTW, with support for both shared and exclusive locks to prevent lost updates due to overwrites.

  • Advanced Logging beta for monitoring and measuring media and Web browsing experiences, rich and flexible data collection, client-side logging and real-time logging capabilities.

  • Administration Pack for IIS7 RTW, with IIS Manager support for management of FastCGI, Request Filtering, ASP.NET authorization and custom error settings, and HTTP request filtering, and Configuration Editor for easier config management.

  • IIS Snap-in for Windows PowerShell RTW, for management of the IIS configuration system through Windows PowerShell, along with 60 cmdlets for common management tasks in Powershell.

  • Web Deployment Tool RC, which is a platform for Web deployment of IIS servers and applications that run on servers. This extension provides a foundation for administrators who want to synchronize and migrate Web servers in a web farm. Developers use Web Deployment Tool to deploy applications to a server or integrate with the new Windows Web Application Gallery.

  • Database Manager RC, providing Web database management support for local and remote databases from within IIS Manager.

  • Media Services 3.0 beta, which introduces the world to live streaming on IIS with multiple extensions extensions, including Smooth Streaming and Advanced Logging. Our media extensions bring high quality media delivery to IIS customers as well as CDNs like Akamai.

  • Web Platform Installer 2.0 beta, which installs community applications and its dependencies on Windows computers. See Introducing the Web Platform Installer for more details.

In addition, we have launched Web properties that showcase IIS technologies:

That's a lot of releases! Let's break it down what we do by customer.

As a Web developer (our focus here at MIX), I would want URL Rewrite 1.0 RTW, which released late last year for search engine friendly URLs. I have to manage databases as part of my Web application, so the Database Manager for IIS would help me do basic CRUD for my app database from within the same IIS Manager console. The Web Deployment Tool helps me package up and move applications from development to staging to production environments, which simplifies the final mile for getting my apps out there.

Today we launched the Windows Web Application Gallery, where users can discover and install popular community applications like WordPress, Acquia Drupal, SilverStripe and Gallery 2 on IIS. Clicking Install on Web Application Gallery launches Web Platform Installer 2.0 beta to handle the install of the application and its dependencies -- including community PHP 5.2.9-1. Web PI's support for handling pre-requisites really simplifies getting apps up and running. You will have set up MySQL if you need it using this walkthrough.

Web Application Gallery integration involves adding a couple manifest files to their existing ZIP package and following the Web Application Gallery Principles. The manifest files give Web Deployment Tool the information it needs to unpack the application for install on IIS. Once the application is added to Web Application Gallery, the app goes into an ATOM feed that is then consumed by the Web Platform Installer and participating control panel vendors who implement control panel integration like DotNetPanel. The application developer owns the distribution point; Web PI will go out to the link provided by the application developer to pull down the Web Deployment Tool-enabled package. As a developer, I would also download the Web Platform Installer 2.0 to keep track of the latest in the Web stack and browse/install apps from the Web App Gallery directly in one tool.

If I am an administrator of a Web farm, I would care about migrating and replicating servers between machines (Web Deployment Tool) and setting up Level 7 application request routing to complement my hardware load balancers (Application Request Router (ARR). If I support Web publishing for my customers, I would likely want the latest, secure WebDav 7.5 support on my IIS servers and secure FTP 7.5 publishing. If I am a command-line geek, I would use the IIS Snap-in for Windows PowerShell as well as the Administration Pack's Configuration Editor to automatically generate scripts that I could reuse in my day-to-day management of the Web server. I might also be interested in using the Dynamic IP Restrictions beta (released earlier this year) to help prevent denial-of-service attacks on applications running on my server. I would use the Web Platform Installer 2.0 to actually FIND and install all those extensions.

As a Content Delivery Network administrator, I would be particularly interested in the Media Services 3.0 beta, combined with Application Request Router (ARR) 2.0 beta 2 for its new hierarchical caching support. I would use Advanced Logging to help track usage on the client and aggregate that data on the server for reporting.

We have gotten a ton of great feedback during our pre-release cycles, in many cases with customers deploying RC candidates in production because of the demand and quality of what we ship. We're also working hard right now to localize our extensions in four languages (French, German, Japanese, Spanish at minimum) for release this summer.

We've got a whole new ball game going on over here! Stay tuned to all the new things that the IIS team is building by downloading the Web Platform Installer 2.0 today.


  • Thanks for the great posts,
    learned more about IIS new things

    Thank you!


  • Open source is the future--Wordpress support is great, and going with it is a good decision.



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