Arindam Sinha Online

December 16, 2009

Web Deployment Simplified – Microsoft’s Web Deployment Tool

As part of regular Internet Browsing, I came across about Web Deployment Tool. Microsoft has made life easier for the developers and the administrators.In this post, I will high light the features which attracted me. First and foremost, I look for the free tools which can be leveraged to organization level. Web Deployment Tool is certainly one of those.

What’s Web Deployment Tool?

Web_Deployment_ToolThe Web Deployment Tool is an IIS extension, containing essentially a set of tools and a managed framework for simplifying the deployment, management and migration of Web applications, sites and even entire servers.It is a free download and there are no plans to charge for this IIS extension in the future.

In nutshell, this tool simplifies the migration,management and deployment of IIS Web servers, Web Application and Web Sties.Administrators can use command-line scripting with the Web Deployment Tool to synchronize IIS 6.0 and IIS 7.0 servers or to migrate an IIS 6.0 server to IIS 7.0. The Web Deployment Tool also enables administrators and delegated users to use IIS Manager to deploy ASP.NET and PHP applications to an IIS 7.0 server.

Easy Migration of Web applications between IIS 6.0 and IIS 7.0

This tool simplifies the migration of web applications between IIS 6.0 to IIS 7.0. This tool determines the incompatibilities and suggests the proposed changes before the process gets started. Knowledge of potential issues in advance, will help the IT People to take corrective actions by simplifying the migration plan.

Efficient Server Farm Synchronization

I think this will be very much useful for web-farm scenarios. From my personal experience also, organizations having different environments (like DEV, QA, Integration, Staging and PROD) with multiple servers face difficulties to synchronize the boxes. When different teams work on multiple enhancements, projects the servers become out-of-sync sometimes.

The tool simplifies the synchronization process by automatically determining the configuration, content and certificates to be synchronized for a specific site. In addition to the default behavior, you still have the option to specify additional providers for the synchronization, including databases, COM objects, GAC assemblies and registry settings.

The tool can be used to synchronize a web farm, including deploying new applications or just keeping changes synchronized between the web farm servers. The tool does not currently support a central UI or configuration store for a list of servers in a farm (i.e., syncing multiple machines at once), but you can simply store this list of servers and perform sync operations against each server. These can easily be scheduled using System Center or another scheduling mechanism. Resources that can be synchronized include Web sites or applications, content folders and files, databases, registry keys, assemblies in the GAC and more. You can also build custom “providers” that understand other types of resources that are not supported in-the-box.

Package, archive and deploy Web applications more easily

The Web Deployment Tool enables you to package configuration and content of your installed Web applications, including databases, and use the packages for storage or redeployment. These packages can be deployed using IIS Manager without requiring administrative privileges. The tool integrates with Visual Studio 2010 to help developers streamline the deployment of Web applications to the Web server. The tool also integrates with the Web Platform Installer to allow you to simply and easily install community web applications.

Key Features

  • Seamless integration with IIS 7.0 Manager and Visual Studio 2010 interface for creating packages and deploying them onto a machine, both locally and remotely.
  • Seamless integration with the Web Platform Installer to install community web applications simply and easily.
  • Web application packaging:
    • Ability to package a Web application or an entire site, including the associated databases.
    • Ability to package ACLs, COM, GAC and registry settings.
    • Supports both live servers and zipped packages as a source or destination.
  • Web application deployment:
    • Administrative privileges are not required in order to deploy Web applications.
    • Ability to add powerful parameters to change text in files when they are deployed (such as prompting to replace a connection string when deploying from QA to staging environments).
    • Integration with the IIS 7.0 Web Management Service (WMSVC) for remote deployment by non-administrators.
    • Server administrators have granular control over the operations that can be performed and can delegate tasks to non-administrators.
  • Web server migration and synchronization:
    • Ability to synchronize or migrate the entire Web server, a Web site or application.
    • Synchronizes only the data that has changed.
    • Ability to detect missing dependencies during synchronization.
    • Automatically gathers content, IIS configuration, SSL certificates and ASP.NET configuration when you sync a Web site.
  • In addition to the IIS Manager and Visual Studio 10, tasks can be performed using the command-line, PowerShell cmdlets or public APIs.

References

Overview of the Web Deployment Tool

Web Deployment Tool

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