If you have been plugged into what has happened across the Microsoft Web Platform
in the last two years, you will have noticed a new focus on delivering free Web releases that extend the core functionality of the Microsoft Web stack. We do this all the time in IIS. We build IIS Web extensions
on the IIS7 platform (which ships in Windows Server 2008) to open up new capabilities on the Web server across media, request serving, management and administration, and security.
Customers can download our extensions onto IIS7 (and sometimes IIS6) as a free, fully supported product that expands the IIS7 Web server in new directions. Getting new functionality every three to six months on the Web server is a good thing but it can be hard to track when a new release comes out.
The Web Platform Installer helps centralize a single discovery point for the Microsoft Web Platform -- Web server (IIS), application frameworks (ASP.NET and PHP), database (SQL), and tools (Visual Web Developer).
The Web Platform Installer (Web PI) does the work of checking to see what is the latest available across the Microsoft Web Platform against what is already installed on your computer; you can see what is new and what you haven't yet installed. You can use the Web Platform Installer to learn more about different components and install one or more components in a chained installation, with Web PI handling reboots and logging failures where applicable. It's pretty handy. We use WebPI on the product team to set up new servers and desktops for development and/or demo environments.
This short 7 minute video describes how you can use the Web Platform Installer to stay current with the latest in the Microsoft Web Platform.
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