Welcome to the Web Deployment Team blog

Posted: Jan 22, 2008  93 comments  

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Welcome to the Microsoft Web Deployment Team blog - we hope you will find this a helpful place to get the inside scoop plus plenty of tips and tricks from the team who is building the Web Deployment Tool for IIS.

So what is this new deployment tool? You may have read Scott Guthrie’s post about the future of ASP.NET and IIS. In the post he mentioned the roadmap for a web deployment framework, that’s us. :) In our first version, we’re releasing a command-line tool called msdeploy.exe that provides support for deploying, synchronizing and migrating IIS 6.0 and 7.0.

It supports moving configuration, content, SSL certificates and other types of data associated with a web server. You can choose to sync a single site or the entire web server. Because we know that one tool can never ‘automagically’ guess what your application relies on, we’ve tried to be pretty flexible and powerful – you can customize exactly what you want to sync using a manifest file. You can also skip sites or other objects, or you can perform regular expression replacements during a sync (like changing the home directory on the destination machine).

The goal of the tool is to help you keep servers in sync, to make deployment easier and also to help with migrating to new versions of IIS. You could use a sync on two machines in a web farm, for example. Or maybe you need to move to a new server of the same version, you can use this tool. Of course, we also enable you to do a migration from IIS 6.0 to 7.0.

You can learn more about the tool by reading our walkthroughs. Starting with the Learning Roadmap, you’ll see there is an installation walkthrough and also an introduction to the tool, which goes through operations in detail and shows you not only how the tool works, but why.

We hope you download Technical Preview 1 and provide us with feedback. We’re interested in how well the tool captures your web site/server, if there are any really important data types missing and how we can improve the overall experience.

Learn more about the tool from our walkthroughs.

Download the x86 version or the x64 version of our Technical Preview 1.

Thanks, and happy deployments!
Faith Allington, Program Manager, and the entire Web Deployment team


Just looking at the introduction makes me wonder why MS Deploy was not written on top of Powershell?

Jan 24 2008 by Jason

Is this cool tool going to be a replacement to Application Center 2000 ?

Jan 24 2008 by Gerald

Hi Jason, the main reason our first tech preview was not exposed as a Powershell cmdlet is simply resources/time.   The plan is to have a Powershell cmdlet for our final version 1 release. We are currently working on the development of it.  The main guts of the deployment tool are in a .NET framework which will eventually be made public. The tool msdeploy.exe itself is a simple shell of the framework functionality. Adding a cmdlet shell of the same framework will be minimal work for us (and we’re working on it now).

Jan 24 2008 by faith_a

Hi Gerald,

Over time, this tool (and more importantly, the framework it is built upon) will provide much of former Application Center 2000 functionality. Our first step is to release a tool that lets one sync/compare servers/sites across two locations. One can take this tool and script it to support managing multiple sites. The main guts of the deployment tool are in a .NET framework, which we will ultimately expose publically. At that point we hope to have a sample application which demonstrates use of the framework to synchronize multiple destinations at the same time. As you can see, we feel the current tool is the first step towards providing the Application Center functionality that we feel most customers require/desire. We can do a better job of describing our future roadmap.  

But to be clear, our goal is not to replace all Application Center functionality. For one, we don’t feel all the features of Application Center are still high-priority to implement today.  Secondly, the Application Center was a big team and we don’t have the resources to just duplicate their effort. We hope (and you should tell us if we’re way off) that we’re providing the building blocks to let people easily manage IIS web farms and configurations. That is our end goal.  

Jan 24 2008 by faith_a

Going to test this tonight, it looks great.

Jan 24 2008 by Sam

Hi Sam, glad to hear you're going to try it out. Let us know how it goes!

Jan 24 2008 by faith_a

Please provide the documentation as PDF, I can't open this. (And I'm really curious!) Thank you!

Jan 25 2008 by mike

@faith_A: Excellent, looking forward to it!

Jan 25 2008 by Jason

I can't open the documentation, I don't have a 500 € Office suite. I do have the free Adobe Reader, so if you guys could save it as PDF and upload that, I can enjoy it too!

Jan 25 2008 by IIS

How about documentation in .PDF or .DOC format in addition to the .DOCX format?  Thanks!

Jan 25 2008 by jd

Hi jd, mike and IIS - we are re-uploading the walkthroughs as .rtf files, hopefully today. If we don't get them fixed on the main site today, I will include a link later today on the blog for the rtf. Sorry for the inconvenience!



Jan 26 2008 by faith_a

Thanks for the RTF conversion!

Jan 29 2008 by mike

I have to say I have alot hope for this project. In my application I tried to make an installer that creates a web application and configures it. I got it working but it was painful and could corrupt the server's IIS if it wasn't 100% right. Not cool. So please, dog food it, build a web application and create an msi installer that people can use to install it to their servers.

Jan 30 2008 by Scott

Looking forward to learning more about this tool. But: RTF files? Seriously? Why?

Feb 02 2008 by Jeffrey McManus

Any chance we could see COM objects as objects for MSDEPLOY? Or is that "low-priority"?

With IIS7 shared config and file replication, it seems like we have a great story for ASP.NET applications. Application Center 2000 is great for for the ASP/COM applications. If MSDEPLOY can handle those COM-based applications we'd have a great toolset.

Feb 02 2008 by John Miller

Hi Jeffrey, we published RTF files at a few folks requests and to avoid compatibility issues if you didn't have Word installed. If you are wondering why we picked files? Unfortunately there were some technical difficulties preventing us doing web-based articles on iis.net. But we will have those up in a week or so. Stay tuned for them going live...



Feb 02 2008 by faith_a

Hi John, we do have COM object support but due to an oversight on my part, we didn't include them in any walkthroughs so the only way to discover we support them is via the command-line help. I am adding it to the walkthroughs and that'll be republished on Monday or Tuesday.

In the meantime, here's an example:

msdeploy -verb:dump -source:comobject=Microsoft.ApplicationHost.AdminManager

Sorry about the oversight and hope this helps,


Feb 02 2008 by faith_a

w00t. Thanks Faith.

Feb 04 2008 by John Miller

Understood that msdeploy can sync a COM Object but what about a COM+ package?

Feb 06 2008 by Brian Wright

Wondering if there is anything that needs to be done with Visual Studio web deployment projects......if there is anything that needs to be changed for them to install on IIS 7

Feb 11 2008 by j nystrom

Wow this is very interesting, keep up the good work guys!

Feb 11 2008 by Dmitry Lyalin

Hi Brian, we currently only support COM, not COM+. Let me know if you have any questions, I'm happy to hear any feedback that you might have.



Feb 23 2008 by faith_a

Awesome tool!

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Mar 14 2008 by topgift

i have downloaded the preview document, i still trying to download msdeploy.exe no luck! is this available over internet. both live & google dont see this tool available :)

Mar 16 2008 by dinoz

Hi dinoz,

What is the error you are getting? It is available at www.iis.net/.../default.aspx (x86) or www.iis.net/.../default.aspx (x64). Can you tell me what URL you are using?



Mar 16 2008 by faith_a

Hello, great tool which im now using to great effect on our load balanced web servers!

I notice one slightly annoying bug though. Sometimes after a sync has run, some of the files on the master server are locked and remain locked until the next time you sync (or kill the msdeploy service). I have my slave servers set to sync every 10 mins but if i try to publish up new files in that period it fails cos i can get a lock on the files. Im guessing this shouldnt be happening.


Apr 09 2008 by Joe Bickley

Hi Joe,

Thanks for your good question and activities in the forum, we love having active community members. This is a bug and we have fixed it for the next milestone after Tech Preview 1... stay tuned!



Apr 14 2008 by faith_a

hanks for your good question and activities in the forum, we love having active community members. This is a bug and we have fixed it for the next milestone after Tech Preview 1... stay tuned!


May 13 2008 by ilahiler

I cannot seem to get the remote access service running.  I have it installed on my local system (I see the file and have a msdepsvc defined).  When I start the service it quickly stops.  In the event logs I get:

Service cannot be started. System.Net.HttpListenerException: The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process

  at System.Net.HttpListener.AddAll()

  at System.Net.HttpListener.Start()

  at Microsoft.Web.Deployment.WDAgent.OnStart(String[] args)

  at System.ServiceProcess.ServiceBase.ServiceQueuedMainCallback(Object state)

I don't know what its talking about.  Please note, this is Windows Server 2003; IIS 6.0.  I also get these in the event logs:

Unable to bind to the underlying transport for The IP Listen-Only list may contain a reference to an interface which may not exist on this machine.  The data field contains the error number.

Help?  Mike Frederick

Aug 18 2008 by Anonymous

Hello, I have an ASP .NET application on Windows Server 2003 with IIS 6.0 and works well, the matter is that the drop in Windows Server 2008 with IIS 7.0 and is not working properly, work only parts of the site, and when you perform an update solve some problems but others appear, my question is, with msdeploy I can solve this problem, or there is any configuration for migration, or someone knows what is the problem?

Sep 08 2008 by PatroKlo

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Sep 18 2008 by Anonymous

Hi faith_a

Is there any release date for this tool? I would love to get my hands on the final version to release onto my production servers.

Oct 13 2008 by Anonymous

Hi Guys

Any news on a release date for this tool?


Dec 08 2008 by Anonymous

What is the release date for MSDeploy RTM? I would like to use this tool in our production environment. Please let us know ASAP.

Dec 11 2008 by Anonymous


after searching some hours the net for an answer I hope to get an answer here. When you create a Web Site Project in VS2008 and add a Web Deployment Project you can choose to create a single output assembly and leave the aspx and ascx files updateble.

In this scenario you can deploy your unfinished Web Site to a Webdesigner that modifies the layout and probably some frontend scripting code.

The problem now is to get those files back in my source tree. As the web deployment project removes the CodeFile attribute of such files I need to readd it manually or write a program that does this step for me. Is my scenario so uncommon and why or am I missing a point? I don't want to give my source code in the page behind files to the designer. The CodeFile attribute destroys some cool flexibilty. I also tried to add the class in the inherits attribute but iis searches explicitly for the codefile if the attribute is present. if there just a search order: first try codefile, than class it would work!

Your help is greatly appreciated and I am looking forward to an answer!


Feb 06 2009 by Anonymous

thanks for post.

Feb 24 2009 by knight online

Hi I'm looking for a deployment tool that can speed up our deployment process.

The standard MS Deployment tool will not do:

We have a core project, and several other sites that reference the core. The aspx/ascx are referenced through virtual directories, but the dll's are copied into each project's bin directory. When you build the project using the MS Deployment tool, you get compilation errors due to missing references. If you include the IIS source location, the project builds, but it includes all the virtual directories in the output folder, significantly INCREASING deployment time. There is no way of excluding the virtual directories from the build output, without getting build errors.

Furthermore, we do not really need a tool to replace the normal compilation of our project: That goes pretty quickly already. What we need, is a tool that move the output files to the different environments. For instance I need the tool to copy the files from my local machine to the staging evironment, and then move it to the live environment. Obviously, you don't want to recompile your project locally when you're moving files from the stage to live environment.

Also, if we make a change to the core dll's, it would be nice if I can copy the dll's to all the sites with a single click.

Lastly, and I'm aware that I'm pushing it now, I need it to be able to make surgical updates to aspx,ascx and config files. The reason is that our sites are very dinamic, and we have id's on our controls that does not necesarilly match in different environments. Therefore, if it is possible, I would prever the tool to enable updates on certain lines of code, rather than to just overwrite the older file with a newer copy.

I know I'm asking for much, but I suppose there is no harm in trying.

Mar 10 2009 by hannodb

Hi, we use DotNetNuke (4.9.2) and this stores all the info from the website in SQL, will MSdeploy allow the entire server sync including SQL, its the workgroup edition. MS2003 IIS7


Mar 18 2009 by Anonymous

Hi hannodb,

This is a very interesting scenario. I think it may be possible to accomplish using skip and replace rules, as well as using parameterization to update files. Can you please post this question on the forums so we can follow-up with you? (it's a little harder to do in blog comments and using the forum will benefit others who have similar requirements)



Mar 20 2009 by faith_a

i just signed in as a nubee  i need to learn to develope my own web page with all the fixings. is this the place to start. im also  a new user of computers please respond thank you

Mar 22 2009 by graywolf956

Hi, use a win2003 IIS7 server running DNN 4.9, in a hosted centre, we also have the same config on a staging server in our office. We make changes to DNN via staging server (for performance) then upload changes using sql backup and file transfer. This works but is cumbersome, could webdeploy sync these two servers ??


Sep 11 2009 by paulbenf

thanks admin <a href="http://www.ilahilerimiz.net">ilahiler</a>

Feb 07 2010 by ilahiler

It can be acomplished by using parameterization to update files.


Oct 14 2011 by ommrudraksha.com

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