It's been four months since we launched the Windows Web Application Gallery, and we've been adding apps to the Gallery steadily. Today saw the arrival of SugarCRM Community Edition (CE), a free customer relationship management PHP open source application with a vibrant community. SugarCRM CE joins seven ASP.NET apps that have been added to the App Gallery, with a healthy pipeline of ASP.NET and PHP open source apps in the proces of review and approval.
All of these apps followed the Web App Gallery Principles and went through the submission process for the Web App Gallery, which is open to any app that adheres to the Principles. We have also added more Web App Gallery integration best practices for developers looking to submit links to their app in the Web App Gallery.
To sum up, here are the apps added to the Web App Gallery over the last four months, listed in alphabetical order:
Amplifeeder: ASP.NET lifestream platform aggregating online activity in one place, published by Amplifeeder.
AtomSite: ASP.NET CMS built on MVC, published by AtomSite.
KenticoCMS for ASP.NET: ASP.NET CMS, brought to you by Kentico.
mojoPortal: ASP.NET content management system, published by Source Tree Solutions, LLC
nopCommerce: ASP.NET shopping cart, published by nopCommerce.
nService: ASP.NET help desk system, published by Avensoft.
ResourceBlender.NET: ASP.NET app that helps you translate an application into multiple languages, published by ResourceBlender.NET.
SugarCRM CE: PHP customer relationship management (CRM) system, published by SugarCRM.
I have been pretty impressed with all the apps! There's a good variety of functionality, themes, templates, and customization modules to let you build your own site or system on top of the apps.
All of these apps are free and open source. If you want to check them out, visit the Web App Gallery and download from the site, or open the Web Apps tab in Web Platform Installer 2.0 and select the apps you want. Web Platform Installer handles all the downloads from Web App Gallery and also can be used as a separate standalone tool -- it makes sure that the right platform dependencies (apps, frameworks, etc.) are installed before laying down the app. For example, if the app requires IIS' URL Rewrite module for dynamic URL rewriting on Windows, like WordPress 2.8, Web Platform Installer will install URL Rewrite before installing Wordpress so you don't have to. Likewise, Web Platform Installer will make sure that the right stack dependencies like PHP or ASP.NET are installed for the app that needs it.
The Web App Gallery lists customer reviews and other data that you might find interesting. I have seen reviewers of apps list their sites that show the apps in action as a reference point too. I always check out the publisher's site as part of my research process -- all have useful tutorials/docs/videos/etc. to help learn more about the apps.
I just did a demo at an internal Microsoft conference for the MS sales field where I downloaded four different content management systems from Web App Gallery, playing the role of a Web consultant trying to find the right starter app for a small business Web site. I then customized each of the Web apps with a template and a little bit of text...it was amazing to see how quickly I could get a bare bones site up and running with a CMS infrastructure from start (find the app on Web App Gallery) to selection (evaluating which app was the one that worked best for my customer site). As we add more apps to the Web App Gallery, you'll get even more choice. I expect the Content Management category will continue to get the most apps since CMS tends to be the backbone of business sites, but you'll start seeing more in the eCommerce and other categories as our Web App Gallery community expands.
And, of course, both the ASP.NET and PHP open source applications in the Web App Gallery run the best on the IIS7 platform. Our Open Source Lab team here at Microsoft recently published two videos to YouTube that provide a pretty funny take on the entire ASP.NET + PHP app hosting story on IIS. Check them out if you can: "Deployment" and "The Showdown".