New IIS Web Extensions for Web Site Developers and Web Server Administrators

I am very proud to announce our September 2009 release of IIS Web extensions!  This September launch includes the RTW release of Web Deploy 1.0, Web Platform Installer 2.0, and IIS Database Manager 1.0, as well as the pre-release versions of Application Request Routing 2.0 RC and Search Engine Optimizer (SEO) Toolkit Beta 2.0. We are also releasing international support for a number of IIS extensions and the Windows Web Application Gallery. Along with these engineering releases, we are proud to make available Website Spark, a business program that makes it easy and affordable for Web development professionals to use the Microsoft Web platform.


Quick Start to What Important For You In This September Release

As a “quick start” to the IIS September 2009 releases, if you are…

As you may know, IIS7 in Windows Server 2008 was a major release for the Microsoft Web server. Among its many changes are a brand new extensibility model that lets third parties (and the IIS product team!) use a rich API to innovate on the core Web server. And that's exactly what we've done over the last two years as you can see from our IIS Extensions.

With this release, we are not only continuing to expand the scope and features of our IIS extensions, but we're also providing localized versions in different languages for customers. All of our IIS Web server extensions released via Web download are fully supported by Microsoft for the support lifecycle of the underlying operating system.

Inside The September 2009 IIS Release

Web Deploy 1.0

Web Deploy 1.0 is the migration and deployment platform for IIS Web servers and applications. Web Deploy provides:
  • A solution integrated with IIS Manager for creating, exporting and importing Web application packages. You can package up a Web site, which also pulls in app resources (registry, COM, DB, etc), and use our built-in remoting in IIS Manager to export the application package to a remote IIS server. Because of its IIS Manager integration, you also get built-in delegation support for administrators to authorize local and remote users to perform tasks like creating a Web site that previously required admin-only permissions.


Figure. Application Packaging in IIS Manager using Web Deploy

  • A command line tool that can be used to migrate and synchronize IIS 6 and IIS 7.x Web servers, as well as to package and deploy applications. This tool greatly simplifies the process of upgrading IIS6 servers to IIS7, and to sync IIS servers across Web farms. It can also be used for application packaging and deployment.
  • A platform for other tools and apps to use for migration and deployment. For example, the upcoming release of Visual Studio uses Web Deploy as the underlying platform for packaging Web applications and their resources. Web Platform Installer uses Web Deploy as the platform for reading text-based manifest files from zip packages of community applications in the Windows Web Application Gallery, and creates sites from open source applications like Umbraco and WordPress.

Learn more/download Web Deploy.
Read the Web Deploy blog.
Get free, best effort forum support on Web Deploy from the community and IIS product group.

Web Platform Installer 2.0

Supported on Windows XP and later, Web Platform Installer (Web PI) provides a central location to find and install the Microsoft Web platform and applications from the Web Application Gallery.

Web PI checks your computer for installed software and environment variables and then presents an up-to-date list of Web components that you can install.


Figure. Web Platform Installer “Web Platform” tab

You can learn more about the products themselves in a details page, add multiple products to a list, select a product or two and Web PI will handle the installation of your choices, including pre-requisites, reboots and rollbacks.

Once you make your choices, Web PI downloads the installers to your computer and then runs the installation silently so that you don’t have to click through multiple screens across multiple products. Web PI intelligently caches the product installers on your computer, so you also don’t have to pay for the bandwidth to get the installer on your computer multiple times. 

You can also browse free community Web applications from the Windows Web App Gallery. Web PI uses XML feeds to provide access to the latest of the Web product stack and apps from Web App Gallery – and also supports reading custom XML feeds so that hosters and other users can add other products to the Web PI experience. Web PI uses Web Deploy as the underlying app deployment platform to install and deploy the free app so that you end up with a working Web site based on the app after a few simple screens.

Learn more/download Web Platform Installer.
Check out
free community Web Applications on the Window Web Application Gallery.
free, best effort forum support on Web PI from the community, IIS product group, and partners.

Database Manager 1.0

The IIS Database Manager lets you manage your Web application’s databases (SQL or MySQL) from IIS Manager, the same unified management console that you use to manage your Web application.


Figure. Database Manager Via IIS Manager 

With Database Manager, you get:

  • The ability to manage local and remote database tables, views, stored procedures and data as well as running ad hoc queries.
  • Built-in delegation support for administrators to delegate access to remote and local users
  • Support for Microsoft SQL and MySQL databases
  • A rich provider model that allows developers to add new data sources including XML.
  • Local and remote backup and restore for SQL databases.

IIS Database Manager gives Web app developers and administrators the ability to manage a key resource of the Web application – its database – in a single integrated experience through IIS Manager.

Learn more/download IIS Database Manager 1.0
Get free, best effort forum support on IIS Database Manager from the community, IIS product group, and partners.

Application Request Routing 2.0 RC

Application Request Routing (ARR) provides a load balancer for Web farms and an edge caching solution as a Web extension for IIS. In this RC release for the second version of ARR, we are increasing the performance of intelligent, rules-based routing of HTTP requests in Web farms by providing disk based caching. With ARR, you can see how our new extensibility model in IIS7 lets us open up production-grade new scenarios like load balancing and proxy/cache…all built on Windows Server and freely downloadable to IIS 7 and later.

ARR’s intelligent load balancing transforms the Web server into a dynamic environment for routing requests based on rules that allow the administrators to control traffic to sites based on site or client affinity. We introduce the concept of "server farms" in ARR as well, allowing you to dictate which server in a cluster that you want to handle a request.  


Figure. Introducing Server Farms in ARR

Hosters like MaximumASP can use ARR to create new hosting offers. MaxESP, a new offer from MaximumASP, provides customers with load balancing and redundancy using ARR on the server without requiring any application changes.

In ARR 2.0, we expand the capabilities of ARR into edge caching. ARR plays a critical server component role to our end-to-end rich media delivery solution (check out IIS Smooth Streaming in action!), where ARR can turn an IIS server into a cache node in a CDN/ECN environment. In a hierarchical caching environment, ARR can be used as an edge/child cache node or a parent cache node, dynamically compressing content for maximum caching efficiency.

As with all our IIS extensions, you can use the same familiar IIS management tools like IIS Manager to quickly set up ARR as a load balancer or cache in a hierarchical environment.

Download ARR v2 RC (note that ARR v1 and ARR v2 can’t be installed side-by-side since ARR requires a dedicated server – pick the version that addresses your business needs). 
Learn more about ARR v2 RC.
free, best effort forum support for ARR v2 RC from the community and IIS product group.

SEO Toolkit 1.0 Beta 2

In a world of rapidly increasing web sites, every Web site developer wants to make sure that their site is easily discoverable with good site quality. The SEO Toolkit Beta 2 simplifies site quality and searchability from the same management console that you administer your Web applications. The Toolkit provides the ability for developers to do site analysis, which helps you discover broken links and other site quality issues based on validation rules – as well as helps you troubleshoot common problems like duplicate content and poor keywords.


Figure. IIS SEO Toolkit Site Analysis

You can also use the SEO Toolkit to define robots exclusion files using a powerful editor – and then run another site analysis to assess the impact of applying your robots files. The sitemap functionality in the SEO Toolkit makes it easy to author index files that make it easy to discover a physical and logical view of the site.

In this Beta 2, you’ll experience a simplified workflow through the optimization process and take advantage of new features like report exporting into a single consolidated report that you can then compare with previous reports to flags, ability to set credentials that allow the site analysis tool to crawl login-protected pages, and extensibility that allows developer to customize the crawling process to handle new content types or to declare and flag their own violations in existing content types.

Learn more/download SEO Toolkit Beta 2
free, best effort forum support for SEO Toolkit from the community and IIS product group.

New International Support for IIS Extensions and the Web App Gallery

Today marks the beginning of our international rollout of our IIS extensions and Windows Web Application Gallery, so customers all over the world can take advantage of a rapidly innovating IIS.

WebPI Russian

Figure. Web PI in Russian

Our goal is to provide support for nine primary languages for RTW IIS extensions (not betas) with today’s releases taking us the first step. With this release, we provide the following international support for the following products:

  • Web Platform Installer 2.0 in French, Italian, Spanish, German, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Russian
  • Web Deploy 1.0 in French, Italian, Spanish, German, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Russian
  • IIS Database Manager 1.0 in French, Spanish, German, and Japanese
  • Application Request Routing 1.0 in French, Spanish, German, and Japanese
  • URL Rewrite 1.1 in French, Spanish, German, and Japanese.
  • Web Application Gallery: Support for submitting free community applications in French, Italian, German, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Russian via a Web App Gallery application submission. All Web App Gallery submissions in any language must follow the Web App Gallery Principles before links to the Web application are added to the Web App Gallery.

Look for more international releases for IIS extensions in the upcoming months as we continue to expand on languages and coverage of IIS released products.

I hope you enjoy the new functionality that this brings to your Web server! I am very proud of the work that we are launching today -- it is a reflection of how deeply we care about building the best Web server on the planet.

Try out the new extensions by installing from Web Platform Installer. If you have any questions or want to talk to our larger community of experts and product team members, try

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