At the Microsoft PDC today, I attended a talk entitled, "Web Application Packaging and Deployment". It went into detail about how the Microsoft Web Deployment Tool can significantly ease deployment for ASP.net applications onto a supporting Windows platform. The idea is that the tool will programmatically enable one to deploy all aspects of their application, which addresses some typical challenges of these deployment scenarios, such as configuration modifcations, GAC entries, etc. It will integrate into Visual Studio 2010, and as of Beta 2, now has the ability to create and manage application packaging, and integrates into the IIS7 manager.

During the presentation, Takeshi Eto from DiscountASP.net showed how they have created a developer sandbox for people to try out the new Microsoft Web Deployment tool. This is a great way to see how this technology will work, especially since it is deployed in a shared hosting environment. Anyone can sign up for the sandbox for free, but it is limited to the first 2000 participants. You can sign up at http://labs.discountasp.net.