One of the less touted (but still significant) announcements at MIX was the Microsoft Web Platform Installer 2.0 beta (WebPI).  This handy little tool and community site makes it easy to set up web servers (including common configuration settings), databases, runtimes like ASP.NET and PHP and apps like DotNetNuke and Wordpress.

Be sure to read this great blog post by Lauren Cooney about the release and the thought processes that led up to it.

Here are some interesting highlights of the release.

  • The Web Platform Installer 2.0 Beta now includes new Platform features and IIS extensions as well as support for installing and configuring PHP v5.2.9-1 for Windows.
  • The Windows Web Application Gallery contains community .NET and Open Source applications. Check out what’s available for categories such as ecommerce, content management, publishing, digital marketing and more and keep coming back to see new applications as they are added. Also be sure to explore the process and documentation for submitting an application to be included in the Windows Web Application Gallery
  • The application developer owns the distribution point. Web App Gallery provides links to application ZIP packages with Web Development Tool integration on the application developer’s Web site. That way, the latest available version of a package will be downloaded when people run the Installer.
  • Integration with the Web Deployment Tool is designed to work with existing application packages. You need to add a couple of manifest files to the root of your existing ZIP package using the Application Packaging Guide, test to make sure that you work on the platforms supported by Web Platform Installer, and follow the other Web Application Gallery Principles.
  • The Web App Gallery is open to ASP.NET and PHP applications that follow the Web Application Gallery Principles and best practices for hosting ASP.NET and PHP applications on IIS.
  • A developer can start the application submission process on the www.microsoft.com/gallery. All applications in the Web Application Gallery live in an XML feed that is consumed by Web Platform Installer, participating control panel vendors, and any site that wants to integrate with the feed. Web deployment tool is the foundation of the easier deployment experience on Windows – you have to add manifest files that Web Deployment Tool understands in order for the application package to be easily installed and deployed on a Windows computer.

So what are you waiting for? Go try the installer today at http://www.microsoft.com/web.