So one of the best little items I have seen recently is the release of the MS Web Platform Installer. This is a nice tool(Free Download) that makes setting up an ASP.NET (or other technologies) development environment fairly painless. You simply launch the installer, tell it what kind of web development you want to do and it will download and install all the tools needed for you.

For example if I choose that I want it to install the requirements for asp.net development, it will download and install the following:

  • Internet Information Services (IIS) 5.1 on Windows XP SP3
  • IIS 6.0 on Windows Server 2003 SP2
  • IIS 7.0 on Windows Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008
  • SQL Server 2008 Express
  • .NET Framework 3.5 SP1
  • Visual Web Developer 2008 Express SP1

There is also the Web Application Installer or Web AI. This is a free download that will allow for installation of additional web development tools and includes support for items such as php, .Net Nuke, Graffiti, WordPress, Drupal and others. The overall goal is to get you up and running as quickly as possible without the need to worry about setup and installation of required components.

You can get both the Web Platform and Web Application installers here:
http://www.microsoft.com/web/channel/products/downloads.aspx

One of the additional benefits is that the installer will check to make sure it is getting the newest version of each component, so you don't have to worry so much about figuring out what updates you need to download when the install runs.

Try it out, and let us know your thoughts!