WWAGallery_logo_2009.jpgThere was a lot of interesting news coming out of MIX09 yesterday. A new beta release for the Microsoft Web Platform Installer was one of them. What's new in Beta 2? And what's this we hear about the Web PI now installing PHP and some popular open source content management applications?

What's New in Beta 2?

The Web Platform Installer (Web PI) enables you to easily download and install the latest development technologies from Microsoft. It's now easier than even to get up and running with a web development environment.

In beta 1.0 of the Web Platform Installer, you had the option of downloading and installing one or more of the following technologies to your desktop:

  • IIS (Internet Information Server)
  • Visual Web Developer 2008 Express Edition
  • SQL Server 2008 Express Edition
  • .Net Framework
  • ASP.Net MVC
  • Visual Studio Tools for Silverlight

 Beta 2 of the Web PI offers a couple of additional things including:

  • Popular Web Apps
  • A few Extras and Goodies

First the Goodies

Did you know that you could host PHP-based applications on your IIS web server? Well you can. The Web PI now includes the option to install the community version of PHP (PHP 5.2.9) on IIS.

Both IIS 6 and IIS7 have supported PHP for a little while now, but this is the first time it's been included with the Web Platform Installer.

You can also download the latest release of ASP.NET MVC 1.0.

Installing Popular Web Apps

Also now included with the Web PI is an Application Deployment tool that lets you download and install a number of community web applications, including some very popular web content management systems.

We told you that Microsoft was supporting web content management systems like Drupal, WordPress and DotNetNuke. But now's there are even more available, including:

and several new blogging platforms:

  • BlogEngine.NET
  • DasBlog
  • Subtext

Windows Application Gallery

The Windows Web Application Gallery is a new gallery where you can find and download new applications and components for developing web applications. New solutions can be submitted -- as long as they are free -- to the gallery exposing a worldwide audience to promote your wares.

Windows Application Gallery

This is the gallery where you will find all the content management and blogging platforms mentioned above, along with a few more goodies.

A Big Step in the Right Direction

It's great to see Microsoft opening their doors to non-Microsoft solutions and offering an easy way for developers to get up and running quickly with a Microsoft development environment.

Head over and download Beta 2 of the Web Platform Installer. Then take a look at the Web Application Gallery and see what interests you.