Microsoft readies new Express version of its IIS Web server

Summary:Microsoft is readying a first public beta of a new Web server, known as IIS Express, which combines the use of the Microsoft ASP.Net Web Server with the full power of IIS, according to a Microsoft Corporate Vice President.

Microsoft is readying a first public beta of a new Web server, known as IIS Express.

The IIS Express release "combines the use of the Microsoft ASP.Net Web Server with the full power of IIS," which is integrated into Windows, according to a June 28 blog post by Microsoft Corporate Vice President of the .Net Developer platform Scott Guthrie.

Guthrie said the first public beta of IIS Express was very close, but didn't provide an exact delivery date. He also didn't provide a final delivery target. If IIS Express is like Microsoft's other Express products, it should be free.

Guthrie did say to expect the IIS Express product to be lightweight (less than 10 MB download) and "super quick" to install. He said the new IIS relealse won't require an administrator account to run/debug applications from Visual Studio. The product will include a "full web-server feature set," Guthrie said, including SSL, URL Rewrite, Media Support and "all other IIS 7.X modules." It will be able to be installed side-by-side with the full IIS Web server and the ASP.Net Development Server.

The new SKU will work on Windows XP and other flavors of Windows relealsed since then. The product will be able to be used within Visual Studio 2010 and 2008, Guthrie said. Microsoft is planning to release a patch for Visual Studio 2010 and Visual Web Developer 2010 Express later this year that will enable developers to automatically launch and use IIS Express in place of the built-in ASP.Net Developer Server, Guthrie said. The gameplan is for future Visual Studio releases to ship with this functionality built in, Guthrie added.

Independent consultant and software development expert Ted Neward tweeted that the Express version of IIS was "Tomcat.Net." (Tomcat is a popular Java Web server from the Apache Foundation.) "The fact that (Microsoft) are answering their developers and bridging the gap to allow developers to have an instant setup IIS installation is cause for excitement indeed," blogged Doug Rathbone, a Web application consultant. "Most developers i know that have hit a wall working with the built in Visual Studio web server and its limitations have had to use an alternative such as (the ASP.Net Web server) Cassini."

Topics: Software Development, Browser, Hardware, Microsoft, Servers

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Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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