I was setting up a new machine for presentations and I was getting ready to install Visual Studio 2010 Express and figured I'd go see if the Web Platform Installer (we call it "Web-P-I") had the new versions of VS2010 ready to go.
If you're not familiar, I've blogged about this before. WebPI is a 2meg download that basically sets up your machine for Web Development and downloads whatever you need automatically. It's a cafeteria plan for Microsoft Web Development. It's really matured in the last two years and it's THE fastest way to take a machine from fresh Windows install to "ready to dev".
If you've already got stuff installed, WebPI won't mess up your installation. It will instead give you a list of extensions you might want to add or turn on. For example, here I'm downloading the free version of VS2010, Visual Studio Web Developer 2010 Express and adding the URL Rewrite 2.0 module to IIS.
It sucks to say it, but the installer on SQL Server 2008 Express is insane. My brain just isn't wired to correctly install SQL Express and I always struggle with it. Additionally, I'm always trying to figure out how to add SQL Server 2008 Management Studio Express and I get lost. So, I've stopped trying and I use WebPI to do it; see the screenshot below.
However, it's more than setting up the dev enviro, it also acts as an installer for Open Source apps from the Web App Gallery. If you're a Umbraco, Joomla, or Drupal person, it'll install the app and setup IIS for you.
WebPI inside uses the Web Deployment engine I talked about at Mix this year called Web Deployment Made Awesome: If You're Using XCopy, You're Doing It Wrong. It's easy to make your Open Source application installable via WebPI. I wrote about how I added support for a WebPI-based installation in DasBlog last year. It'll anything that can run on IIS, not just ASP.NET apps. If you've got an app, go submit it to the gallery!
Go check it out. Enjoy.
Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. I am a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.
"It sucks to say it, but the installer on SQL Server 2008 Express is insane. My brain just isn't wired to correctly install SQL Express and I always struggle with it. Additionally, I'm always trying to figure out how to add SQL Server 2008 Management Studio Express and I get lost."
SQL Server 2008 Express is insane
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.