What is the best way to rollout web applications?


I'm trying to create a standard way of rolling out web applications for our company. Currently we do it with zip files, vbscript/javascript, and manual some steps.

For thick client installs we generate MSI installers using Wise/Wix. We don't create installers currently for websites as in general they are just xcopy deploy. However we have some config files that need to be changed, verify that certain handlers are registered in IIS... The list goes on.

Do most people use MSI installers for web applications as well, or some other tool/scripting language?

9/12/2008 3:28:12 PM

Accepted Answer

Do consider MSDeploy, that is the direction Microsoft will be investing in the future for deployment of web applications...

Know more about the future direction at Overview Post for Web Deployment in VS 2010

7/20/2011 9:42:54 PM

We have been using FinalBuilder ( for this purpose for long time and for some time also using InstallAce ( for build deployment on the Web Farm.


You may want to look at:

  1. How do I get a deployable output from a build script with ASP.NET
  2. Step by Step ASP.NET Automated Build/Deploy

We use MSI to create basic installers for our web projects too, often using the Web Setup Projects in VS and sometimes completely custom installers. You may also want to look at MSDeploy.


We're moving to an MSI for our installs, so far with mixed results. I'm a control freak so I would personally prefer a series of scripts that I had more direct control over. I've used ANT in the past with good results.


Have you checked out NAnt and CruiseControl?

Combined, they can provide an easy and automated way to build and deploy your web apps.


I work for a state agency and we do all our deployments using a product called RepliWeb.

It works good because as dev's we have no control over the webservers. But we can deploy to a deployment area and run the RepliWeb job to do the deployment. Not sure on pricing though...


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