New Beta 2 Feature: File-system based web applications are now supported on the Distributed System Designer

A built-in file-sytem based application server is one of the great features in VS 2005. It gives you the option of creating a new Web application in any folder in your file-system without requiring Internet Information Services (IIS) or Front Page Server extensions installed on your computer. This is awesome because it allows users to develop and debug Web applications without having IIS installed and without having Administrator access. This server further provides users with a more secure way of building applications on a development machine, as the Web server cannot be accessed remotely, and automatically shuts down when Whidbey is closed.

While the file-system based server has been in VS2005 since Beta 1, there was no support on our designers for those types of web service applications. Consequently, in Beta 1, IIS was required if you were planing on implementing any web applications on the Application Designer. This resulted in significant customers feedback. So... I'm happy to say... in Beta 2... we will have support for the built in file-system based application server! Architects/Developers will no longer need IIS to implement applications on our designer. Furthermore, you can now bind a file-system based ASP.NET application to an IIS Logical host to verify that it can be deployed in production; when you will no longer use the built-in file system based application server.

In fact, we believe that most customers will prefer the file-system based application during development. Therefore, ASP.NET Applications now default to file-system based web-applications on the design surface. To switch to IIS based web applications you will now have to manually enter an http:// location for the ASP.NET web application project in the 'Project' property.

I'd love to know how many people plan on continuing to use IIS during their development now that VS2005 has a built-in file-system based application server. Do you feel that we should have made the file-system based ASP.NET application the default?

Comments (7)

  1. I don’t have a problem with it so long there’s adequate documentation on the filesystem based server. One thing that threw me completely with B1 was trying to figure the damn thing out! 🙂

    I’ve yet to discover much doco, so i don’t know what to do with it, but what i had noticed was that ports assigned to a running instance wer epretty random, which made it hard for me to develop a web site and web service in tandem.

    So long as i can work on this scenario easily, then I’m happy 🙂

  2. Ricky says:


    I curse having to open web projects every day; it so broken for our setup. I absolutely can’t wait for this.

  3. Uwe Keim says:

    The obvious question: WHEN will Beta 2 be available?

  4. Ali Pasha says:

    Hi Uwe,

    My product manager has told me that the date we’re aiming for the Beta 2 release is around March 2005.



  5. Eric Newton says:

    Requiring IIS for doing any kind of web developement has always been a bone headed idea, since the days of Visual Interdev.

    We now finally have an easy to use mini web server (all thats needed for development) which is compatible with IIS for doing REAL tests and deployment.

    Additionally the file based web server makes it TEN TIMES EASIER to test little projects… even mini web code snippets.

    Kudos for FINALLY doing the right thing, (what after at least 6 years of web development?)

  6. Jener says:

    Yes!!! File-system based ASP.NET MUST be the default.

    IIS presents vast vulnerabilities and many ISSOs (Information Systems Security Officer) will be thrilled to know that we can now free developer’s workstations from IIS.

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