today I am proud to announce the availability of a German project within Microsoft.
The project based on the question how we can help to make your Windows Server the even better web server. It is targeted towards the numbers of dedicated servers out there.
We found that beside Windows itself being a quite easy to manage system and Windows Server 2003 being a very secure platform it is still time consuming to install a web server to the point where the typical "tweak it until it is mine" step starts. Installing all the basics like .net framework, SQL, Management Studio, CMS and much more really takes time.
So Bernhard Frank and Mario Briana from Microsoft with lots of help by Sebastian Gloeckner who did an internship at MS that days, designed, developed, tested, roled out, tweaked, improved, and tested again... you know that stuff...
What finally surfaced now are two projects:
WAI (www.codeplex.com/wai) or Web Application Installer: The idea is to to have a "tool" to build a generic installation package for a web application within 30 minutes. WAI helps you do that and provides all the necessary things like defining permissions for IIS, build up a SQL database, and much more. And yes, we do support PHP with fastCGI and even mySQL 😉
Now the second project is available: RAKTAJINO (http://www.codeplex.com/raktajino). Yes, you certainly are wondering where this name comes from. Well, have a look here http://startrek.wikia.com/wiki/Raktajino.
Raktajino is where it all comes together. The idea is that you (as a developer) can build up a packet quite easily. For this you can make use of WAI and the result is a MSI-file (Microsoft Installer Package). We want to come up with some kind of central package repository. While do not really know how this will look like in the future we provide in this early stage some pre-build packages on a server which URL you can find on the Raktajino-Codeplex-site.
When installing the Raktajino-client on your machine you will be asked for two destinct URLs: One where an XML file is located with meta-information (like dependencies of packages, descriptions, logos, licenses etc) and one package server (like the one we just build). The client is able to replace the language you use on your machine so it can find distinct XML files for different languages.
When starting the client it presents the packages available for installation and the package is one click (and maybe some more information to entered) away.
Both projects are open source and written in .net...well, and both projects are SmiG ("Software made in Germany" 😉 and maybe a enable for SaaS.
We are currently thinking on how we could extend this central distribution point to enable new scenarios in SaaS.
Please: Help us!!! Test the offering and provide feedback!!! Build packages and let us know about it!!!
Last but not least: Thank you, Bernhard, Mario, Sebastian: You did a tremendous job!!!