Visual Studio Web Deployment Projects

So nearly a year and a half ago, a Microsoft team released a Visual Studio 2005 add-on that would add the "Web Deployment" project type to your IDE.  A few of the advantages of this new project type are:

  • More control over the number of assemblies generated by a pre-compiled web project, as well as control over their naming.
  • The ability to utilize the full power of MSBuild to customize your build process, including support for opening and editing the web deployment MSBuild project file directly in the IDE (with full intellisense support).
  • The ability to define and use custom build-configurations inside Visual Studio, and define per-build configuration options (for example, you could define custom build configurations like “staging” in addition to the standard "debug" and "release").
  • The ability to customize and modify a web application’s web.config file at deployment according to build configuration ("debug", "staging", "release", etc.).

Here is a link that discusses it further and gives a screenshot walkthrough of it:

Well, now that same team has included an enhanced version for VS 2008.  Here is a link discussing the improvements and additions:

Also, the IIS team at Microsoft has a new command-line utility called MSDeploy that helps with deploying and syncing web projects across all of the servers in your server farm:

Sounds like fun to me.