Web Platform Installer 3.0 simplifies the download of free Microsoft software. The official Microsoft product can be used to install all free Microsoft web based development tools and related applications effortlessly. It therefor aims specifically at web developers, companies and organizations that develop web and Intranet applications on Windows.
The application is available for 32-bit and 64-bit editions of Windows, and needs to be installed before it can be started for the first time. The application pulls the latest program information from Microsoft before it displays them in the interface.
The installer displays the three core categories Spotlight, Products and Applications upon start. Spotlight is merely a selection of products and applications that Microsoft recommends the most.
Available in this group are for instance Microsoft WebMatrix, a free tool to build, test and deploy web sites, the DotNetNuke Community Edition, and the content management systems Joomla and Drupal.
Each item is displayed with its name and icon, release data and an Install option.
A double-click on an entry opens a page with information about the selected product. The page offers a short description and lists the publisher, size, version and release date. The publisher is linked, and a double-click opens the website in the default web browser.
A click on the add button adds the program to the installation queue. The number of items are displayed in the lower left corner of the screen. The add button turns into a remove button once an item has been added. Users work their way through the list, add programs they need to the installation queue to install everything in one go in the end.
Web Platform Installer recognizes already installed programs and applications and will display installed instead of the add button in this case.
The two core groups Products and Applications are both divided into subgroups. Products for instance is divided into Server, Frameworks, Database and Tools, while Applications in Blogs, CMS, eCommerce, Forums, Galleries, Tools and Wiki.
Products concentrate on Microsoft products, like the IIS Server, the .NET Framework or the database SQL Server Express. Applications on the other hand run on the products, examples are the blogging platform WordPress, the phpBB forum or Gallery Server Pro.
The preferred language for selected products and applications can be changed in the options. The options are also the place to select the preferred web server.
The Web Platform Installer installs necessary dependencies automatically to make sure that developers end up with a complete working product, and do not need to download and install other products before they can run their selected applications.
Web developers who use Microsoft software for development can install all products that they work with from within the application. This saves time and ensures that the latest versions and all dependencies are installed on the system. It furthermore simplifies the installation of a web development environment.