Microsoft Web PI (Platform Installer)

Have you ever wanted to deploy your own web app but do not have the time and technical skills to put one up? Well, good news for you because Microsoft saves the day by launching the Web Platform Installer (Web PI). Microsoft Web PI is a 2MB file which downloads and installs necessary components for you to have your first web app up and running. Basically, the Web PI detects the components that are already installed in your system and shows you the components that still needs to be downloaded and installed. All you have to do is choose which web application you want to be installed and the Web PI downloads and installs the necessary stuff for you including their dependencies. There is a plethora of web apps you can install via Web PI such as WordPress, Acquia Drupal, etc. but for this article, I will be using BlogEngine .NET web app for reference (so it’s good if you start with BlogEngine too!)


After having successfully finished the installation, you are now ready to create your web app!

Creating your Web App in 5 Steps

1.) To test your installation, go to your web browser then type 127.0.0.1. If you see the IIS home page then it means that you already got your web server running. Congratulations! However, if you don’t see it, you try installing BlogEngine again from the Web PI or you
could go to the Web Platform tab > Click Web Server > Install.

2.) After confirming that the web server is running, type 127.0.0.1/blogengine into your browser. The browser should display something like this.

If you don’t see that page, then you probably changed the default web app name to something else other than ‘blogengine’ during the installation. If this is the case then you should try browsing to 127.0.0.1/<insert_web_app_name_here>.

3.) Once BlogEngine is running, you can configure its appearance and other settings by clicking on   “Log In” beside the “Subscribe” hyperlink. Doing so will bring you to a log in page. Here, all you have to do is type “admin” (without quotation marks) in both the username and password fields. Note that “admin” is only the default password and you can change your password afterwards (see No. 4).

4.) The fun part begins here. After successfully logging in as admin, you will again see the default BlogEngine page but now, it already has an Administration panel on the right. From there you could manage entries, comments, settings, controls, password, etc. to revamp your web app to make it the most-awesome-web-app-ever-created-by-man. Also, being in admin mode, you could move the widgets to where you like it to be just by clicking
‘Move’ on the top portion of the widgets.

5.) If you want to optimize your web app for Internet Explorer 9, all you have to do is click the Settings link in the Administration Panel and look for the HTML Head Section textbox and paste the following scripts (Note that you can change the values of the attributes in boldface to anything that suits your need):

To Run site in pinned mode:

<meta name=”application-name” content=”Sample Site Mode Application“/> <meta name=”msapplication-tooltip” content=”Start the page in Site Mode“/> <meta name=”msapplication-starturl” content=”http://example.com/start.html“/> <meta name=”msapplication-window” content=”width=800;height=600“/> <meta name=”msapplication-navbutton-color” content=”red“/>

To specify the icon of your site when in pinned mode:

<LINK rel=”shortcut icon” type=image/x-icon href=”http://host/favicon.ico“> <LINK rel=icon type=image/ico href=”./favicon.ico“>

The discussion of the scripts shown above and more can be found here.

If you have any questions or if you want to know more about working and learning while having fun, please like our Facebook page at MS Acad Team Philippines.

–Jay Saringan, Microsoft Student Partner, Ateneo de Manila University

About the contributor:

Emanuel Saringan is a B.S. Computer Science student from the Ateneo de Manila University. A Microsoft Student Partner and a cool dude.

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