Microsoft just announced the Web Application Installer. It is an installer designed to help get users of the Windows operating system up and running with some popular web applications. Guess what? It comes with support for Drupal. I don't know enough about their roadmap but this could introduce Drupal to thousands of new users. Oh my!

From the Web Application Installer page:

Web Application Installer provides support for popular ASP.Net and PHP Web applications including Graffiti, DotNetNuke, WordPress, Drupal, OSCommerce and more. With just a few simple clicks, Web Application Installer will check your machine for the necessary pre-requisites, download these applications from their source location in the community, walk you through basic configuration items and then install them on your computer.

I don't have a Windows machine so I can't test it out, but it sounds like a great way for Windows users to explore Drupal. (Hat tip: Jelle Druyts)


Itkovian (not verified):

I just hope they do not fubar it. Otherwise, it seems like a cool idea, but in my experience management at microsoft has a way to change cool ideas into bad execution. Nonetheless, we can hope for the best.

Anonymous (not verified):

Wow! That's pretty big! Congrats, this is great news for Drupal!

Berdir (not verified):

The Web Application Installer requires IIS to be installed on the machine. Please install IIS and run this application again.

Well..... Microsoft, what else is to say :)

Shannon Lucas (not verified):

I've tried it several times now, and still haven't gotten it to work. Part way through I get an error dialog saying that an error occurred. In the log there's this error:

An error occurred:System.NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.
at Microsoft.Web.Management.WebAI.UnfixablePrereqPage.PreValidateCompleted(Object sender, AsyncCompletedEventArgs e)

After clicking "Okay" on the error dialog, the installer continues, but ends with the same error:

The path is not of a legal form.

And in the log:

Run the database script for Drupal failure. The path is not of a legal form.

Yeah... that's a helpful.

The only other application I tried installing was WordPress. That one won't install at all because WebAI doesn't recognize the running instance of MySQL.

I've created a thread in the WebAI forum regarding Drupal installation:

Shannon Lucas (not verified):

After some tinkering, I managed to get it to work.

  1. WebAI required that MySQL be installed from the official MySQL installer. I was originally trying it with the MySQL that came with XAMPP. There are either some registry entries that don't get created by XAMPP, or WebAI may require MySQL to be running as a service - I didn't have it running that way under XAMPP.
  2. I had to explicitly grant permissions on the MySQL user that WebAI created for Drupal. Until I did this, MySQL was denying authorization.

So it does actually work. Microsoft should document item 1 and fix item 2.

I have not yet tried using the IIS rewrite module to get clean URLs.

tourguide (not verified):

Microsoft is a Event Sponsor for Drupal Camp Chicago. DCC will have a BoF session to discuss Drupal on Windows. What works, what doesn't, what's good, what sucks. This is a shot at a discussion with a Program manager from the IIS team (Windows web server) who
is interested in making Open Source and PHP apps play better with Windows.

what U running? (not verified):

I'm sure that MS have thought long and hard about this initative and how they can leverage the FOSS community. By enticing more developers to the Windows Server 2008 / SQL Server 2008 platforms they will certainly increase sales but overall this is really good news and a step in the right direction.

Wim Mostrey (not verified):

Hi Daniel, I'm not sure if BitNami is preferred over what Microsoft comes up with. As it currently stands BitNami is distributing Drupal 5.10 and 6.4, which means it's missing two major security releases for both (the recent versions are 5.12 and 6.6). Microsoft gets the latest version straight from, so it just acts as a gateway.

Tejas Parab (not verified):

I have to say hats off to both Drupal and Microsoft for this.
Hats off to drupal because it has managed to gain so much popularity that even Microsoft has to allow it to be configured on its web server IIS.

And hats off to Microsoft because for a change they decide to do whats good for their own future and not just live in oblivion of growing web technologies.