Around 1 year ago I wrote the Bullet Proof Guide to Installing Sitefinity 3.x. This blog post weighs in at 21 pages and includes a 30 minute video. This blog post was written after I reformatted my system to install the Windows 7 RC. This system rebuild forced me to re-discover all the small steps needed to setup IIS, setup SQLExpress and then run Sitefinity’s Project Manager. To this day, the Bullet Proof Guide is the most popular resource on Sitefinity Watch.
Part of reason Sitefinity installation requires so many steps is that Sitefinity 3’s Project Manager is web based. On a consumer operating system (Vista, 7) IIS isn’t installed by default. Once installed, IIS is configured to run with very limited user credentials. To create a new project, Sitefinity 3’s Project Manager needs to create a new IIS web application…which it doesn’t have permission to do.
In a nutshell, the tasks that Sitefinity’s Project Manager needs to perform aren’t possible without jumping through a lot of IIS configuration hoops. Consequently, the instructions for installing Sitefinity on Vista or Windows 7 involve 21 pages of steps. We’ve recognized that this process is daunting. In fact, many savvy Sitefinity customers have learned to avoid the Project Manager entirely and utilize the Blank Project Zip for new Sitefinity web sites.
All of this needed to change with Sitefinity 4.0; within a few minutes customers should be focused on building their web site, not installation. Consequently, Sitefinity 4.0 has a brand new Project Manager. This Project Manager is designed to streamline the process of creating & launching a new web site.
To circumvent the issues described above, Sitefinity 4.0’s Project Manager is Windows-based, not Web-based. This Project Manager downloads and runs as a single EXE file:
There is no installation of Sitefinity 4.0. Everything Sitefinity 4.0 needs is contained in a single EXE file. When the file is double-clicked, the Project Manager loads immediately.
Because there is no installation, it’s also very easy to utilize multiple versions of Sitefinity on the same computer:
Sitefinity 4.0’s Project Manager includes an integrated web server. This is useful for local development and testing. This integrated web server allows Sitefinity to avoid the complexities of IIS setup on development machines.
There are many more features and advantages packed into Sitefinity 4.0’s new Project Manager. However, a primary goal of this new Project Manager is to get customers up and running very quickly and easily. Please test the CTP on your own computer. Be sure to report any installation or setup issues to the Sitefinity 4.0 Forums.