Sueetie: On moving to Windows Server 2008 and IIS7

We’re making good progress moving Sueetie from Windows Server 2003 and IIS6 to Windows Server 2008 and IIS7.  When my Awesome Host Provider migrates my virtual server to Windows Server 2008, Sueetie will be ready.

Moving Sueetie to Windows Server 2008 and IIS7 was always an important goal because it symbolized that it was time to get to work.  For the last couple of months in Sueetie’s short existence we’ve demonstrated that a solid community platform was possible using Open Source .NET applications.  We provided detailed setup documentation and got the party started.  Phase Next can now begin. 

One factor that will foster more development is that until this week I was doing all Sueetie development on an old laptop running XP.  Sueetie was more of a leisure activity than a focused endeavor.  Now in Server Think I can approach Sueetie development like I do my other projects.  I’m always more productive in my office than I am, say, sitting by the fireplace or in the sunroom.  I’ll go back to using those locations exclusively for blogging.

On IIS7 we’re running Sueetie in integrated pipeline mode across the board, which is pretty darn cool.  BlogEngine.NET 1.4.5 required Classic mode, but Mads, Al and others on the BE.NET Core Team did some great IIS7 compliance work in preparing for v1.5, so I downloaded the latest build (change set 24796) and it worked flawlessly.  Performing the update, tailoring the Sueetie Blog theme and applying the DIFF source to integrate membership took about 30 minutes.

A reason it was important to run all applications in integrated mode was for step-through debugging support.  I’ve been wrestling with VS2008 SP1 debugging in W2K8 IIS7, with symbols not loading, virtual application directories producing 404s with the VS Developer Server and other issues.  As a result, for now I’m attaching to the W3WP.exe process to debug, which I’m cool with. I try not to step through code more than I have to.  No F5 for me, I’m afraid.  That solution will no doubt be the topic of another post, but the point is that we’ve got a complete development environment in place now.  I’ll document those details on the Sueetie Wiki.

Another benefit of putting a complete development environment in place was to count on absolute paths for theming and sharing resources.  No more http://myXPlaptop/sueetie as the application root directory and the resulting ..\..\..\candybar.jpg paths.  To enable an absolute site root path, the root web application is now an ASP.NET Web Application Project rather than an ASP.NET Website as it was formerly.

I don’t like posting something without any pictures so here’s the Sueetie site tree in IIS7.  Pretty, eh?

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A long time developer, I was an early adopter of Linux in the mid-90's for a few years until I entered corporate environments and worked with Microsoft technologies like ASP, then .NET. In 2008 I released Sueetie, an Online Community Platform built in .NET. In late 2012 I returned to my Linux roots and locked in on Java development. Much of my work is available on GitHub.