When it comes to a complete set of website development tools, nobody does it better that Microsoft. From web server (IIS), database server (SQL), framework (.NET) and development tools (Visual Studio), Microsoft has quite the offering. They even created an application to install it all, the Web Platform Installer (WebPI). And the best of all, they're free!
Spotlight view inside of the Microsoft Web Platform Installer v4
Using the WebPI application, you can download and install all of the programs you would need to create and publish a website. You can even download various web apps like Wordpress or DotNetNuke. The app categories range from blog and content management system (CMS) to e-commerce and galleries.
Appilcation view inside of the Microsoft Web Platform Installer v4
And with the release of Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 on the horizon, Microsoft is starting to roll out new versions of quite a few of these programs. Here's a quote from Microsoft's site:
With the Microsoft Web Platform you get more than just a powerful set of tools, servers and technologies. You get a complete eco-system of products, technologies and partners all looking to help you succeed on the web.
ASP.NET Framework ASP.NET is a free, fully supported Web application framework that helps you build standards-based Web solutions by providing a rich set of features and easy integration with databases and web services.
Flexible Web Server
IIS Web Server Internet Information Services provides a secure, easy-to-manage Web platform for reliably hosting ASP.NET and PHP web applications on the same server.
SQL Server SQL Server® is a complete database engine for running high performance web applications. Easily create data-enabled web applications with SQL Server's support for LINQ, Entity Data Model, and ADO.NET.
Microsoft Web Design and Development Tools Visual Studio®, Expression Web® and Windows Internet Explorer® with its built-in developer tools, provide a complete environment for building standards-based web sites, applications and services.
Here's a partial list of some of the recently updated applications:
- Visual Studio Express 2012 for Web
- Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Express
- IIS 8.0 Express
- .NET Framework 4.5
For more information on the Microsoft Web Platform, just follow the links below.
Microsoft Web Platform
Microsoft Web Platform Installer 4.0