From very humble beginnings in late 2008 (!), the Web Platform Installer (WebPI) has helped bootstrap countless machines with a wide array of Microsoft platform products and open source (OSS) web applications. WebPI was Microsoft's first big foray into OSS web apps (Umbraco, DotNetNuke and the like) and even installed non-Microsoft products like MySQL and PHP. It's greatest strength was it's ability to detect and install the correct versions of the myriad of dependencies needed to setup a server of desktop machine. No longer did you need to search for the various versions of the SQL client, .NET Framework or any other underlying component - WebPI handled it all for you seamlessly and was always up to date with the latest and greatest.
WebPI was the launching pad for WebMatrix and also made it easy to get the various versions of the Azure SDK for .NET before it became directly integrated into Visual Studio. Today it's updated much less frequently, but several teams continue to leverage it's easy of use and light-weight footprint to help deploy their products to a wide set of customers.
Alas, products have a finite lifecycle and the time has come to both end support for WebPI and to wind down the product and application feeds. The following list below details the key dates in the process so you can plan accordingly.
June 1st ,2021 - Updates to the Web Application Gallery catalog ended. In an emergency, we will make security updates for applications or remove them as needed
July 1st, 2022 - Product support via Microsoft Support Services officially ends. WebPI is classified as a tool in the Microsoft support lexicon and requires a 12 month notification before support is ended
July 1st, 2022 - Product updates to the Product catalog will end. The feed will be locked and no changes will be made
December 31st, 2022 - The WebPI feed will be removed from the servers and the product installers will be pulled from the Microsoft download center
I've worked on WebPI since somtime in 2010 and have been the last person keeping the lights on for at least 5 years, so this is a tough post for me to write, but the time has come to sunset the product.
The most common question I get when the WebPI end of support comes up:
Q: What if I still need something from WebPI to maintain a legacy system?
A: Take a look at creating a WebPI Offline Feed - you can setup a mini WebPI feed and installer repository locally that will allow you to continue to deploy products to legacy machines. Remember to download and store copies of the WebPI installer itself (both x86 and x64) as those will be removed per the dates above.
I hope you found WebPI a beneficial product and it made your product install experience just a little bit easier. I've enjoyed immensely being a part of it for all these years!