by Simon Tan


This set of documentation describes how hosting providers can prepare to join the Microsoft Web Hosting Gallery—a comprehensive marketplace of hosting providers—while standing out as 100% WebMatrixcompatible for maximum visibility. This is also known as having Spotlight status.

Being WebMatrix compatible means that you can make a guarantee to your end users: that they can publish applications from WebMatrix and the Web Application Gallery to your servers with confidence.

What is covered: This documentation outlines how to extend an existing Windows/IIS7 shared hosting environment so users can publish to it using the WebMatrix web development tool.

What is not covered: This document does not describe how to create a Windows hosting environment "from scratch".

It assumes that you have a hosting environment that runs on IIS7, offers ASP.NET hosting, and that you have experience with managing such environments. Please see this article to learn more about the basics of setting up a Windows shared hosting environment if you do not have one already.

This documentation will walk you through the following setup steps:

  1. Installing the required server components
  2. Configuring the server to allow remote publishing of websites by end-users
  3. Validating your server configuration using a small tool
  4. Crafting a publishing Profile XML file containing server credentials for your end users
  5. Composing new account welcome e-mails that make it easy for your customers to get started with WebMatrix

After completing the above steps, you will then need to formally submit an application to the Web Hosting Gallery. To be considered for Spotlight status, this application will need to include a sample test account (in the form of a Profile XML file) that represents a typical account from your WebMatrix compatible offer.

How your customers will publish to you

  1. Customer finds your offer in the Web Hosting Gallery, and signs up for an account

  2. You provision required resources (including a SQL Server and/or MySQL database) for the customer

    • IIS site provisions:

      • Creates a IIS Management username and password
      • Applies deployment and management permission to the IIS Site
    • SQL Database provisions:

      • Creates SQL account and password
      • Applies permissions to the database for the SQL account
  3. You send the customer their server credentials in the form of a Profile XML

  4. Customer uses WebMatrix or other tools to deploy their web applications to your servers.

Next Steps

First, you need to make sure you have the necessary server components to fully support WebMatrix and fulfill the Spotlight requirements of the Web Hosting Gallery.