Web Deployment Tool Overview

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Synchronize, Package, Deploy

The Web Deployment Tool (Web Deploy) enables IIS to synchronize, package, and deploy Web applications, Web sites, or Web server content and configuration either locally or remotely. It has numerous features that let you, with a great degree of precision, include those components that you want to process and exclude those that you do not. For you to be able to use Web Deploy, IIS must already be installed on the source and destination computers.


The Web Deploy sync operation lets you synchronize an IIS 6.0 Web site or Web server, an IIS 7 Web site or Web server, or an IIS 6.0 source to an IIS 7 destination. The source and destination can be on local or remote computers. The sync operation lets you deploy new sites and servers or changes to existing sites and servers.

When you synchronize from IIS 6.0 to IIS 7, Web Deploy checks the value of certain properties and determines whether the values of these properties are the IIS 6.0 defaults. If a property has the default value for IIS 6.0, Web Deploy will use the corresponding default for IIS 7. This enables IIS 6.0 settings to be smoothly synchronized to IIS 7 without unnecessary manual intervention. To identify the cases where manual intervention is required, Web Deploy analyzes the source server for any dependencies on components which cannot be synchronized automatically. This helps you determine whether there are features that you must install on the destination IIS 7 server before you begin.


Using Web Deploy to synchronize Web content or configuration from a later version of IIS or Windows to an earlier version of IIS or Windows is not recommended. For example, you should not synchronize from IIS 7 to IIS 6.0, or synchronize Web content and configuration from Windows Server® 2008 R2 to Windows Server® 2008, or from an operating system that has a service pack to the same operating system that has an earlier service pack, or no service pack. Differences in schema files can render the results of such synchronizations unusable.


The Web Deploy package and archiveDir features let you create a snapshot backup of your Web site or Web server into a .zip file or archive directory. In addition, the parameterization and manifest features let you customize the archive or package that you create. You can then use your package files to deploy Web sites and Web servers to other computers or computer locations.


The Web Deploy sync feature lets you synchronize Web sites and Web servers with a great deal of control. You can do this directly from computer to computer, or use packages to deploy Web content and configuration from one computer location to another.

Additional Features

Web Deploy also has useful testing and troubleshooting features.

The -whatif operation setting enables you to see the outcome of a proposed operation and validate it before you actually implement it. This is especially useful for synchronizations because you will want to ensure that the settings that you have chosen are valid before you implement them.

For troubleshooting, the -verbose operation setting enables you to access detailed information about the operations that are being performed, and enables better diagnosis if a failure occurs.

See Also

Key Concepts and Features

Introducing Web Deploy

Requirements and Limitations

Web Deployment Tool Installation

Web Deployment Tool Core Tasks

Web Deploy sync Operation

Web Deploy archiveDir Provider

Web Deploy package Provider