Sunday, March 8, 2009

Setup Your Virtual Folder During Deployment

After manually setting http handlers for a particular folder in IIS 5 and 6 and then seeing how it can be done programmatically we are ready to use it in our deployment.
It is quite simple actually. Here are the things we need to do:

1. Create web setup project
2. Create custom installer action (it's in VB though, but it is simple enough)
3. Override Commit method of the created installer class
4. Add your action to be executed in the commit phase of the setup

Steps 1 and 2 should be straight forward, however steps 3 and 4 require some more explanation. First of all the web setup project exposes two useful properties through Installation Address User Interface Dialog Box (that's just where you select your site and virtual folder): TARGETSITE and TARGETVDIR. These are as their names suggest: site (its metabase value) and virtual folder where the deployment will occur. That simplifies our life in a way that we can get a reference to our virtual folder's metabase entry like this:

webSiteId = Context.Parameters["TARGETSITE"];
webSiteId = webSiteId.Substring(webSiteId.LastIndexOf('/') + 1);

virtualDirectory = Context.Parameters["TARGETVDIR"];

var myVirtualDir = new System.DirectoryServices.DirectoryEntry(
"IIS://localhost/W3SVC/" + webSiteId +"/ROOT/" + virtualDirectory);

Piece of cake right?
Now, what have we done is get TARGETSITE parameter, and we took just the site's id (because the format doesn't exactly fit), we used TARGETVDIR and composed the path we can use in DirectoryEntry constructor. After getting the directory entry you just do your configuration magic.
There is one piece of the puzzle missing - how do we get those context parameters into our custom installer action? As the documentation says the parameters are available, however we still need to pass them into our action as part of the custom action data. Nothing easier:

And at the end, the answer to Why do we do this in the commit phase? Because the web setup will overwrite anything you change before the commit phase. It is creating the virtual folder, or setting default configuration to it if it already exists, in the commit phase. This means that not before the commit phase that you have the correct starting point for your changes.

So to conclude: nothing ground breaking, just lots of simple little steps that you cannot really quickly figure out from confusing MSDN; unless, of course you are making your living out of deployment projects and you knew all this already.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Mihailo,

    This is very useful indeed, I was tired of googling each time I need it. Good to see them all in one place as a walkthrough you already did. Thanks for it.