Installable web service on windows home server RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    I am very new to windows home server environment. New to c# language as well. Could any of you advise me if it is do-able or possible to do the following?

    1. I need to create a installable .msi file for the WHS which installs a new website (RESTful webservices) on a certain port.
    2. The port number and domain name can be taken as input parameters during the installation process.
    3. Once the .msi file is installed, the new webservice should run on WHS without user configuring anything.

    To add more complication to the requirement, at a later stage, there may be some services which may need to use even some SQL databases to store / retrieve contents for the service. Also new web services should be easily installable and should not disturb the old ones (both web services and data bases). How to do that? Any samples, resources, pointers, books?


    Wednesday, May 21, 2008 4:14 PM

All replies

  • The way the add-in installation process works, you have to bake all configuration into your .msi installer. The user isn't asked any questions during the install process.

    For more information about how to create a Windows Home Server add-in, you should consult the SDK. For the rest of your questions, consult any decent book about web development, but remember that Windows Home Server is not a general purpose server, so you're going to find it rather restrictive if you want to do something not envisioned as a core competency of the product. Not that you won't be able to succeed, but you may have to do some things that you'd rather not.

    BTW, there is no DBMS installed with Windows Home Server. You will have to provide one and make sure that the installer for your add-in takes care of proper installation and configuration silently.
    Thursday, May 22, 2008 11:47 AM

  • Hi,

    How do I take care of all the configuration issues? The .msi installer must get some user input during the installation process right? Or is it possible to read configuration information such as domain name, web folders, etc via API?

    I used Visual Web Developer 2000 Express Edition to create some web services. I want to package this in a .msi file and give it to some WHS user. He can just click on the .msi and install the web services in his WHS machine. Then from a third party web site can I call those services? what restrictions do you think the WHS server would have in this case? Can you give more details?

    Are you sure that there is no SQL server coming up with WHS? How are the contents like photos, music and videos are managed then? Does it use file system?

    Is there any easy way to provide SQL server for new services? If then how? As you mention, the installer should take care of the SQL installation, how is it possible to manage the adminstration of the database and stuffs?


    Friday, May 23, 2008 8:18 AM
  • I suggest you order an evaluation copy of Windows Home Server to take a look at. Or you could sign up to test Power Pack 1 on Connect and download one. You should also look over Microsoft's Windows Home Server sub-site in detail. Read all the documentation under "For Enthusiasts" on the left and "Get started" above the main part of the home page. And read the SDK (link above). From the viewpoint of an end user, the product is nothing like Windows Server 2003, which I suspect is where your experience lies. You will need some level of understanding of the platform you're planning to deploy on; without that level of knowledge you won't know what questions you need to ask.

    In general, installers for Windows Home Server add-ins should be silent installs. All configuration is either "baked in" or done after the installation completes. Scripted configuration is preferable, and end user configuration should be minimal, in keeping with the rest of the product.

    I am certain that there is no database distributed with Windows Home Server; all file management is done using the file system. As for the rest of your database related questions, assuming you can build a silent installation script for your database of choice so you can get it installed on your server, you can probably either automate those tasks and build it into your product, or you can build interfaces that your users can access through the Windows Home Server Console.
    Friday, May 23, 2008 11:36 AM