How to deploy a webservice by hand

When you search the web for webservice deployment you always hear: “Setup a Web Setup project …” Sure, that’s the easiest solution, but not if you see it in a wider scope. E.g. I had to implement the webservice setup within an other setup environment where I haven’t been able to use such kind of Web Setup Projects …

So here’s the manual way of deploying a .NET WebService (and it’s a really simplay way)

First you have to create a new deployment directory on your local machine. Than create a virtual directory within the Internet Information Service Manager (inetmgr.exe) that points to your new directory.

After that you can use the aspnet_compiler command within the “Visual Studio Command Prompt” to pre-compile your webservice by hand.

For that I’m using the following parameters:

-v : The virtual directory (e.g. /myWebService)
-p : The local path to the web service project (e.g. d:\projekte\myWebService)
-f : The local path to the virtual directory (e.g. d:\output\myWebService)
-keyfile: The local path to the key file that is used for signing the webservice (this is optional)

aspnet_compiler -v /myWebService -p d:\projekte\myWebService -f d:\output\myWebService

So be sure, that you delete all files within the virtual directory before you are re-deploy the webservice. Instead you’ll maybe have old and unused files in that place.

Hint: In my case the aspnet_compiler.exe copied a lot more data to the virtual directory than needed. If you are using NANT you can use the following part to delete the unused files in the virtual directory.

<delete includeemptydirs="true">
<fileset basedir="${webservice.root}" defaultexcludes="false">
<include name="**"/>
<exclude name="bin"/>
<exclude name="*.config"/>
<exclude name="*.asmx"/>
<exclude name="**\*.dll"/>
<exclude name="**\*.pdb"/>
<exclude name="**\*.compiled"/>

Now that directory can be safely packaged and deployed to another server without giving the source code for the web service to the customer.

– Gerhard

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2 Responses to “How to deploy a webservice by hand”

  1. Arjan`s World » LINKBLOG for October 8, 2008 Says:

    [...] How to deploy a webservice by hand – Gerhard Stephan ‘ “Setup a Web Setup project” Sure, that’s the easiest solution, but not if you see it in a wider scope ‘ [...]

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