I am trying to create an ASP.NET web application, hosted on Amazon's EC2 service. I have my instance set up from an image with Windows Server 2008, IIS 7 running, an external IP address (via Elastic IP), an A Record pointing to it, and I can successfully access the default IIS7 web page using my domain name.

But I'm hung up on one detail: how do I get my ASP.NET application onto the server??

I've developed a simple app with Visual Studio. I know there are obtuse ways of transferring files over Remote Desktop (which I have working), but that seems tedious for frequent development.

Surely I'm missing something simple... Ideally Visual Studio would publish the application to the server over SFTP or something, but it doesn't seem to be that simple.

I know this is a very basic question, I'd appreciate any guidance.


Since posting this, I've discovered "Web Deploy", which looks like a convenient way to publish a site from Visual Studio 2010 to Windows Server 2008, but I can't seem to get it working. Is this a possible solution, and if so, does anyone know of a good tutorial?

  • have you considered using ftp? – pablo Mar 1 '11 at 23:38
  • @pablo: I'm not thrilled about FTP since it isn't secure, but I suppose I would settle if that were the only option. But this is 2011, there must be a better way to deploy files to a web server! – Hank Mar 1 '11 at 23:45
  • Have you tried WebDAV? The link that sysadmin provided is a great starting point and this does excatly what you are looking for. – Richard West Mar 2 '11 at 14:46
  • @Richard: I will definitely look into it. Seems useful. Just trying to get a sense of what the possibilities are. I currently do desktop development in .NET and adore the "ClickOnce Deployment" feature, so I guess I was looking for something that simple. But WebDAV is clearly better than FTP, which I was trying to avoid. – Hank Mar 2 '11 at 15:45

This exact use-case is what WebDAV was designed for. Since you're using Windows 2008, there is even a handy plugin that extends IIS to allow WebDAV publishing.


When paired with SSL it's generally as publisher-friendly as FTP is. Also, if you use IE/Windows-native for your WebDAV client, you can even use NTLM-auth to log in. If you use a strong password (longer than about 14 characters) this is even secure(ish) over non-encrypted connections.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.