Deploying VS 2005 Web Applications with Unleash It

The new VS 2005 Web Application project type that is available as a preview download is great. I like it much better than the Web Site project type which has no .csproj file and works much differently than the VS 2003 model. It certainly makes it easier to upgrade an existing application.  The one missing piece for me was a deployment method. I like xcopy deployment but I needed a way to just package up the needed files for deployment without the source code. The VS 2005 Web Site project type has a feature where you can right click the web folder and choose Publish Web Site and it will pre-compile everything into a folder for you but the new Web Application project type does not. There is also a Web Deployments project type available as a beta download but this also currently only works with the Web Site project type. I emailed Scott Guthrie about this and he said there will be an update to the Web Deployments projects in January to support the new Web Application projects.

Thats great news but I want to make a 2.0 framework release of mojoPortal this weekend and I wasn't looking forward to the prospect of manually deleting all the source code files and .svn folders to package up a set of release files.  I started to think about Unleash It a great free tool that I have depended on for deploying VS 2003 web projects. It allows you to right click a web folder in VS 2003 and deploy just the needed files but it doesn't show up in VS 2005. Then it hit me, I'm so used to using the VS plugin for Unleash It that I forgot it has its own free standing gui that allows you to point at a source folder and a destination folder and deploy the file types of your choosing. I gave it try pointing to a VS 2005 Web App folder and bingo it worked!
Unleash It Rocks! If you are developing web apps in any version of VS you should download this tool. Just do a Release Rebuild of your solution in VS before you run Unleash It.

If you click the little red check mark next to the Quick Deploy Profile in the dropdown, you can edit the file masks for the types of files you want to include in the deployment. For VS 2005 you should add *.master, *.skin, I also added *.xsl and *.asmx