This article describes how to use the MS-DOS Xcopy
command to deploy a Microsoft ASP.NET Web application. Xcopy
style deployment is not suited for all situations. For large Web sites and
for line-of-business applications, we recommend that the site be temporarily
taken offline. You want to do this while the new content and the application assemblies are deployed.
You should perform this maintenance at a convenient, scheduled time. To minimize the scheduled downtime, follow these steps:
- Create a new physical directory for the application that you want to update. Copy all new content to the new physical directory.
- Reconfigure the virtual directory for the application to point to
the new physical directory with the new content.
Note When you deploy new content to an
ASP.NET Web application, the application may restart. If you have large applications and
complex applications that have significant memory requirements, memory consumption may be increased. When you restart the application, supportability issues may occur. This includes loss of the user session state.
What is Xcopy deployment?Xcopy
deployment describes deployment in ASP.NET where you use the
drag-and-drop feature in Microsoft Windows Explorer, File Transfer Protocol
(FTP), or the DOS Xcopy
command to copy files from one location to another. The ASP.NET
application requires no modifications to the registry and has no special
installation requirements for the host company on hosted
The advantages of Xcopy deployment
-style file transfer simplifies the deployment and the maintenance
of ASP.NET sites because you make no registry entries and because you register
no components. The Microsoft .NET applications are self-describing, typically
with no dependencies. With assembly versioning, you can even copy a new copy of
a DLL that the application uses without stopping the Web
The differences between Xcopy deployment and Copy Project in Visual Studio .NETXcopy
deployment does not require that you install any special software
on the development computer or on the Web server. The Visual Studio .NET Copy Project
method requires that you install Microsoft FrontPage Server
Extensions (FPSE) on the remote server. Xcopy
also permits you to replace only the most recently-edited files.
You can either select the files manually to replace them, or you can use the /d
switch on the Xcopy
command to specify the date, as follows:
xcopy source [destination] /D:m-d-y
Set the virtual directory as an Internet Information Services (IIS) application
If you have not already set up the destination directory, you
must set it up as an application in Microsoft Internet Information Services
(IIS) before you transfer the files. To set up the virtual directory, follow
- Click Start, point to Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Internet Services Manager.
- In the left pane, right-click the name of your virtual
directory, and then click Properties.
- Make sure that the Web site name or the name of the virtual
directory is listed in the Application Name box under Application Settings. If it is not, click Create.
For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
How to create a virtual directory in Internet Information Services (IIS)
In some cases you cannot complete the deployment of the ASP.NET
Web application through the Xcopy
file transfer alone. These cases include the following:
- Assemblies that require you to install in the Global
Assembly Cache (GAC). If you must share any of the assemblies that ASP.NET uses
across multiple application domains, you must use the Gacutil.exe utility to
register those assemblies into the GAC. You must unregister, replace, and then
re-register assemblies each time that you deploy the application.
- COM Interop. If the ASP.NET application uses any Component
Object Model (COM) components through COM interop, you must register those COM
components with COM+ Services.
- Serviced components. Microsoft recommends that you use the
Regsvcs.exe utility to register any classes that use COM+ services (those that
are derived from the System.EnterpriseServices.ServicedComponent class).
For more information about deploying Microsoft .NET
solutions that use Xcopy
, visit the following Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) Web site:
For more information about the .NET utility library that manages
the Global Assembly Cache that also provides a command-line interface tool,
visit the following Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) Web site:
For more information about Microsoft Enterprise Services (COM+)
that are included in the .NET Framework, visit the following Microsoft
Developer Network Web site:
information, click the article number below to view the article in the
Microsoft Knowledge Base:
How To Install an Assembly into the Global Assembly Cache in Visual Studio .NET
Article ID: 326355 - Last Review: June 18, 2012 - Revision: 4.0
- Microsoft ASP.NET 1.1
- Microsoft ASP.NET 1.0
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