Scott Guthrie recently announced an upcoming beta of IIS Express.
It is a cross between the built in Developer web server (Casinni) and a full blown IIS install on your PC. This is extremely helpful for those who are still using XP or Vista and need to have the features of IIS7. In a corporate enviroment many developers are still on XP as an OS. They are limited to the local IIS 5.1 features or they have to use the built in ASP.net developer web server that is included in Visual Studio.
Both of these options miss key elements that reside on the desitination servers that developers publish to. What happens is that a deveroper cannot fully test features or their applications because of the limitations of their local machine.
Items like URL rewrite, SSL, host headers, and endpoints cannot be re-created on local machines. It sounds like IIS Express will be a great tool to help eliminate these issues. Of course if you have IIS7 available and are running Win 7 you don’t have these problems. However,that is not the case for many Developers in a larger corporate environment.
We are looking forward to this new tool to test and see how well it works. For anyone who has tried to write a WCF service on XP they will quickly understand the value of this tool.