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Sam Abraham Software Engineer/Architect: Putting Customers First
WebMatrix is a free “one stop shop” supporting all developers’ needs when creating web sites based on standard markup technologies (HTML, CSS, Javascript and jQuery). WebMatrix features an intuitive user interface to help minimize the learning curve and ease navigation and access to all application features.
For instance, on startup WebMatrix enables the user to select of the following:
1-Existing sites created in WebMatrix
2-Obtain a site from one of the open source packages through Web Platform Installer (ex: WordPress, Umbraco)
3-Leverage existing WebMatrix templates (Razor templates) to get started quickly on a web site
4-Open any site from disk
Figure 1 - WebMatrix startup page.
Figure 2 - WebMatrix Workbench (Dashboard) - easy and quick access to all features in very few clicks.
WebMatrix natively supports ASP.Net Web Pages and the Razor syntax and its Beta 2 includes all Razor features released with ASP.Net MVC 3 such as new helper functions, which installs along with the application. WebMatrix also now supports both .cshtml and .vbhtml files. In an attempt to help developers get started quickly, WebMatrix Beta 2 offers many templates that quickly define a skeleton of the site project with a single button click.
Figure 3- Microsoft WebMatrix starter site templates
Additionally, the new WebMatrix Beta 2 integrates with NuPack via a web interface. To access NuPack, browse to your site’s _admin directory.  On first visit, you will be prompted to choose a password that would be used to revisit this directory moving forward.
Figure 4 - NuPack web administration interface in Microsoft WebMatrix.
WebMatrix supports both SQL 2005/2008 as well as MySql out-of-the-box. Additionally, it installs and uses SQL Compact Edition by default in its attempt to keep its thumbprint as small as possible. Databases can be easily changed and configured via the Database configuration section of the tool.
Figure 5- Database connections tab in WebMatrix
Figure 6 - New connection screen in WebMatrix. Notice support for SQL and MySQL connections.
WebMatrix installs and leverages IIS Express for local testing, but enables site publishing via Web Deployment or FTP. For those just getting started, WebMatrix integrates with and provides information on the cheapest available hosting solutions.
Hosting solutions link appears on the main site project dashboard for easy accessibility (Figure 2).
Figure 7 - Publish site option in WebMatrix


Posted on Tuesday, October 19, 2010 8:35 AM , Tech Talk , WebMatrix , ASP.Net MVC 3 Beta , Razor Pages , ASP.Net Web Pages , MVC 3 | Back to top

Comments on this post: A Look at Microsoft WebMatrix Beta 2

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Chris Love just tweeted this link as a good list of Resources to help jumpstart your ASP.NET WebMatrix Development.
Left by Sam Abraham on Oct 19, 2010 1:05 PM

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