Microsoft WebMatrix

1/12/2012

There seems to be so much coming out of Microsoft at the moment that it’s hard to keep up.  One thing that you might have missed is WebMatrix.

WebMatrix is a lightweight IDE for building websites.  It uses the Razor View Engine to make pages and the sites can be expanded to use full ASP.NET MVC later if required.  It has a rock star package manager process (more on this later) and has some nice things out of the box like SEO hints.

There is a gallery with asp.net and Php (did i mention that you can build Php sites?) applications like Twitter helpers, BlogEngine.Net etc.  It also ships with some basic templates like a store application.

So what’s different?  Well the data access is well data access.  No ORM, no config, no plumbing just access your data.  It kind of feels nice to write queries again.

Rob Conery has a great write up of WebMatrix here.  Here is a quote from Rob

var db = Database.Open("TDL");

var selectQueryString = "SELECT * FROM Articles";

shows = db.Query(selectQueryString, slug);

Hooray for SQL! OK stay with me – what this returns is IEnumerable < dynamic >. Which means that it’s typed on the fly – DUCK FRICKIN TYPING. Well sort of. I can now loop this comme ca:

@foreach(var show in shows){

The title is @show.title

}

That’s Razor in action – a terse, easy to love and understand markup for working in WebMatrix. The point here is that “show.Title” shouldn’t exist – “Show” isn’t a class anywhere in my project. This is the Groovy Dynamic Freakshow that’s built into C# 4.0.

You also get built in tooling for SQL CE (file based) which is downloaded with WebMatrix.

When you 0pen WebMatrix, you will see the box below

image

 

Choose templates and Starter site, give your site a name

image

Click Files

image

and open the Styles and css file and you will see the designer.  It’s a little bit “I know that you are not a serious dev so I have made the font large and friendly” but stay with it.  Have a look around it should be familiar

image

Package Mgr

Add an _admin to the end of your url when running in a browser and the package manager will appear

image

Once you have entered your password  you can see what packages that you have installed.  Here are mine

image

Change the dropdown to online and you will see

image

all of the packages that you can download!

Anyway I am just getting started – more to come!

Download it now and give it a try – Download WebMatrix

1/12/2012

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