WebMatrix & Razor: A new option for beginning developers

We' just announced WebMatrix, a new, simple IDE to build and customize Web sites.

As someone who believes we need to provide a better offering for beginners and non-professional developers, WebMatrix, and specifically, the Razor syntax is a huge leap forward. Given that most customers are familiar with HTML and JavaScript, being able to have a concise, lightweight and easy-to-use language (that still has the power of the full .NET Framework) is huge.

In some sense, it’s a return to the simplicity of Classic ASP for building Web pages.

Here’s why I think it’s cool:

  • A Full Web Stack: WebMatrix gives you the full stack, including IIS Express, SQL Compact Edition, deployment tools, and SEO reporting tools
  • Perfect for Beginners: If you’re new to ASP.NET or even new to coding, you can build a Web site using Razor in a weekend.
  • Hoster-friendly: You don’t need any special configuration for Razor syntax pages and even SQL Compact Edition just needs to be x-copied to your bin folder. The one hoster requirement is that they have the .NET Framework 4.0 installed
  • Content Helpers: Similar to VB’s My static classes/methods or Popfly’s blocks, Content Helpers wrap API’s, handy features, 3rd party services and much more.


Here’s a Channel 9 video with two of the guys behind WebMatrix: Scott Hunter and Simon Calvert.


Get Microsoft Silverlight


Aside: The name WebMatrix isn’t actually new, it’s the same name of the tool that existed before Visual Web Developer Express that was solely for Web development.