I’ve been involved for quite some time now with a new Microsoft project codenamed “WebMatrix” but couldn’t say anything about it since all the info was under NDA. Today though, the public availability of the Microsoft WebMatrix Beta was announced, so I guess I’m no longer bound by the NDA agreement and can let you in on a few things.
So first let me clarify a few things, and to do that I’m going to use an excellent explanation from David Ebbo’s blog.
WebMatrix: a stack and a tool
Let’s start with WebMatrix. The term is actually used is two ways
- The WebMatrix stack contains a number of things that you get when you install it via WebPI:
- The new ASP.NET Web Pages framework
- The Razor templating engine
- The WebMatrix tool (see #2)
- IIS Express
- SQL CE 4
- The WebMatrix tool, which lets you perform various tasks:
- Create web apps that use the Web Pages framework and the Razor templating engine
- Install existing sites from the Web Gallery. Note that those sites don’t have to use the Web Pages framework, and in fact most don’t (e.g. ScrewTurn wiki, Subtext)
- Manage IIS express
- Manage SQL CE 4 databases
Key point: the WebMatrix tool is not by any mean the only way to create Web Pages apps. In fact, the Web Pages framework was designed to be very notepad friendly. On the other end of the tooling spectrum, it will later be fully supported by Visual Studio.
You can find more info on WebMatrix in ScottGu’s blog: