You have probably seen ScottGu’s list of new web development technologies (IIS Developer Express, SQL Server Compact Edition, and ASP.NET Razor) and possibly the announcement on WebMatrix. If you haven’t tried WebMatrix yet, I would highly recommend it; I’m a big believer in simple.
If you’ve ever wanted to set up WordPress, Drupal or any of the open source applications in the Web App Gallery on your machine, WebMatrix (using Web Platform Installer under the hood) makes it unbelievably simple. I showed it to a friend yesterday who is a PHP developer and she was amazed at how simple it was to do this on Windows. Check out the video or just try it, you can set up WordPress in less than a minute by filling in 1 simple form (for the DB credentials), PHP, Mysql and all other dependencies will be automatically downloaded and installed for you.
That stuff is a lot of fun, but what I wanted to show you today is how WebMatrix as a simple development tool can let you do the basics most people want in no time. Check out this simple web page:
@LinkShare.GetHtml("Pooya's MSDN Blog", http://blogs.msdn.com/pooyad)
I built (that’s really too strong of a word, it was less than a minute of work) this page in WebMatrix:
There are lots more Code Helpers, beyond the twitter ones I used; showing a video (flash or silverlight), reCaptcha, sending email, … that can give a new web developer lots of tools to start with.
WebMatrix is definitely not for everyone. If you’re already a “professional” web developer, this is probably too simple for you and won’t meet advanced needs, there is always the “Launch Visual Studio” button, but you will probably skip WebMatrix.
Where I think this can really help is for hobbyists, students or people who really want a simple interface to build simple but engaging sites. You can be up an running with a WordPress blog in 5 minutes, or you can create a pretty neat looking and fully social media compliant 🙂 site in about the same time.