Free Dev Tools Updated, Released for Web Site Development

Scott GuthrieMicrosoft has released a set of new developer tools to help in your Web development. Scott Guthrie, Vice President in Microsoft Developer Division, announced the set of products on his blog at Announcing release of ASP.NET MVC 3, IIS Express, SQL CE 4, Web Farm Framework, Orchard, WebMatrix. The tools build on the .NET 4 and VS 2010 release, and add value to ASP.NET (both Web Forms and MVC) and the Microsoft Web Server stack.

The release includes:

  • NuGet
  • IIS Express 7.5
  • SQL Server Compact Edition 4
  • Web Deploy and Web Farm Framework 2.0
  • Orchard 1.0
  • WebMatrix 1.0


You can download and install ASP.NET MVC 3 download.  The ASP.NET MVC 3 source code has been released under an OSI-compliant open source license.

Razor. Razor minimizes the number of characters and keystrokes required when writing a view template, and enables a fast, fluid coding workflow.

JavaScript Improvements. ASP.NET MVC 3 enables richer JavaScript scenarios and takes advantage of emerging HTML5 capabilities.

Improved Validation includes enhancements that make it even easier to work with data. Client-side validation is now enabled by default with ASP.NET MVC 3 (using an onbtrusive javascript implementation).  ASP.NET MVC 3 also supports the improvements made to the ValidationAttribute class in .NET 4.

Output Caching. With ASP.NET MVC V3 we are also enabling support for partial page output caching – which allows you to easily output cache regions or fragments of a response as opposed to the entire thing.  This ends up being super useful in a lot of scenarios, and enables you to dramatically reduce the work your application does on the server.

Better Dependency Injection. ASP.NET MVC 3 provides better support for applying Dependency Injection (DI) and integrating with Dependency Injection/IOC containers.

And much more.


Today we are also shipping NuGet – a free, open source, package manager that makes it easy for you to find, install, and use open source libraries in your projects. It works with all .NET project types (including ASP.NET Web Forms, ASP.NET MVC, WPF, WinForms, Silverlight, and Class Libraries).  You can download and install it from the NuGet Gallery.

NuGet enables developers who maintain open source projects (for example, .NET projects like Moq, NHibernate, Ninject, StructureMap, NUnit, Windsor, Raven, Elmah, etc) to package up their libraries and register them with an online gallery/catalog that is searchable. 

IIS Express 7.5

IIS Express is a free version of IIS 7.5 that is optimized for developer scenarios.  It works for both ASP.NET Web Forms and ASP.NET MVC project types.

We think IIS Express combines the ease of use of the ASP.NET Web Server (aka Cassini) currently built-into Visual Studio today with the full power of IIS.

Visual Studio 2010 SP1 adds support for IIS Express.  Read ScottGu’s posting VS 2010 SP1 and IIS Express to learn more about what it enables. 

SQL Server Compact Edition 4

SQL CE is a free, embedded, database engine that enables easy database storage.

No database install required. Works with existing APIs. Support development, testing, and production scenarios. Tools support will be part of Visual Studio 2010 Service Pack 1.

Web Deploy and Web Farm Framework 2.0

These services provide a flexible and powerful way to deploy ASP.NET applications onto either a single server, or across a web farm of machines.

The Microsoft Web Farm Framework is a 1 MB download, and can be installed on IIS 7 and above.

The Microsoft Web Farm Framework (WFF) 2.0 for IIS 7 simplifies the provisioning, scaling, and management of multiple servers for administrators and hosting providers. Administrators can seamlessly provision multiple servers, deploy content to them, and use them to enable elastic scaling. Using the Web Farm Framework, you can also run operations on a server (or a server farm) through a unified interface that also provides up-to-date status of server farm provisioning and health. You can also reduce management costs, leverage web infrastructure in an efficient manner, and simplify ongoing server farm management.

Orchard 1.0

Orchard is a free, open source, community based project.

It provides Content Management System (CMS) and Blogging System support out of the box, and makes it possible to easily create and manage web-sites without having to write code (site owners can customize a site through the browser-based editing tools built-into Orchard).

This is a production-ready release for powering your live sites, and is the result of over a year of development effort and contribution from the Orchard Team and our active community. Also be sure to check out the new gallery website (and related open source project). This provides a simple way to upload and share your module and theme ideas.

WebMatrix 1.0

WebMatrix is a new, free, web development tool from Microsoft that provides a suite of technologies that make it easier to enable website development.  It enables a developer to start a new site by browsing and downloading an app template from an online gallery of web applications (which includes popular apps like Umbraco, DotNetNuke, Orchard, WordPress, Drupal and Joomla).  Alternatively it also enables developers to create and code web sites from scratch.

See to download and install it today.

For more information

Tutorials and samples on the site will be updated in the weeks ahead.  Here are two good ASP.NET MVC 3 tutorials available on the site today:

You can learn more Web Deploy V2 and Microsoft Web Farm Framework V2from Scott Gu’s previous blog posts on them:

To learn more about how you can setup and manage your own Orchard site, see the Orchard Tutorial.

You can learn more about WebMatrix from Scott Gu’s post Introducing WebMatrix blog post.

Bruce D. Kyle
ISV Architect Evangelist | Microsoft Corporation

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