Microsoft quietly delivers a first beta of WebMatrix 2.0 Web-development suite

Microsoft quietly delivers a first beta of WebMatrix 2.0 Web-development suite

Summary: Microsoft has made available for download a first beta of its WebMatrix 2.0 tool bundle for Web developers.

TOPICS: Microsoft

A first beta of Microsoft's WebMatrix tool (version 2) is available to testers for download.

Unlike the case with the original version of WebMatrix, Microsoft isn't shouting from the rafters about the newest version of its WebMatrix tool bundle. I saw a note that there was a new beta out via a post on BetaNews. It's not downloadable from Microsoft's main Download site; instead you can find the beta on the WebMatrix home page (if you know to look for it).

Launched in 2010, WebMatrix was a collection of a lightweight version of Microsoft’s IIS Web Server, known as IIS Express; an updated version of SQL Server Compact Edition; and a new “view-engine option” for ASP.Net, known as “Razor,” which enabled developers to embed Visual Basic or C# within HTML.

Microsoft has described WebMatrix as "a brand new web development tool from Microsoft that includes everything you need for website development. Start from open source web applications, built-in web templates or just start writing code yourself. It’s all-inclusive, simple and best of all free."

The beta of WebMatrix Version 2 is said to streamline the WebMatrix configuration process; broadens IntelliSense support to cover .Net, PHP, HTML, CSS and JavaScript; adds an integrated NuGet Package Manager; and improves access to WebMatrix extensions.  Microsoft details more of the new features here, and the WebMatrix 2.0 beta is downloadable here.

The ReadMe for the beta acknowledges (as one might expect) a few gotchas around usage with the Windows 8 Developer Preview. The ReadMe also notes that the SQL Server Compact Edition code seemingly is being updated with the SQL Server "Denali" code. (The Denali SQL Server release is due out in the first part of 2012.)

I've asked Microsoft officials as to when the company is planning to deliver the final version. No word back yet, but given the Denali dependency, I'd say 2012 is a good bet.

Topic: Microsoft


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • RE: Microsoft quietly delivers a first beta of WebMatrix 2.0 Web-development suite

    To be honest...I didn't enjoyed WebMatrix much...Though it has lot of features but still it wasn't amazing. The feature to generate SEO report was good else it was just ordinary. I don't have much expectations with WebMatrix 2.0
  • RE: Microsoft quietly delivers a first beta of WebMatrix 2.0 Web-development suite

    Mary Jo ... I was hoping to meet you at Build ... been a fan for a long time. I would love to get your take on "why Matrix" and your speculation as to whether this product has a future in the "new, re-imagined Windows" world. Admittedly, Build was mostly about getting the App store populated with apps to sell, but it competes with the Express editions ... so ... why are they committing resources to this?
    Bob Tabor
    • I can answer this


      This a RAD tool for content-driven web apps and solutions (which is why this includes additional web server CMS apps and such). It's an IDE designed specifically for this goal, hence the addition of publishing tools. Visual Studio is for general development, and Expression tools are designed for built-from-scratch application and web design. They have a lot of different tools for different jobs. There is some overlap, but there is usually a tool for every experience level and cost too. Visual Studio Lightswitch is a good example of a RAD tool for data-driven (ie. database) business apps, but it is built from the baseline Visual Studio product. Unlike the Express editions though, Lightswitch costs money, but it costs less than the full Visual Studio. If you have a lot of clients that are looking for LOB data apps, Lightswitch is a good platform to build a simple app development business plan from.
  • RE: Microsoft quietly delivers a first beta of WebMatrix 2.0 Web-development suite

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