InfoWorld preview: WebMatrix ramps up ASP.Net development

Microsoft combines all-in-one installation, a gallery of templates, and coding shortcuts to speed dev and deployment of Windows-based websites

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WebMatrix is a classic example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. The IDE itself is barely a glorified editor, there is no debugger, and the requests tracing system has marginal value. But SQL Server Compact is more than sufficient as a persistence system for small to moderate-size websites, the quantity and quality of instantly usable helpers are superb, and if you need to get started quickly -- especially if you can find what you need in the website gallery -- the installer is excellent.

WebMatrix's greatest strength is its scalability: start small, and build as you learn. You can create your website with only HTML, then use Razor to make it dynamic, and step into the world of code helpers. For a database, begin with SQL Compact, then move up to full-blown SQL Server. Finally, you can migrate the whole thing into Visual Studio and build all the server-side code in C# or VB.Net.

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