Back in January Microsoft released a free, light weight but powerful development tool call WebMatrix. It comes with the following components:

  • IIS Express – A flexible web server for development that can run both ASP.NET and PHP applications.
  • SQL Server Express – A free relational database engine.
  • ASP.NET Web Application Framework – A framework for creating static or dynamic web applications using ASP.NET along with the ‘Razor’ syntax for inline coding of C# and Visual Basic within HTML. It completely supports the Microsoft .NET framework and applications developed under WebMatrix are compatible with Visual Studio 2010 and Visual Web Developer 2010 Express.
  • Visual Web Developer – An application that lets you develop and manage an entire project by combining together a rich code editor, a database editor, web server management, search engine optimization and site publishing tools.
  • Integrated Application Gallery – A collection of popular open source applications for e-commerce, blogging, content management, web galleries and tools including WordPress, Drupal, DotNetNuke and Joomla which you can install, run and customize.
  • Gallery of Host Providers – A collection of host providers where you can sign up to upload and host your project.
  • Reusable Code Helpers – A assortment of code packages for common tasks that you simply install and configure in your project to add features for social networking, analytics & charting, security & CAPTCHA, file uploading, UI elements and email.

By assembling and integrating such a useful array of tools and features Microsoft certainly has succeeded in simplifying the process of web development under Windows.

For more information, see:

Microsoft Web Platform

WebMatrix Download

Getting Started with WebMatrix and ASP.NET Web Pages