Microsoft is really starting to get the hang of this Open Source malarkey, and that giving some things away for free can be tremendously beneficial to winning hearts and minds.
My 11-year-old son has started programming. He gave it a go a little while back, using HTML, Logo and also Scratch from MIT. He wanted something more. I stumbled across Microsoft’s WebMatrix. He’s now building his first web applications.
WebMatrix is a great start for anyone looking to get into Microsoft Web application development.
WebMatrix is Microsoft’s latest free development platform. If you’re a hobbyist or a professional, the WebMatrix can be for you. It’s a platform that you can start creating database-connected web applications from day one. Intuitive and professional, it lets you hone your development skills in technologies that can be applied to enterprise development as well.
WebMatrix also installs Microsoft’s Web Platform Installer, which gives you a choice of additional platforms and tools including WordPress, Dot Net Nuke, Ubraco, Drupal and many others. If the open source packages require MySql and you don’t have this installed already, WebMatrix will download this for you.
Most noteworthy, you can also download express editions of their flagship development tools: Visual Studio 2010 Express and SQL 2008R2 Express and use them seamlessly with WebMatrix.
Out of the box, you get SQL Server Compact – a completely file-based version of SQL Server. WebMatrix has its own database tools to help build your tables.
WebMatrix comes with IIS Developer Express edition. When it’s time to reveal your web application and make it available on the Internet, it will allow walk you through all the steps to publish your site on the web. If it works in IIS Developer Express edition, it will work with IIS on a server.
WebMatrix also has features to help fine tune your search engine ranking by spotting common errors, for instance missing H1 heading tags. Another cool feature is that (optionally!) WebMatrix will take some of the leg work out of shopping for the best hosting deal, by serving you with a choice of hosting providers.