Simon Calvert & Scott Hunter: WebMatrix and the new Razor Syntax

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WebMatrix is a new lightweight tool, server, database and Web programming framework. The goal is to provide an easy on-ramp to building Web applications and to provide tools to easily create and customize pre-built applications like WordPress, Umbraco CMS and more.

WebMatrix Beta: More Information | Download

In this video, you'll see demos of:

  • Starting WebMatrix (13:02)
  • Downloading & Running Umbraco CMS (13:40 - 21:05)
  • SEO and Broken Links report (21:05 - 23:08)
  • How to publish a Web site using WebMatrix (23:08 - 24:20 
  • Building basic Web sites using the new Razor syntax in VBHTML/CSHTML files, including editing HTML, adding headers and footers, database access, HTML forms and more (23:08 - 44:28)
  • Content Helpers - Content Helpers are wrappers for common tasks and 3rd party services, including database access, adding video to a site, captcha, photo processing, Twitter,  and more (44:28 - 52:40)
  • Smarty Route - How routing works without explicit configuration and without file extensions (52:40 - 54:44)



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    The Discussion

    • User profile image

      Haha, he really get into the questions, but, I really like it because I need to know these as well. I am just getting started, so these questions also helped me to learn as well. Thank Smiley

    • User profile image

      This is great. Although I've been developing for a good few years, a lot of the sites I develop are quite small and require a quick deployment. WebMatrix seems perfect for this. I've already started working with the Beta. Keep up the good work.



    • User profile image

      Very good interview Dan ! Loved how you asked questions I would ask, not knowing there answer beforehand (or you hide it really good Wink )


      Nice technical overview of Razor syntax. Looking forward to get the helper functions in the real ASP.NET

    • User profile image


      This is a serious step backwards.  It looks like these guys don't realize classic ASP was a bad idea and we've moved on for good reason.  Don't know that inline SQL is a travesty, and isn't simpler, it's harder.


      Instead of integrating out-of-the-box with good practices, OR/M (NHibernate), seperation of concerns, they have created a tweaked view language and encouraged terrible development.


      Microsoft shouldn't spend it's time creating a bad toy, yet "another way" to do the same thing.  It should lead and encourage best practices, and make them as developer friendly as possible.


    • User profile image

      but for very small projects don't you think this makes sense? that's why php makes sense on small light weight projects.

    • User profile image

      This is not for large-scale applications is it? ASP was a bad idea (compared to what we have now, retrospect is great, isn't it?) for reasons other than just ASP itself but also the languages one typically developed in, such as VBScript, with no static typing. This Razor syntax, that is extremely discrete, and the tools around it will create an extremely low barrier to entry. That's not bad, that's good.

    • User profile image

      I think SharePoint Foundation + SharePoint Designer (free products for anyone with a Windows Server license) provides most of the functionality that a simple application developer might need - Lists (similar to SQL tables), abillity to host simple client side code (js/xap/swf) and also ability to write ASP .net (through a very simple setting change) code. SP Designer is way advanced in terms of design and coding experience.  How do you pitch your product with SharePoint already in marketplace (and remember SP has a huge deployment/user base/dev & power user community).  

    • User profile image

      Hack again?!

    • User profile image

      Hack again?!

    • User profile image

      Hack again?!

    • User profile image

      Hack again?!

    • User profile image
      Jonathan Spencer

      Having been a user of VWD Express for a number of years, I just have to say that Microsoft seems to be all over the place.

      If you think that Web-Matrix is useful for start up developers with little or no experience then the mind boggles. No design interface except to run it in the browser first? Are you crazy? I'm telling you from personal experience that VWD is far easier for the novice to get started with than a purely code driven development 'tool'.

      I came to look at Web-Matrix because I have written a web site but I wanted to make it a bit more snazzy with a better interface and animated effects. Having been completely overwhelmed by the best choice to make from Expression Blend, Visual Studio, or VWD Express and whether to use Silverlight, Ajax, or plain old HTML with Javascript, I thought I'd see what Web-Matrix had to offer. The answer is nothing. There are far better entry level web design tools out there. In my humble opinion, Web-Matrix is one instance where "free" is decidedly not good value and a complete waste of time.

      Microsoft seems to have lost its way regarding development tools, at least down here at my lowly level. Perhaps it's just me, but it seems to me that there so much "choice" from Microsoft today that seeing the wood from the trees is becoming very difficult indeed. If I want to develop a site, not too complex, but with a nice user interface including some basic animation, nice graphics, with database interaction, why should I need 2 Microsoft products (Expression and Visual Studio) to write it? And then comes along Lighthouse... Confusing or what?

    • User profile image
      Jonathan Spencer

      That should have been "Lightswitch", of course.

    • User profile image

      Hack again?!

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