Today, Microsoft reinforced its investment in the Microsoft Web Platform by releasing a beta version of WebMatrix, a free tool for building, customizing and deploying websites in one common, straightforward experience.

The Microsoft Web Platform, which includes the Web Application Gallery, Web Platform Installer, and now, WebMatrix, is designed to provide developers with what they need to build and run websites and applications on Windows. As Scott Guthrie, vice president of the Microsoft Developer Division, recently blogged about, WebMatrix is a tool that includes the following:

  • Web server: IIS Developer Express is a lightweight server that helps developers build and test ASP.NET sites and applications and works with Visual Studio 2010, Visual Web Developer 2010 Express, and now WebMatrix.
  • Database: SQL Server Compact Edition 4 is a free, embedded, database engine that enables easy database storage.It works with existing .NET-based data APIs and ASP.NET Web applications.
  • Programming Framework: ASP.NET provides developers a faster way to build standards-based websites with its syntaxes and built-in helpers, which both simplify the use of ASP.NET to perform increasingly complex and common tasks, such as connecting to a database, displaying a Twitter feed, or embedding a video.

All components seamlessly integrate with Microsoft's developer platform and tools including Visual Studio, SQL Server and Windows Server. Without leaving WebMatrix, developers can build websites from scratch, download and customize applications available within Microsoft's Web Application Gallery, selecting a hosting partner, and deploy their website. You can learn more about today's announcement on Scott Guthrie's blog and the Microsoft Web Platform blog, and download WebMatrix at www.microsoft.com/web/webmatrix.