Microsoft To Ship Free Web Developer Tools

By HTMLGoodies Staff

Microsoft Thursday will begin shipping its new free Web development toolset, according to company officials.

Dubbed WebMatrix, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) began beta testing the toolset in early July.

"WebMatrix makes it easy for anyone to create a new web site using a template or an existing free open source application, customize it, and then publish it on the internet via a wide choice of hosting service providers," a company spokesperson said in a post to the Web Platform Team Blog Wednesday.

Microsoft's aim with WebMatrix is to provide all of the components necessary to quickly build, deploy, run, and manage websites.

In that light, WebMatrix includes IIS Developer Express, which provides a development Web server, as well as ASP.NET, which provides a Web framework. Additionally, it provides SQL Server Compact Edition, for use as an embedded database, and a gallery of open source applications to use in building websites. The download is smaller than 50 MB, Microsoft said in an online statement.

In addition, code written using WebMatrix can be later transitioned to Visual Studio and SQL Server.

"Every day, more people are looking to build, publish and manage a website, and now, with WebMatrix, we provide developers of all skill levels with a sophisticated, yet easy-to-use solution to get their sites online," S. Somasegar, senior vice president of Microsoft's Developer Division, said in a statement.

According to Microsoft, WebMatrix was designed for students and new developers, for small businesses and Web agencies, and for professional developers as an option to use for quick and easy data-driven website development.

When a website is ready to be published, Web developers seamlessly publish it to their own hosting provider or one available through WebMatrix," Microsoft said.

Further, the toolset will enable developers to write, test, and deploy ASP.NET and PHP applications side by side without configuring Web servers, managing databases or learning complicated processes, the company added.

The release will be available in nine languages.

Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing writer at, the news service of, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @stuartj1000.

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