June 19th, 2002

Neat Tool: ASP.NET Web Matrix

If you're doing Microsoft web development, then this is well worth checking out - Microsoft has just launched a free development tool, Web Matrix, for ASP.NET applications (which also means it's a tool for doing C# and Visual Basic.NET development, but hey, let's not mention that bit too much!). It's chock full of page design templates, and is much more design-oriented than the higher end Visual Studio.NET.

This is an interesting move from Redmond. It should start moving people away from the hard to scale ASP platform to ASP.NET, which is on the whole a good thing as there's a much better security model in .NET (and compiled rather than interpreted code). It also starts to show the possibilities in managing and segregating your development environment. Business logic will end up being developed in Visual Studio.NET, while front end and web service code will use Web Matrix. This should help reduce costs, as VS.NET isn't the cheapest development tool around, though it is one of the most powerful

There's also the open source SharpDevelop, if you're more into application development than web front end design. This takes an interesting approach to code development, though I think I remain more of a fan of ActiveState's Komodo IDE.

(Of course, both need you to have downloaded the 21MB of the .NET Framework first)
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