WebMatrix3: Free Tool for Open Source Development from Microsoft
Today, we are reviewing Microsoft WebMatrix3, which is a free web development tool from Microsoft.
Support for Open Source Development Platforms
The #1 reason we are discussing Microsoft WebMatrix3 today is its ability to accelerate development of web applications on all popular open source frameworks. Whether you are going to build a content management system, a blog, an e-Commerce solution, a wiki-knowledgebase or just a simple website, Microsoft WebMatrix3 can help you configure, develop, and deploy it with minimum configurations and installations. With Microsoft WebMatrix3, you can set up your favorite platform (WordPress, Joomla, Moodle etc.) with all the required dependencies instantly thus reducing time-consuming set up of development environment. It also provides a customized dashboard for all supporting frameworks. For this review, I developed a simple website on WordPress framework and found it really easy to code and test the website in Microsoft WebMatrix3 because it provided all the WordPress functions right inside the code editor to speed up the coding process. Because it is designed to support open source platforms, you can integrate it Git to manage your open source code.
Integration with the Cloud
Another strong reason for considering Microsoft WebMatrix3 is that it provides seamless integration with the cloud. If you have a Windows Azure account, it only takes a few simple clicks to publish your web application in the cloud thus ensuring high availability and reliable environment. If you are not using Windows Azure, Microsoft WebMatrix3 is capable of synchronizing your all of your content including database and dependencies between your online source and your local copy. The cloud-based editor is as good as your favorite local code editor and provides useful features such as intellisense and source control.
Native Support for Mobile Devcies
Microsoft WebMatrix3 provides built-in templates for developing web applications that natively support smartphones and tablets. These templates have use standard markup and scripting languages including jQuery mobiles, HTML5 and CCS3 to ensure that you do not need extra tweaking to support mobile devices. Microsoft WebMatrix3 also provides emulators for popular web browsers and mobile devices.
Free WebMatrix3 Extensions
Open source developed love, so does Microsoft WebMatrix3. You can expand the powerful features of Microsoft WebMatrix3 with its rich extensions library. Besides using these extensions for free, you can also contribute your extensions to the online extensions library.
I have not used Microsoft WebMatrix3 much, but based on my initial experience with Microsoft WebMatrix3 in the last two weeks I feel I am going to use it extensively for my future projects. Oh… did I forget to mention that Microsoft is offering free hosting for web applications built with Microsoft WebMatrix3 via contributing partners. I am not aware about standard and quality of these free hosts but you should give them a try if you do not have a hosting services provider already.
If you have used Microsoft WebMatrix3, I would love to have your opinion in the comments box below.