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WebMatrix 3 Release Coming April 4

At the Visual Studio Live! 2013 Las Vegas conference today, Microsoft announced the release to Web (RTW) date for WebMatrix 3, the company's free tool for creating and deploying Web sites.

In an interview before his presentation, "From 0 to Web Site in 60 Minutes with WebMatrix," Mark Rosenberg, an instructor with Microsoft certified training partner New Horizons, revealed that the new version of WebMatrix will debut on April 4, 2013.

Rosenberg noted that the WebMatrix 3 CTP was released in mid-March, and is currently available for download.

Using WebMatrix, Web developers can build, deploy and maintain Web sites using a variety of languages and platforms, including PHP, Node.js and HTML5. Rosenberg described WebMatrix as "Visual Studio simplified." It provides the Visual Studio HTML editor and Web site-creation experience, along with other Visual Studio tools like IntelliSense, yet still gives developers from various platforms the power and simplicity of "one-click" Web site creation and deployment.

"The idea is to get a Web site up and running as simply as possible," Rosenberg said. "One of the problems that I always have in Visual Studio is… 'I don't have the prerequisites: I need to install PHP to make it work, I need to do this [or that],' and I install PHP, and then it doesn't work. WebMatrix takes care of all those problems for you. [If] you don't have PHP installed, and you've picked a PHP-based Web site, it installs PHP. It actually takes care of installing everything you need on your machine."

The most notable improvement in WebMatrix 3, according to Rosenberg, is the tool's strengthened integration with Windows Azure. (He noted that the Microsoft ASP.NET team -- a team from the Windows Azure side of Microsoft -- is behind WebMatrix, perhaps driving some of the interoperability.) He described the WebMatrix/Window Azure experience as "smooth, easy [and] simple," and noted that, "essentially, you can develop a Web site and, with a click, put it up in Azure if you have an Azure account." Rosenberg mentioned the 10 free Web sites that come with the 90-day free trial of Azure, noting that Microsoft is "not charging you to put them up there -- so without even an MSDN account, you can put a lot of stuff up there, get a Web site going, put it up in the cloud, have it running."

Another important piece of the WebMatrix 3 update is the addition of source control support for Git and Team Foundation Server (TFS). TypeScript support has also been added to the tool, along with improved remote editing and provisioning capabilities.

Asked who the target dev audience is for WebMatrix, Rosenberg replied: "If you're using Visual Studio and you really, really like it, you don't have to use [WebMatrix]. But if you have people that don't know how to use Visual Studio, or if you need to set up Web sites that someone else is going to maintain, this is a great tool for them."

He noted that WebMatrix is "open to anyone," and stressed the product's interoperability aims, saying that though it is not an open source product, it "cooperates with open source."

"[Even people who] work with Visual Studio a lot have trouble sometimes getting all the little parts to work correctly. With WebMatrix you don't have that problem...Everything in WebMatrix just works --it's all designed to just work," Rosenberg said. "Whatever kind of Web site you want to make, it's easy to do in WebMatrix."

Posted by Katrina Carrasco on 03/27/2013