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ASP.NET MVC 3, Razor, WebMatrix

Microsoft releases WebMatrix, Razor, MVC3 and Orchard

At the CodeMash conference this morning in Sanduskie, OH, Microsoft announced the release of Web Matrix, the new Razor view engine, MVC 3.0 and Project Orchard.  Here is a quick overview of each, with some links to more information.


Microsoft WebMatrix is a new web development tool that makes it easy for anyone to create a new web site. Users can start from any of the built-in or online templates or any of the free popular open source ASP.NET or PHP web applications, such as WordPress, Joomla!, DotNetNuke or Umbraco, located in the online Web Applications Gallery or use a pre-built website template. Users can customize their site using the code and database editor within WebMatrix. When a user is ready to publish their site, WebMatrix provides access to offers from our hosting partners within the hosting gallery makes it easy to choose the right hosting partner for the app being created with a selection of hosting packages. Once a hosting package is selected and configured, WebMatrix then seamlessly publishes the site and database to the web. All of these features make Web Matrix a great choice for new developers, or just those new to the Microsoft platform.


Razor is a new “View Engine” for ASP.NET.  Usable by WebForms, ASP.NET MVC 3 (also released today) and hostable within your own application, Razor was built on a series of design principles including (taken from Scott Guthrie’s post on Razor):

  • Compact, Expressive, and Fluid: Razor minimizes the number of characters and keystrokes required in a file, and enables a fast, fluid coding workflow. Unlike most template syntaxes, you do not need to interrupt your coding to explicitly denote server blocks within your HTML. The parser is smart enough to infer this from your code. This enables a really compact and expressive syntax which is clean, fast and fun to type.

  • Easy to Learn: Razor is easy to learn and enables you to quickly be productive with a minimum of concepts. You use all your existing language and HTML skills.

  • Is not a new language: We consciously chose not to create a new imperative language with Razor. Instead we wanted to enable developers to use their existing C#/VB (or other) language skills with Razor, and deliver a template markup syntax that enables an awesome HTML construction workflow with your language of choice.

  • Works with any Text Editor: Razor doesn’t require a specific tool and enables you to be productive in any plain old text editor (notepad works great).

  • Has great Intellisense: While Razor has been designed to not require a specific tool or code editor, it will have awesome statement completion support within Visual Studio. We’ll be updating Visual Studio 2010 and Visual Web Developer 2010 to have full editor intellisense for it.

  • Unit Testable: The new view engine implementation will support the ability to unit test views (without requiring a controller or web-server, and can be hosted in any unit test project – no special app-domain required).


By this time, ASP.NET MVC needs no introduction.  The latest rev of this product includes a bunch of new features including:

  • Support for the new Razor View Engine
  • Powerful hooks with Dependency Injection and Global Action Filters
  • Rich JavaScript support with unobtrusive JavaScript, jQuery Validation, and JSON binding
  • Streamlined validation with improved Model validation

There are some great links from the ASP.NET MVC 3 web page to help you get more familiar with the new release, and get started using it right away!


Today also marks the 1.0 release of their product which you can get at  Orchard is a free, open source, community-focused project aimed at delivering applications and reusable components on the ASP.NET platform. In the near term, the Orchard project is focused on delivering a .NET-based CMS  application that will allow users to rapidly create content-driven Websites, and an extensibility framework that will allow developers and customizers to provide additional functionality through module extensions and themes. Sort of like an ASP.NET version of WordPress, although it’s not nearly as feature complete as Orchard.

Source: Chris Koenig’s Blog

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