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ASP.NET 2.0 Basics If you are new to ASP or ASP.NET programming with version 2.0, this is the forum to begin asking questions. Please also see the Visual Web Developer 2005 forum.
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Old August 18th, 2006, 04:50 PM
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Default Web Matrix vs. Visual Web Developer Express

I've created a new site that uses ASP.NET and XML with the help of Web Matrix. I've really appreciated how light and easy-to-use the Web Matrix has been. But some downsides that I've discovered are not much support and no training, as everything's set up for Visual Studio.NET users.

So my question is, what are the pro's and con's to using Web Matrix or Visual Web Developer Express in ASP.NET development? Thanks for any advice.

KWilliams
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Old August 18th, 2006, 10:52 PM
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It all depends on personal preference. I have used both. I know Web Matrix is a pain sometimes for newbie ASP.NET web developers compared to VWD2K5. VWD offers alot of intellisense for the DHTML side and the code behind. I have noticed some quirks in the built in IIS test server in Matrix too. It sometimes needs to be shut down to clear it up or it will load the previous cached page you loaded last. It depends on preferrence mostly though.

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Old August 21st, 2006, 01:32 AM
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In addition to the above, it's interesting to know that the Web Matrix is for .NET 1.x, while Visual Web Developer 2005 is for .NET 2.0. The same applies to the other .NET products:

Visual Studio .NET 2002 .NET 1.0
Visual Studio .NET 2003 / Web Matrix .NET 1.1
Visual Studio 2005 .NET 2.0

So, depending on wether the technology has already been chosen, you may not even have a choice....

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Old August 21st, 2006, 08:26 AM
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Hi Quick209,

What about the support for either product? That's one thing that I found troubling when looking for training classes on ASP.NET..they are all taught using Visual Studio.NET. But if you don't use that product, how can you acquire a class that teaches with the tool you do use (i.e. Web Matrix or VWD2K5), or teaches the straight ASP.NET code? Thanks.

Hi Imar,

That's good to know. It's almost like they want VWD2K5 to be the new Web Matrix, but it's hard to tell. So since VWD2K5 is also free, it offers more tools for the developer to use, and it is for .NET 2.0, it sounds like VWD2K5 is the clear winner. But I have a few other questions:

What about support?...Is Microsoft going to start offering any kind of online/instructor-led training for this product (if they haven't already)?
As a Web Matrix user, will I likely have a difficult time changing between the two?
Are there any other con's to using VWD2K5?

KWilliams
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Old August 21st, 2006, 12:48 PM
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I think the Web Matrix started as a pet project and eventually grew up. Many concepts were first introduced in Web Matrix and brought over to Visual Studio 2005.

Microsoft is clearly focusing on Visual Web Developer 2005 for a number of reasons. First of all, it targets their new .NET 2 platform which they seem to push a lot. Secondly, the free VWD Edition is in many ways equivalent to its commercial counterpart. So, if you're a hobbyist working with VWD, there's a fair chance you may end up persuading someone at work to buy the commercial version of Visual Studio. There's no migration path from the free to the commercial editions, something that didn't apply to the Web Matrix.

I think you'll find it easy to switch from Web Matrix to VWD. Since it's a free product, why don't you get yourself a copy and see for yourself?

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Old August 23rd, 2006, 05:34 PM
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I actually started on VWD too when it was in beta. I used matrix afterwords too. Like Imar said, you are stuck with 1.x in Matrix.
IDEs make development faster but it all depends on taste for your IDE. There is not that much difference between VWD and Matrix except for what they support and intellisence. It never hurts for the IDE to know the language you are writing in and it helping you. Web matrix you will have to know a little more about ASP.NET pages structure to get a new page going but you can learn that by just learning ASP.NET hehe. If you are a guru it isn't that bad and fast loading. VWD takes a little while to load (especially couple in VS2K5). It does offer alot of help in all languaged supported by ASP.NET. I am still waiting for them to write some intellisense for jscript in the thing though hehe.
I am just rambling here because it is just preference. I prefer VWD for the feel and ease of support, VWD was a pet project like Imar said that took off so support in in the community. Also, I couldn't get Atlas to register in Matrix (probably because Atlas only works in ASP.NET 2.0), and I do not want to hand write AJAX. My brain is already spaghetti hehe.

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Old August 24th, 2006, 11:04 AM
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I am not sure I agree it's a matter of preference. Since each IDE is linked to a version of .NET, it may well be that you don't have an option to choose and have to go for the platform that the server / client / manager dictates.

If you are the one making that decision, I'd go for Visual Web Developer because it supports .NET 2. (In fact I'd make the decision the other way around; I'd choose ASP.NET 2.0 first, then worry about the IDE). In ASP.NET 2.0 there are many new features that'll make your life as a developer much easier. Of course you'll have to learn a few new tricks, but personally I think that's more than worth the trouble.

P.S. I never said VWD was a pet project. Web Matrix was a pet project and many of its features made it into Visual Web Developer.

Cheers,

Imar
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Old August 26th, 2006, 10:16 AM
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Ooops, my bad on the VWD pet project. I meant Matrix, was almost typing blind there. Never let your boss sit in on your free time asking programming questions about your portal while you are posting technical help hehe. You will become disliexic hehe.
You are right about having to go with VWD if ytou want the latest and greatest framework as Matrix is only 1.x. I did see a Web Matrix Reloaded project was started. Wondering if someone is planning on upping the framework support for the IDE.

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Old July 17th, 2007, 01:41 PM
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Found this post in a Google search so hope it's still open.

I have both VWD Express and Web Matrix installed on my machine. I am creating asp.net pages to place on our company intranet. Our IT dept refuses to install .NET 2.0 as they believe it will cause other sites on the same server to have problems (don't know enough about it to argue with them) So, looks like I am stuck using Web Matrix to develop my pages, right? My question is, since VWD is easier to use, can I create my pages with it and modify certain elements to get it back to .NET 1.1 - like DataGrid vs. GridView, etc. or are there too many differences between the two that it wouldn't be worth the added effort?

Thanks for any opinions,

Toni

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