Learn Learn Web Development in WebMatrix 2 Beta 8/26/2011

Remember what it was like to build your first website? That experimental tweaking in Notepad, or the instant gratification you got when you refreshed your browser? You searched far and wide for tutorials on web development topics, some turning out better than others.

In WebMatrix 2 Beta, one of our major goals is to help those who are just starting out learn web development. We think that the features we've added will help make the transition from beginner to pro faster and more fun.

Read the full article... Performance Tuning PHP Apps on Windows with Wincache 7/13/2011

A few weeks ago I wrote a post that showed how to improve the performance of PHP applications on Windows by using the IIS output caching module. Using the output caching module can have significant positive impact on application performance since pages are served from cache without executing any PHP code. However, this very strength can also be a drawback depending on how your application is built. Because entire pages are cached, using output caching may not be ideal for pages that have multiple data sources. The Wincache extension to PHP provides an alternative (and/or compliment) to output caching. In this post, I’ll look at what performance improvements you get for “free” just by enabling the Wincache extension, as well as how you can cache user objects to get finer caching granularity than output caching affords.

Read the full article... Connecting the iPhone with ASP.NET Web Pages 4/21/2011

In this tutorial you will learn how ASP.NET Web Pages with Razor syntax can be used to build a RESTful web service that is capable of delivering weather forecast data to an iPhone application. We will be using WebMatrix, a lightweight tool for web development to write code and manage the website throughout this tutorial.

Read the full article... Get Started Using HTML5 4/5/2011

HTML5, currently under development, offers many more features and possibilities for developers. HTML5 is not some big change, it is merely new features and possibilities available that does not require existing markup to be thrown away. HTML5 will improve web applications, not completely change them. And best yet, HTML5 is already supported!

In this tutorial we will take a look at some of the differences with HTML5 and how to create a simple HTML5 compatible webpage. The tool we will be using for this tutorial is Microsoft’s WebMatrix. WebMatrix is a free tool that allows you to create, customize and publish websites. It’s amazingly easy to use, and can be downloaded from www.microsoft.com/web/webmatrix.

Are you unfamiliar with HTML? Read this simple and quick tutorial on HTML: learn html part 1.

Read the full article... Using the BestBuy API on a WebMatrix website 3/17/2011

Best Buy is an electronics retailer that sells consumer electronics in store and online. In addition to it's online services, Best Buy has developed an API for users to retrieve information from their site. This article will go through how easy it is incorporate the Best Buy API on a website using RESTful HTTP request format.

Read the full article... Your First Website Using WebMatrix 1/18/2011

This guide introduces you to WebMatrix, Microsoft's new one-stop website authoring tool that lets you create, edit, and publish websites easily.

This getting-started guide will help you:

  • Install WebMatrix.
  • Download and install an open-source web application along with its prerequisites.
  • Perform the initial set up, including setting database and site administrator credentials.
  • Edit some files in the site using the built-in code editor.
  • Edit the site's database using the built-in database manager.
  • Run a site analysis to look for potential optimizations.
  • Prepare to publish your site to a web hosting provider.
Read the full article... Create an ASP.NET website from scratch 1/18/2011

This walkthrough shows you how to install WebMatrix and use it to build a simple site from scratch. Along the way, you'll become familiar with many features of WebMatrix.

What you'll do

  • Become familiar with the WebMatrix user interface.

  • Use a site template to create a blank site, then add files and code to customize it.

  • Get started with ASP.NET Razor syntax.

  • Install the ASP.NET Web Helpers Library 1.1 and create a dynamic web page that displays a live Twitter feed.

  • Analyze requests to your website and find errors.

  • Add a database with a table and data to your website, then use a WebGrid helper to display the data in a web page.

  • Run an analysis of your website to enhance its visibility to search engines.

  • Learn how to find web hosting and publish your site to the web.

What you'll need

To run the steps in this walkthrough, you must be running Windows XP SP3 or a later version of Windows.

Read the full article... Web Development 101 using WebMatrix 1/10/2011

Teach yourself how to write a simple Web Application using WebMatrix, CSS, HTML, HTML5, ASP.NET, SQL, Databases and more in just a couple of hours.

In this series of articles, you will learn how to build a simple web application that is used to manage a list of your favorite movies. While it is simple, it will demonstrate many of the capabilities of a full web application, including using a database to drive the content, and provide functionality to allow your users to add to the database, and edit and delete data. (You may have heard the term CRUD – Create, Retrieve, Update, Delete, now you’ll learn how to do it in WebMatrix!)

You’ll also learn how to deploy your application using WebDeploy and hosting providers within WebMatrix!

Read the full article... Web Development 101: Part 1, Getting Started with WebMatrix 1/10/2011

Microsoft WebMatrix is a free tool that allows you to create, customize and publish web sites on the Internet.

WebMatrix makes it easy for you to create web sites. You can start with an open source application such as WordPress, Joomla, DotNetNuke or Orchard, and WebMatrix handles the task of downloading, installing and configuring the apps for you. Or you can write the code yourself using a range of built-in templates that help get you started. Whatever you choose, WebMatrix provides everything your web site needs to run including the web server, database, and framework. By using the same stack on your development desktop that you’ll use on your web host, the process of going live with your website is painless and worry free.

You can download it from http://web.ms/webmatrix.

A full video of this article can be watched here.

Read the full article... Web Development 101: Part 2, Create your first Web Page 1/10/2011

In Part 1 you learned what WebMatrix is, and you saw how to install it and get it running. In this Chapter you'll use it to create your first web site, and populate it with your first web page.

Read the full article... Web Development 101: Part 3, Getting some style 1/10/2011

In Part 2, you saw how to use WebMatrix to create a very simple web page, and how this page will operate in a number of different browsers. In this section you’ll see how you can start being smart about how you change the visual style of the page, using the technology called Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)

The simple list of movies on a web page you built in is here:


Read the full article... Web Development 101: Part 4, Using Layout 1/10/2011

Up until now you've seen how to use WebMatrix to create a very simple web page, and how this page will operate in a number of different browsers as well as how to use CSS styling to make the basic page look a little prettier.

In this Chapter you're going to take all this to the next level and start using server programming. You might be used to client programming, such as building applications that run on a phone, a desktop, or even JavaScript applications that run within the browser. The important difference with server programming is that much of your application code doesn’t run on the client device. Instead, the end user’s actions launch a page request to the server, and if that page is an “active” page, the server runs code and uses that code to generate HTML markup and values that it sends down to the browser. The browser then renders this HTML and users see the result.

As you grow your skills, you’ll find that sometimes it makes sense to mix things up a little, with some code running in your browser (typically using JavaScript, or a Rich Internet Application (RIA) technology such as Silverlight), and the rest running on your server.

WebMatrix introduces the Razor syntax for programming web pages, and one of the features it gives you is a powerful, yet simple, layout engine. In this article we’ll take a look at using the layout features to put all of the common HTML, such as the and the footer content into one location and have it automatically generated for your page, so that when you are building a page such as the movies list, the file for that page will only have the main content for that page, and the rest will be added for you, with you in full control.

Read the full article... Web Development 101: Part 5, Using Data 1/10/2011

Thus far in this series, you’ve seen how to create an HTML page with WebMatrix, and how first you could be effective in how you style that page using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), and then how to use the layout functionality built into WebMatrix with the ‘Razor’ syntax to allow you to focus on the content of your page and not be distracted by the plumbing.

In this Chapter we’ll look at turning the static list of movies that you have been using, and we’ll make it dynamic. In real-world terms – instead of having a list of movies hand-written in HTML, we’ll put them into a database, and we’ll have WebMatrix read the database and generate HTML for us. That way, we can change the database easily, and have the web page update automatically.

Read the full article... Web Development 101: Part 6, Creating an Add Data page 1/10/2011

To this point you've seen how to create a web site in WebMatrix, and how to use styling and layout to make your pages smaller and easier to maintain, as well as quicker for the browser to download and render. You created these pages to be dynamic and data-driven, and in this article you'll see how you can create a page that will add data to your database.

Read the full article... Web Development 101: Part 7, Creating an Edit Data Page 1/10/2011

Up to now you've created your movies page, styled it, made it data driven, and then created a form that you could use to add movies to your database. The next step will be to create a very similar form that you can use to edit your existing list of movies.

Let's take a look at the application as it now stands:

As you can see it has a list of movies, with the ability to add a new movie via a link at the bottom. In order to have a mouseover effect, we made each movie entry in the list a hyperlink, using the tag. It would make sense that if we want to edit a movie, that we should just use this hyperlink, so let's follow that process here.

Read the full article... Web Development 101: Part 8, Creating a Delete Data page 1/10/2011

So you've reached the point now where you have created a data-driven list of favorite movies, styled it, and added the ability to add new movies and edit existing movies in the database. The next step in creating this application is to give your users the ability to delete records from the database.

You may have heard of a term called CRUD used when applied to web applications development and data. CRUD stands for Create Retrieve Update Delete, and that's precisely what you've built using WebMatrix.

Read the full article... Web Development 101: Part 9, Deploying your site 1/10/2011

You've come a long way! From the beginnings when you created a simple HTML page, and then learned how to style it, you've now gone on to create a fully dynamic site, one where you can generate the page, server-side, from data in your database. You can also edit, update and delete the records in your database, to show a full scenario for a web application.

While this application is very simple, it is the foundation for what a full web application built with ASP.NET and Razor in WebMatrix will look like. I'm sure you can see just how simple it is!

Read the full article... Learn HTML: Part 2 12/16/2010

In part one of this series you got an introduction to HTML, and you saw the basic structure for an HTML document. You saw that the of your document contains the content that the user will see within the browser window, but just added some simple text. In this article, you’ll see how to add and lay out the content within the so that it looks more like the types of web page you are used to seeing. You’ll see how to do this using heading tags and paragraphs. You’ll then learn how to use images on your page.

Before you get started, fire up WebMatrix and load the web site that you used in the previous article. You’ll be building on that as you go along. If you don’t have WebMatrix, you can download it from http://www.microsoft.com/web/webmatrix. You don’t need to have it to write the HTML, but you’ll see that using it will make the task much easier.

Read the full article... Learn HTML: Part 1 12/16/2010

HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language. It’s a type of text document, where text is ‘marked up’ by using special tags that inform a program that reads the text in how to render the text. Typically that program is a Web Browser such as Internet Explorer, FireFox, Opera or Chrome. With the growth of internet-connected devices such as cell phones, slates and embedded systems (such as TVs),  HTML is more important than ever, as it provides a near ubiquitous cross platform way of delivering content.

Despite that, because of HTML’s age, it’s pretty much taken for granted! It’s pretty hard to find basic ‘getting started’ tutorials that will teach you what it is, and how to use it, from the ground up. Well, that’s what we’re trying to fix here. Hope you enjoy it!

Read the full article... Introduction to JavaScript, Part 1 of 3 12/8/2010

JavaScript. You may not have heard it, but if you’ve used the internet, then chances are you have seen JavaScript working on a webpage without even knowing it! JavaScript is the most popular scripting language used by developers to add interactivity to webpages. JavaScript uses client-side scripting, meaning that the client side (the web browser) is running the script. Once the page (or browser) is closed, the script will stop running.

JavaScript can make your webpage dynamic in many different ways. It can write text, it can react to events (like a button being clicked or the page being loaded), it can change the content of the page, it can add or remove HTML elements, it can validate form data, it can detect which browser a visitor is using, it can create cookies, and many other things.

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