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Review: ASP.NET Web Matrix : Page 4

The ASP.NET Web Matrix project makes ASP.NET development easy. With ready-to-go pages, code builders, a visual design environment, and other useful features, Web Matrix is a very complete Web development tool that gets you going within minutes. Because it is freeware from Microsoft and the download is only 1.2 MB, there is nothing stopping you from experimenting with it.


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Running Pages
You can run pages from Web Matrix by pressing F5 or the corresponding button on the toolbar. The first time you run a page you'll open the window shown in Figure 8. By default this window runs a page with the ASP.NET Web Matrix Server, a.k.a. Cassini; a little Web server that only serves requests from browsers on your own machine (for security reasons). It enables you to quickly set up an ASP.NET application. ASP.NET Web Matrix Server will add all the necessary references on the fly, and will remove them when you shut it down. By default the server starts on TCP/IP port 8080, so it won't interfere with IIS/PWS if you're running one of those servers. Cassini runs on Windows XP Home Edition, which doesn't include PWS. If you do have IIS/PWS installed, you can create a virtual root on the fly based on the directory you're working in, or use an existing virtual root. If you choose to use an existing virtual root you need to make sure that the file you're trying to run is in that folder or a sub-folder.



Michiel van Otegem is the co-founder of ASPNL, a consulting and teaching firm based in the Netherlans. He teaches advanced ASP, .NET, and XML classes. Michiel frequently teaches seminars and he writes articles and tutorials for several Web sites and magazines, including MSDN Netherlands and ASPAlliance.com. He is also the author of "Sams Teach Yourself XSLT in 21 Days." Michiel is a respected member in the international ASP/ASP.NET community, helping on forums and listservs. He has recently been appointed to the Board of Directors of the ASPAdvice.com community, and Michiel is the president of the Dutch .NET user group, Stichting dot NED. Reach him at michiel@aspnl.com.
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