Last night at the CodeMash event in Redmond, Microsoft released no less than 7 new free web-related developer products.
The most interesting of these releases is the announcement of IIS Express 7.5. This product is a free version of the popular IIS 7.5 webserver, optimised for developers looking to test applications on their own systems or staging servers. It can serve both ASP.NET MVC and the older ASP.NET WebForms projects, and is designed to be a hybrid of the ASP.NET Web Server that comes shipped with Visual Studio (Cassini) and the powerful IIS platform. It has some great advantages for developers, including IIS 7 module support (SSL, URL rewriting and more), installation side-by-side with IIS and ASP.NET Development Server, support for Operating Systems as old as Windows XP, and it’s only a 5Mb installer.
NuGet, Microsoft’s own open-source package management system, also gets its first official release, and hopefully some stability along with that.
From a beginner’s point of view, the new WebMatrix release will bring much easier and simpler web development on Microsoft and open-source technologies. It is built with web development newcomers (who may have some experience in programming on other platforms already) in mind, with quick-start projects and open-source templates such as DotNetNuke, Joomla and WordPress.