Introducing WebMatrix - Part 2
page 2 of 7
by Scott Guthrie
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Building our First Simple ASP.NET Web Page

Let's build a simple page that lists out some content we are storing in a database. 

If you are a professional developer who has spent years with .NET you will likely look at the below steps and think – this scenario is so basic - you need to understand so much more than just this to build a "real" application. What about encapsulated business logic, data access layers, ORMs, etc?  Well, if you are building a critical business application that you want to be maintainable for years then you do need to understand and think about these scenarios.

Imagine, though, that you are trying to teach a friend or one of your children how to build their first simple application – and they are new to programming.  Variables, if-statements, loops, and plain old HTML are still concepts they are likely grappling with. Classes and objects are concepts they haven’t even heard of yet. Helping them get a scenario like below up and running quickly (without requiring them to master lots of new concepts and steps) will make it much more likely that they’ll be successful – and hopefully cause them to want to continue to learn more.

One of the things we are trying to-do with WebMatrix is reach an audience who might eventually be able to be advanced VS/.NET developers – but who find the first learning step today too daunting, and who struggle to get started. 

We'll start by adding some HTML content to our page.  ASP.NET Web Pages typically start as just HTML files.  For this sample we'll just add a static list to the page:

Just like with our previous scenario, IIS Express has been automatically configured to run the project we are editing – and we do not need to configure or setup anything for our web-server to run our site.

We can press “F12” or use the “Run” button in the Ribbon toolbar to launch it in the browser.  As you’d expect, this will bring up a simple static page of our movies:


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