Version 0.6 (Technology Preview)


What's New in Version 0.6 (Technology Preview)

Last Updated: May 2003 

Thank you for downloading and using Microsoft® ASP.NET Web Matrix. We hope you'll enjoy using this technology preview. Please submit your comments, feedback, and bug reports using the online ASP.NET Web Matrix forums

What's New 

This list includes the a brief description of the new features available in Version 0.6 and the set of high-priority bugs that have been fixed.

Data Administration

  • You can now use database tools with Microsoft Access .mdb databases. You can create or delete tables, modify the table schemas, and edit table data.
  • The interface is redesigned to provide a consistent UI for editing both Access and SQL Server and MSDE databases.
  • You can drag Access tables into a Web Forms (.aspx, .ascx) page. The behavior is similar to that of SQL Server tables - Web Matrix creates an instance of the MxDataGrid control, but bound to an instance of an AccessDataSourceControl object.
  • Data code builders (now called Code Wizards) work against both Access and SQL Server databases.
  • You can open tables and stored procedures as documents and use Web Matrix to work on them.
  • Database connections are persisted between Web Matrix sessions.

Web Forms and HTML Editing

  • Table editing has been enhanced. You can insert rows and columns and merge or split cells. Although you can't visually select multiple cells, you can merge adjacent cells together to create complex tables.
  • User controls now render their layout in Design view when used in an .aspx or .ascx document, instead of displaying a gray block. You can also refresh or edit the layout using command links in the Properties window.
  • Support has been added for editing inline CSS style attributes. You can edit the font and background CSS attributes of any HTML element using commands on the Format menu or by editing the element's style property.
  • You can copy and paste content between Design view and HTML (or Source) view.

Source Code Editing

  • The Find and Replace commands have been enhanced. The editor supports F3. The Find & Replace dialog box is automatically populated with selected text in the editor, and it can remember previous searches.
  • Language-specific options have been added to allow you to control tab size and whether tabs should be converted to spaces.
  • Language-specific options have been added that control how to render whitespace and whether to trim trailing whitespace.
  • The Go To Line dialog box is initialized with the current line.

Workspace Enhancements

  • FTP connections and folder shortcuts are persisted between Web Matrix sessions as part of your workspace.
  • FTP connections have been made more robust in terms of handling variances across FTP server implementations.
  • FTP connections now support Web roots, which is useful when your Web directory is a subfolder within your FTP directory.
  • You can open multiple files at a time using the File|Open command.
  • The File Open dialog box picks up the location of the currently active document (if there is one) as its initial location.
  • The Workspace window immediately displays new files or folders added to an open folder, without requiring a refresh.


  • Web Matrix now supports programming languages besides C# and Visual Basic .NET. Support has been added for J#, which is offered as a language option when you create class files or for code in Web Forms and other ASP.NET file types.
  • Web Matrix has a single, simplified model used for plug-ins, such as Add-Ins, Code Wizards (Code Builders), and Document Wizards (new feature).
  • Plug-ins can provide information for a custom About dialog box.

Support for .NET Framework version 1.1

  • The Web Matrix Web server works on .NET Framework version 1.1.

Class Browser

  • The class browser displays an Outline view for each type showing an outline of the type's object model.
  • The class browser supports new search types: search by member name, search for derived types, and so on.
  • A new AssemblyInfo Add-In displays version info, dependencies, and assembly resources.
  • The class browser uses the .NET Framework SDK Help for local help links.

Other Changes

  • Assembly names have changed from "Saturn" (the original Web Matrix code name) to the official name of "Matrix."
  • Web Matrix supports Windows XP themes.
  • Toolbars, menus and other glyphs use high color icons and images, giving Web Matrix a fresh, modern look.

Top Bug Fixes
The new version of Web Matrix features a number of bug fixes. Only commonly reported high-severity bugs not already covered by new features are listed here. These bugs no longer occur:

  • An unhandled exception when loading pages if the encoding in IE is set to "AutoSelect" resulted in an unknown encoding named "_autodetect".
  • Potential data loss if you switched views or saved a file when an .aspx, .ascx or .htm file was only partially loaded.
  • Server controls not rendering correctly in Design view if the page contained a <style> block or a link to a stylesheet.

Known Issues 

The following list includes the most important known issues along with any applicable workaround:

Undo command   Undo is partially implemented for Design view. Currently, the Undo command is enabled and works for general HTML editing. However, it may not work as expected when used with ASP.NET server controls or table editing. For those scenarios try hitting undo multiple times. Undo/redo works fine in source view.

Editing database tables   The schema of a table is read only when the table contains one or more rows of data. The data in tables can only be modified if the table has a primary key. 

Custom mobile controls without custom designers   Web Matrix has its own set of designers for the controls that ship with the Mobile Internet Toolkit.  Mobile controls associated with custom designers that derive from Microsoft.Matrix.Framework.Mobile.UI.Design.MobileControlDesigner will behave properly.

Switching between .aspx and mobile pages   You must reopen a document to switch from an .aspx page to a mobile page and vice versa. To switch from an ASPX page to a mobile page (or vice versa), switch to All View, close the page, and then reopen the document. If you do not close and reopen the document, the page will not work properly in the designer.

Detecting the Web Matrix server   ASP.NET Web Matrix does not detect that the Web Matrix Web server is running across sessions. If you run a Web page using the Web Matrix Web server and then shut down ASP.NET Web Matrix, the Web server will continue to run. If you run Web Matrix again and try to run a Web page on the Web server (by default, using the same port number used previously), the Web server will not be able to run the page. You must right-click on the icon in the task tray and shut down the existing instance of the Web server or choose another port number.

Position of data source controls   The SqlDataSourceControl must appear before the MxDataGrid control in a Web page. If you are using the MxDataGrid control in conjunction with the SqlDataSourceControl, you must place the data source control before the MxDataGrid, otherwise the grid will not render properly in the designer.

Installing the Mobile Internet Toolkit   If you install the Mobile Internet Toolkit while a copy of Web Matrix is running, you will need to close and reopen Web Matrix for it to take advantage of the mobile controls. In addition you will need to reset the toolbox by right-clicking the toolbox and choosing Reset.

Dialog box Help   Help in some dialog boxes does not work. The Help buttons in the Auto Format, Property Builder, Data Binding dialog boxes, and the Style Builder dialog box (accessible through the Properties window for certain web controls) do not work.

F1 Help with certain document types   The context-sensitive Help (from the F1 key) does not work for certain file types including HTML, CSS, and XML files.

Displaying system and hidden folders   Folders that are marked as system or hidden are not displayed in the Workspace window. If you want to display these types of folders in the Workspace window, you can add them as a new shortcut by right-clicking My Computer in the workspace, selecting New Folder Shortcut, and then selecting the directory.

Inserting default column values   When you add a new row to a database table using the table editor in Web Matrix, default column values are not automatically inserted into the columns.

Deleting rows from a database table   If you try to delete rows that have just been inserted when the table contains an identity or AutoNumber column, the delete operation may not work. To workaround this, close the table, re-open, and then try deleting the row again.

Online Help in English only   The Read MSDN documentation on the Web available while browsing classes links only to the English documentation.

Re-registering custom and user controls   If you drop a custom or user control into a page in All view, Web Matrix automatically adds a register directive to the document. However, if the directive is deleted and the control is dropped in the document again, the directive will not be re-added.  The workaround is to switch to another view, switch back to All view, and then to drop the control again.

Creating a Page_Load handler   Double-clicking a Web page in Design view does not generate Page_Load event handler. To create a Page_Load method, select Page from the drop-down list at the top of the Properties window, click the Event button (yellow lightning bolt), and then double-click in the box for the Load event in the grid.

Dragging controls between documents   If you drag a Web server control from one document to another document in Web Matrix, the control is always deleted from the source document.

Runtime assemblies   If you are using custom controls in a Web page, you must copy the assemblies from the \Components directory of your Web Matrix installation to the \bin directory of your Web application. Alternatively, you can install the assembly into the Global Assembly Cache (GAC).