WebMatrix 1.0 Release Readme

13 January 2011



This readme applies to the 1.0 release of WebMatrix.


Microsoft WebMatrix 1.0 is a free web development stack that installs in minutes. It integrates a web server with database and programming frameworks to create a single, integrated experience. You can use WebMatrix to streamline the way you code, test, and publish your own ASP.NET or PHP website, or you can use WebMatrix to start a new website using popular open-source apps like DotNetNuke, Umbraco, WordPress, or Joomla. WebMatrix uses the same powerful web server, database engine, and frameworks environment that will run your website on the internet, which makes the transition from development to production smooth and seamless.


To install WebMatrix 1.0, you must first install the Microsoft Web Platform Installer 3.0. After you've installed the Web Platform Installer, you can use it to install WebMatrix.

If you have problems during installation, refer to Troubleshooting Problems with Microsoft Web Platform Installer.

How to Publish Applications

See Step-by-Step Instructions for Publishing Applications

Changes and Issues

WebMatrix 1.0 Installation Issues

Issue: WebMatrix 1.0 is available only on platforms that support Microsoft .NET Framework 4

The .NET Framework version 4 is required for WebMatrix. In certain cases, the WebMatrix 1.0 installer will let you try to install on a platform that is not part of the supported configuration set. In particular, Windows Vista without the SP1 update will let you begin the installation of WebMatrix, but the .NET Framework 4 component will fail and block your installation.

Install on a supported platform, which includes:

  • Windows 7
  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Windows Vista SP1 or later
  • Windows XP SP3
  • Windows Server 2003 SP2

Issue: Cannot install WebMatrix 1.0 if Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 is installed without Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 SP1

Install Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1 from the Microsoft Download Center.

Issue: Some assemblies for SQL Server Compact 4.0 are not installed in the GAC

The managed assemblies for SQL Server Compact 4.0 are not placed in the global assembly cache (GAC) when you install SQL Server Compact 4.0 on a 64-bit computer and the computer has only the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 Client Profile installed. The managed assemblies that are not installed in the GAC are:

  • System.Data.SqlServerCe.dll (ADO.NET provider)
  • System.Data.SqlServerCe.Entity.dll (ADO.NET Entity Framework )

Uninstall SQL Server Compact 4.0. Download and install the full version of .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 from the following location:

Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Service pack 1 (Full Package)

Then reinstall SQL Server Compact 4.0.

Issue: Cannot uninstall SQL Server Compact using the command line

Uninstallation of SQL Server Compact using command-line options does not work in this release.

Use Programs and Features in the Windows Control Panel to uninstall Microsoft SQL Server Compact 4.0.

ASP.NET Web Pages

This section of the document describes new features, changes, and known issues with the 1.0 release of ASP.NET Web Pages with Razor syntax.

New Features

New: Configuration setting added to disable the package manager

A new asp:AdminManagerEnabled key is available for the <appSettings> element in the web.config file, which lets you completely disable the package manager. The default value for this element is true, meaning that if it is not included in the web.config file, the package manager is enabled. To disable the package manager, add the following element to the web.config file in the root of the website:

    <add key="asp:AdminManagerEnabled" value="false"/>


Change: "webPages:AdminFolderVirtualPath" key renamed to "asp:AdminFolderVirtualPath"

The webPages:AdminFolderVirtualPath key that can be added to the web.config file to specify the location of the package manager has been renamed to use the asp: namespace instead of the webPages namespace. If you have used this element, you must rename it in the configuration file.

Known Issues

Issue: Passwords for membership users no longer recognized

The algorithm for creating and storing membership (login) passwords has been changed to be more secure. As a result, the passwords stored for members (users) created in Beta versions of ASP.NET Razor will not be recognized.

Workaround If the site has not yet been put into production, remove the user records from the membership database. If database is live, programmatically regenerate existing passwords in the membership database.

Issue: Unexpected behavior when using a custom user table for membership

To initialize the membership provider for an ASP.NET Razor website, you call the WebSecurity.InitializeDatabaseConnection method. (In WebMatrix, the Starter Site template includes a call to this method in the _AppStart.cshtml file.) If the autoCreateTables parameter of this method is set to true (by default, it is set to true in the Starter Site template), and if an unrecognized table name is passed to the method (the second parameter), the method does not throw an error. Instead, it automatically creates the table.

This can be a problem if you intend to use a custom user table for membership but pass the wrong table name to the WebSecurity.InitializeDatabaseConnection method. Because the method does not by default raise an error if the table you specify does not exist, and because it instead creates a new table, the application can appear to be working. However, application code that relies on your custom user table (and on fields in it) can eventually fail with unexpected errors.

Make sure that the name passed in the InitializeDatabaseConnection method matches the user profile table in the membership database, or make sure that the autoCreateTables parameter is set to false.

Issue: Error message "The Admin Module requires access to ~/App_Data"

Under some circumstances, trying to create users or otherwise work with the ASP.NET membership system can cause the page to display the error The Admin Module requires access to ~/App_Data. This occurs if the account that IIS or IIS Express is running under does not have permissions to create and write to the App_Data folder under the website root.

Workaround Manually create an App_Data folder for the website. Then make sure that the Windows account that the application runs under (typically NETWORK SERVICE) has read/write permissions for root folders of the application and for subfolders such as App_Data. More detailed information is available at Problems with SQL Server Express user instancing and ASP.net Web Application Projects.

Issue: "Failed to generate a user instance of SQL Server" error

If a WebMatrix Web application uses SQL Server Express and is running IIS 7.5 on Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2, you might see an error that indicates that SQL Server cannot retrieve the user's local application path at run time.

Workaround Make sure that the Windows account that the application runs under (typically NETWORK SERVICE) has read/write permissions for root folders of the application and for subfolders such as App_Data. More detailed information is available at Problems with SQL Server Express user instancing and ASP.net Web Application Projects.

Issue: Files that contains package-manager resources or package-manager passwords are servable under IIS 6.0 and earlier

If you deploy an ASP.NET Web Pages (Razor) application that was built using the RC2 release, and if the application contains a password.txt or packagesources.txt file under /App_Data/admin, IIS 6.0 will serve the file if requested, potentially exposing the passwords for your package manager instance.

Workaround Rename the password.txt or packagesources.txt file to password.config or packagesources.config. By default, IIS 6.0 does not serve files that have the .config extension. (In IIS 7, no files in the App_Data folder are served, so you do not need to rename the files.)

Issue: Uninstalling packages installed using the Beta 3 release does not completely remove package components

If you installed a package using the package manager in the Beta 3 release and then try to uninstall it using the current release, the package is not completely uninstalled. Using the package manager's Uninstall button removes some components, but leaves the package's library code and does not update the package.config file.

Perform these steps:

  1. Delete the App_Data\packages folder. This removes all packages.
  2. Delete the packages.config file in the root of the website.

Issue: In Visual Studio, invoking the web-based package manager takes the application offline

If you are working in Visual Studio (not WebMatrix) and use the _admin functionality to start the package manager, Visual Studio takes the application offline and posts the app_offline.htm into the website root, which disrupts your ability to use the package manager.


Although you would most typically see this behavior when using the web-based package manager interface, the same behavior occurs if you add, remove, or modify any files in the App_Data folder.

To work with packages in Visual Studio, use the NuGet extension instead of the web-based package manager. For information, see the NuGet documentation. If you are working with other files in the App_Data folder, consider keeping the files elsewhere to avoid this issue. If that's not practical, delete the app_offline.htm file manually or wait until the site comes back online automatically (by default, after 30 seconds).

Issue: Visual Studio IntelliSense and project templates available only in ASP.NET MVC version 3

Installing ASP.NET Web Pages does not also install tools for Visual Studio such as IntelliSense and project templates for ASP.NET Web Pages applications.

Workaround To use IntelliSense and project templates for ASP.NET Web Pages applications in Visual Studio, install ASP.NET MVC 3 RC either through the Web Platform Installer or the stand-alone installer.

Issue: Reading feeds or other external data via a proxy server

If the server running the site is behind a proxy server, you might need to configure proxy information in the web.config file in order to be able to read information that comes from outside your site. For example, if you use the ReCaptcha helper, the helper communicates with the reCAPTCHA service, but might be blocked by your proxy server. Similarly, feeds that are used in ASP.NET Web Pages, such as the feed used by the package manager, might require proxy configuration.

If you experience problems in working with an external service or working with the package feed, put the following elements into your application's root web.config file:

    <proxy autoDetect="False" 
       proxyaddress="[proxy URL]"/>

For more information about configuring a proxy server, see <proxy> Element (Network Settings) on the MSDN Web site.

Issue: Uninstalling the .NET Framework version 4 disables ASP.NET Web Pages with Razor Syntax

If you uninstall the .NET Framework version 4 and then reinstall it, ASP.NET Web Pages with Razor syntax is disabled. Pages with the .cshtml extension do not run correctly. ASP.NET Web Pages registers an assembly in the machine root web.config file, and removing the .NET Framework removes that file. Reinstalling the .NET Framework installs a new version of the configuration file, but does not add the reference for the ASP.NET Web Pages assembly.

Workaround After reinstalling the .NET Framework, reinstall ASP.NET Web Pages with Razor syntax. This adds the following element to the web.config file in the machine root, which is typically in the following location:

C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v4.0.30319\Config (32-bit)
C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v4.0.30319\Config (64-bit)

    <add assembly="System.Web.WebPages.Configuration, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35" />

    <-- Additional assemblies here. -->


Issue: Extensionless URLs do not find .cshtml/.vbhtml files on IIS 7 or IIS 7.5

On IIS 7 or IIS 7.5, requests with a URL like the following are not able to find pages that have the .cshtml or .vbhtml extension:


The issue arises because URL rewriting is not enabled by default for IIS 7 or IIS 7.5. The likeliest scenario is that you do not see the problem when testing locally using IIS Express, but you experience it when you deploy your website to a hosting website.


Issue: Deploying an application to a computer that does not have SQL Server Compact installed

Applications that include SQL Server Compact databases can run on a computer where SQL Server Compact is not installed. Microsoft WebMatrix 1.0 automatically copies these binaries for you and performs the appropriate web.config file transforms.

Workaround If you need to copy these files and make the web.config file changes manually, do the following:

  1. Copy the database engine assemblies to the Bin folder (and subfolders) of the application on the target computer:

    • Copy C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server Edition\v4.0\Desktop\System.Data.SqlServerCe.dll
      to \Bin
    • Copy C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server Compact Edition\v4.0\Private\x86\ to \Bin\x86
    • Copy C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server Compact Edition\v4.0\Private\amd64\* to \Bin\amd64
  2. In the root folder of the website, create or open a web.config file. (In WebMatrix 1.0, this file type is available if you click All in the Choose a File Type dialog box.)

  3. Add the following element as a child of the <configuration> element (not inside the <system.web> element):

        <remove invariant="System.Data.SqlServerCe.4.0"></remove>
        <add name="Microsoft SQL Server Compact Data Provider" 
          Description=".NET Framework Data Provider for Microsoft SQL Server Compact" 
          type="System.Data.SqlServerCe.SqlCeProviderFactory, System.Data.SqlServerCe, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=89845dcd8080cc91"/>

Issue: "Database" and "WebGrid" helpers do not work in Medium Trust in Visual Basic

If you are using Visual Basic (creating .vbhtml files), the Database and WebGrid helpers will not work if the application is set to use Medium Trust.

If you use Visual Studio 2010, you can resolve this problem by installing the Service Pack 1 release. Until the final version of the SP1 release is available, you can download the Beta version of SP1 from the Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Service Pack 1 page on the Microsoft Download Center.

If this is not practical, or if you do not use Visual Studio 2010, you can temporarily set the application to use Full Trust.

Issue: "ApplicationPart" resources are externally accessible

If an assembly contains objects that derives from the ApplicationPart class, that assembly's resources are exposed by the ResourceRouteHandler class. For example, consider the following URL:


This request downloads all of the resource strings in the System.Web.WebPages.Administration.dll assembly. All of the embedded resources (even those that are not intended to be served as static content) are downloaded. If the embedded resources contain sensitive information, this can represent a security risk.

If you create an ApplicationPart object, make sure that the embedded resources associated with that ApplicationPart object's assembly do not contain sensitive information.



For information about installation issues for WebMatrix, see WebMatrix Installation Issues earlier in this document.

This section of the document describes known issues for the WebMatrix development environment.

Issue: Changes in the username or password of a database connection string in a web.config file are not reflected in the Databases workspace


  1. In the web.config file, change the database name in the connection string (for example, add "1" to it).
  2. Save the web.config file.
  3. Click Databases and refresh.
  4. Change the database name in the connection string in the web.config file back to the original database name.
  5. Save the web.config file.
  6. Click Databases and refresh.

Issue: Folders created by WebMatrix cannot be deleted

If WebMatrix is running using elevated permissions (that is, you started WebMatrix using the Run as Administrator option in Windows), folders that are created by WebMatrix cannot be deleted using Windows Explorer.

Run Windows Explorer using elevated permissions. Follow these steps:

  1. In Windows, click Start.
  2. Enter "Windows Explorer" and right-click the entry for Windows Explorer.
  3. Click Run as Administrator. You can then delete the folders.

Issue: WebMatrix 1.0 is unable to perform certain tasks that require elevation

WebMatrix 1.0 is unable to perform certain tasks that require elevation, such as installing additional components in the following situations:

  • On Windows Vista or Windows 7, you are logged in with an account that does not have administrative privileges and User Account Control (UAC) is disabled.
  • You are using Microsoft Windows XP or Microsoft Windows Server 2003.

Most tasks in WebMatrix 1.0 do not require administrative permission. For those that do, you can perform the operation as an administrator, or follow these steps:

  • On Windows Vista or Windows 7, enable UAC.
  • On Windows XP, add the user to the Administrators security group.

The Site from Web Gallery option is disabled if the Web Platform Installer 3.0 is not installed.

Install the Microsoft Web Platform Installer 3.0.

Issue: Google Chrome is not available as a Run option

Google Chrome is not displayed in the list of browsers under Run on the Home tab.

Some versions of Google Chrome do not register themselves correctly with the Default Programs feature in Windows. As a workaround, start Google Chrome, click the Customize and control Google Chrome menu, click Options, and then click Make Google Chrome my default browser.

Issue: The "Foreign Key" dialog box doesn't allow entering a primary key

The Foreign Key dialog box does not allow you to enter the primary key name from the primary key table.

This is intentional. You do not need to enter the name of the primary key from the primary key table.

Issue: IntelliSense is not available in WebMatrix for Razor syntax, C#, or Visual Basic

IntelliSense is supported in WebMatrix for HTML and CSS. However, it is not available for other languages.


Issue: IntelliSense for HTML and CSS suggests elements that are not contextually appropriate

IntelliSense for markup in WebMatrix supports HTML using the XHTML 1.0 Transitional schema and CSS using the CSS 2.1 schema. Because IntelliSense is based on these specific schemas, certain tags, attributes, or properties might be suggested that are not appropriate for the current page or style definition. For HTML, it can also lead to unexpected suggestions in content that might be interpreted as malformed XHTML (for example, when tags are not closed). This issue might be more noticeable if the insertion point is inside an incomplete tag; in that case, IntelliSense might suggest new opening tags or offer other incorrect suggestions.

For HTML, make sure that you are working within a well-formed, complete XHTML page. For CSS, there is no workaround.

Issue: IntelliSense is not invoked while you type

At times, IntelliSense might not be invoked as HTML or CSS is being entered in the editor. In particular, this might happen when the insertion point is directly next to another element or at the end of a file.

Make sure that there is whitespace around the insertion point and that the insertion point is not at the end of a file. You can also invoke IntelliSense manually by pressing Ctrl+Space.

Issue: No UI is available for disabling IntelliSense

WebMatrix 1.0 provides no UI or gesture for disabling IntelliSense.

Start WebMatrix using the following command, which includes a switch that disables IntelliSense:

WebMatrix.exe #ExecuteCommand# EditorIntelliSense off

IIS Express

IIS Express has its own readme file, which is available at the following URL:


SQL Server Compact

SQL Server Compact has its own readme file, which is available at the following URL:


For information about issues that involve installing SQL Server Compact as part of WebMatrix, see WebMatrix Installation Issues earlier in this document.

Installing Applications

Issue: Installing an application can take a long time if the user's My Documents folder is redirected to a network share

None. The application might take a while to install, but will install correctly.

Publishing Applications

Issue: "Required permissions cannot be acquired" error when publishing a SQL Compact Database

WebMatrix does not fully support deploying supporting binaries for SQL Server Compact to a server that is running .NET Framework version 3.5 with a medium trust configuration.

The preferred workaround is to install the .NET Framework 4 on the server. Alternatively, do the following:

  1. Add the following elements to the SecurityClasses section in Web_MediumTrust.config file:

    <SecurityClass Name="ReflectionPermission" 
      Description="System.Security.Permissions.ReflectionPermission, mscorlib, 
        Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089"/>	
    <SecurityClass Name="RegistryPermission" 
      Description="System.Security.Permissions.RegistryPermission, mscorlib, 
      Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089"/>
  2. Create a new permission set in the Web_MediumTrust.config file with the following required permissions:

    <PermissionSet class="NamedPermission" version="1" Name="SqlCe_Trust">
      <IPermission class="SecurityPermission" version="1" Flags="UnmanagedCode,SkipVerification"/>
      <IPermission class="EnvironmentPermission" version="1" Read="PROCESSOR_ARCHITECTURE"/>
      <IPermission class="RegistryPermission" version="1" Read="HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\" />
  3. Apply the permission set to SQL Server Compact by putting the following elements in the Web_MediumTrust.config file:

    <CodeGroup class="UnionCodeGroup" version="1" PermissionSetName="ASP.Net">
      <IMembershipCondition class="UrlMembershipCondition" version="1" Url="$AppDirUrl$/*"/> 
      <CodeGroup class="UnionCodeGroup" 
          Description="This code group grants code signed with the SQLCE strong name SqlCe_Trust. ">
        <IMembershipCondition class="StrongNameMembershipCondition" 
          PublicKeyBlob="0024000004800000940000000602000000240000525341310004000001000100272736ad6e5f9586bac2d531eabc3acc666c2f8ec879fa94f8f7b0327d2ff2ed523448f83c3d5c5dd2dfc7bc99c5286b2c125117bf5cbe242b9d41750732b2bdffe649c6efb8e5526d526fdd130095ecdb7bf210809c6cdad8824faa9ac0310ac3cba2aa0523567b2dfa7fe250b30facbd62d4ec99b94ac47c7d3b28f1f6e4c8" Name="System.Data.SqlServerCe" />

Under some circumstances, publishing an application causes a "service is unavailable" error.

In WebMatrix, add a backslash () to the end of the server name in the Publish Settings window and then publish the application again.

After you publish a Moodle application, the application does not work correctly.

In WebMatrix, add a slash (/) to the end of the Site Name field in the Publish Settings window and then publish the application again.

Issue: Publishing nopCommerce fails with a database error

Publishing nopCommerce fails and reports a database error like "Insert into the nop_log table failed."


  1. In WebMatrix, click Run to launch nopCommerce locally.
  2. Log into the administration page.
  3. Click the System menu.
  4. Click the Log option.
  5. Click the Clear Log button.
  6. Publish nopCommerce again.

Issue: Silverstripe CMS displays a "HTTP 500 PHP FCGI Error" when you download a published site

After you click Download published site, skip silverstripe-cache/manifest_main in Publish Preview. This file is used for caching purposes and is specific to each computer.

Issue: Subtext displays "Server Error in '/' Application" when you download a published site

Open the site's web.config file and replace the user ID and password in the database connection string with the SQL Server administrator credentials (the "sa" credentials).

Alternatively, follow these steps in order to give the user account you are logged in with db_owner permissions:

  1. Install SQL Server Management Studio using the Web Platform Installer.
  2. Connect to the local SQL Server Express instance (by default, .\SQLEXPRESS).
  3. Click Databases > [localSubtextDatabase] > Security > Users > [localSubtextUser] (default is subtextuser], right-click, and click Properties.
  4. Select db_owner in the role membership section.

Issue: Site might not work after publishing if the "Destination URL" field is not prefixed with http:// or https://

In the Publishing Settings dialog box, if the destination URL does not begin with http:// or https://, the site might not work after deployment.

Make sure that before you publish a site, the destination URL in the Publish Settings dialog box starts with http:// or https://.

Issue: Publishing a MySQL database fails with the error "Failed to publish the database. This can happen if the remote database cannot run the script."

The error can occur for a number of reasons. One reason you can see this error is if the database script contains a single quotation character (') and the destination MySQL database's default character set is not to UTF-8.

Set the default character set for the remote MySQL database to UTF-8.

If you publish or download a DotNetNuke site, you might need to clear the cache to get the new links to appear on the site.


  1. Log in as "Host".
  2. Go to the host menu and select Host Settings.
  3. Scroll down and under Advanced Settings, expand Performance Settings.
  4. Click the Clear Cache link for pages.
  5. Go to the bottom of the page and restart the application.

In the service.config file, users.config file, and all .xml files, replace the URL string (for example, http://myhost.com/atomsite) with the local one (for example, http://localhost:1239).

Issue: MySQL-based applications like WordPress fail to publish and report a database error

By default, WebMatrix installs MySQL with the UTF-8 character set. If you install MySQL on your own, and the character set is not UTF-8 (for example, it is Latin1), the publish process for databases might fail.


  1. Change the character set for MySQL to UTF-8. (For details, see Server Character Set and Collation on the MySQL website.)
  2. Reinstall the application.
  3. Republish the application.

Issue: "Download published site" fails for applications that have browser-based setup

Some applications (for example, Kentico CMS) require you to launch them in the browser in order to perform post-installation setup such as creating a database. If you publish an application like this without completing the browser-based setup, attempting to download the same site from a remote server will fail.

Finish browser-based setup before publishing the site.

Issue: "Download published site" fails with a database error for DotNetNuke and Kooboo CMS

If you try to download an application from a server and you have administrator credentials in the database connection string in the Publish Settings dialog, you might see the following error in the publish log:

1:28:29 PM: An error occurred during execution of the database script. The approximate location of the error was between lines '3260' and '3262' of the script. The verbose log may have more information about the error. The command started with:


1:28:29 PM: https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=178587.

If practical, republish the site (or have it published) using non-administrator credentials for the database.

For More Information

For more information about WebMatrix 1.0, see the following websites: