Creating Orchard Themes and Modules in WebMatrix 2

Creating Orchard Themes and Modules in WebMatrix 2

Microsoft recently released WebMatrix 2 RC which has numerous new features including code completion / intellisense. As an Orchard CMS Developer, I am excited about intellisense in WebMatrix to help with creating Orchard Themes and Modules. Although the release candidate does offer some code completion to make it easier to develop custom Orchard Themes and Modules in WebMatrix, the development experience is rather spotty at the moment.

Orchard CMS Intellisense in WebMatrix 2

In addition to intellisense, WebMatrix 2 offers many new features. I blogged about a few.

Code completion and intellisense is a big feature and it is somewhat helpful with regard to Orchard CMS, but still has a way to go.

For example, WebMatrix supports code completion on compiled binaries. Therefore, let's say you have a custom module you created for Orchard and you want to alter a database table programmatically via the module's migration file. Since SchemaBuilder ships as part of a binary you get wonderful intellisense when creating tables, altering tables, adding columns, etc. in a migration file in Orchard CMS.

Intellisense and code completion in WebMatrix for Orchard CMS

You'll even get some intellisense in your custom Orchard Module's Driver when handling the import and export routines ( for example ) of your custom part. Notice I say some. You will get intellisense on ImportContentContext, which is in a compiled binary, but you won't get intellisense on CustomPart, which is probably a C# file in your Models Folder.

No Intellisense and code completion in WebMatrix for Orchard CMS Custom Classes

So here's the rub. WebMatrix 2 RC doesn't provide any build services on the custom classes so you still won't get code completion on any custom models, view models, services, or other custom classes in your Orchard Modules. There is no intellisense for these custom classes in views as well as other services that consume the classes.

Conclusion

I am looking forward to the final release of WebMatrix 2 in hopes Microsoft can fix this "problem" as well as a few other outages when creating custom Orchard Themes and Modules in WebMatrix. You obviously can do all of this in Visual Studio. It would just be really nice if we could get as much support as possible in WebMatrix 2 to provide alternatives to Visual Studio as well as further build the community.