I'm a web application developer, and I've been doing it for ten years using c#, the .NET framework, visual studio express and MS SQL Express on an IIS server.
Now, I've been asked to program a complex CRUDS web application using a XML native database and only free tools.
As i understand it, there is very little possibility to use the .NET framework or even IIS to build web apps with that kind of database, so i looked for other technologies.
The most well known and well documented free XML native database seems to be eXist-db, which apparently comes bundled with a web app development tool called BetterForm (based on the XForms technology if I'm not mistaken).
It also seems that, apart from XForms, the most widely used technology to build web apps with a XML native database, is java with servlets.
I have zero experience in XForms; I know some java (I'm probably a bis rusty since I've not written any java code for the last 8 years, but it's quite similar to c#), but have no experience or skill with servlets and java web apps (I just know it has to use some kind of web server with a servlet container like Tomcat - says volumes about the extent of my ignorance). I also know some php, but am not aware of the possibilities it offers to work with an XML native db.
Given that I very much like the easiness and quickness of use of the GUI and data tools of the .NET Framework and their integration in Visual Studio Express, and that I want to write as few HTML as possible, which technology and tools (emphasis on IDE - wysiwyg à la Visual Studio would be ideal) would you suggest I use.