PHP optimised for Windows Server 2008

Want to run a Coppermine photo gallery on a Windows 2008 Server? In the past, that's meant that the popular PHP application for photo galleries would run more poorly than on a Linux or Unix server, for which PHP had been optimised.

But the specialist in the PHP language, Zend Technologies, says that's no longer the case. The Zend Core commercially supported form of PHP has been certified byMicrosoft as ready to run "with performance and stability" on Windows Server 2008, said Andi Gutmans, co-founder and CTO of Zend.

That means passing more than 100 compatibility tests, plus collaborating closely on certain Microsoft technologies.

For example, Zend worked with Microsoft's FastCGI component for its Web server, IIS, to make FastCGI set up and run PHP applications efficiently. The IIS Web server is now built into Windows 2008, and the two companies made certain the PHP interface to FastCGI worked smoothly, Gutmans said in an interview.

Zend's PHP now supports CardSpace, Microsoft's identity management system, so users of PHP applications may gain online services after being authenticated and awarded the proper privilege level.

The Windows 2008 certification also means Windows as well as Linux servers can be expected to host such PHP applications as the Mambo Web site content management system or the WordPress blog publishing system, Gutmans said.

Previously, PHP "didn't run as well as it should on Windows," said Gutmans, despite the fact that 75% to 80% of PHP users were developing on Windows workstations.

When they deployed their Windows-based applications to production, their performance was disappointing and they tended to develop on Windows and deploy under Unix or Linux. Now the three platforms should be available on a more equal footing, he said.

The two companies have started work on a SQL Server driver for Zend Core that will make interfacing PHP Web applications to SQL Server a more straightforward task, Gutmans said.

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