Some hard questions about ASP.NET

My ASP.NET post from last week generated a few comments, but this one from cankles (which by the way links back to http://www.builderau.com.au/ - is that you Brendan Chase??? ) asks a few good questions that deserve answers:

Monday, December 19, 2005 8:18 PM by cankles

# re: We *HEART* ASP.NET

There would probably be more if ASP.NET 2 worked on non-windows servers. Would be interesting to do a price comparison between running Windows servers with ASP.NET 2 and PHP on Linux.
Also, how about Ruby on Rails vs ASP.NET 2.0?

So cankles, let me try to answer these 2 hard hitting questions

price comparison between running Windows servers with ASP.NET 2 and PHP on Linux

We have really great story here, which doesn't get told often.

Have you heard of SPLA?  Not many folks have.

SPLA, or Service Provider Licencing Agreement, provides a pricing model tailored for hosted applications. It is a pay-as-you-go model, which means you don't have to pay upfront.  What does this look like, well Windows Server 2003 Web Edition is about A$20 per processor per month under SPLAWindows Standard is about A$30 and Enterprise about A$40.  SQL Server 2005 Workgroup is about $80 per proc per month under SPLASQL Standard about A$320 per proc and Enterprise just over $1,000 per proc per month. (I know the branding police are going to be angry with me, but I'll go with it)

Key with SPLA is the fact that one install of Windows / SQL can be shared by numerous businesses web sites running on a single server.  We call it "multi-tenancy" and it's unique to SPLA in terms of licensing programs at Microsoft.  All other licensing programs would necessiate the end customer of the web site licensing SQL Server and Windows Server and then asking the Hoster to run the software on the customers behalf.

Finally, we have a number of case studies for why Windows is a great platform for hosting and best practices & guidance for Hosters to build out infrastructure to obtain the best TCO.

Ruby on Rails vs ASP.NET 2.0

As Wikipedia tells us - "Ruby on Rails, often called RoR or just Rails, is an open sourceweb application framework written in Ruby that closely follows the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture. "

MVC? We can do MVC using ASP.NET. The design pattern has been on MSDN for ages. There's even an article on BuilderAU on this very topic

Now there are plenty of discussions happening online debating ASP.NET v RoR, with people far more qualified than myself. I just wanted to draw your attention to the fact that there are a number of "RoR" implementations on ASP.NET, such as the Castle Project's Monorail. There's also a good post by Andres Aguiar which tries to use the components of ASP.NET, such as  Build Providers and DLinQ to create something "RubyOnRails-esque". But I reckon Joel Spolsky put's it best - What's all the fuss about Ruby On Rails?

Now, I'm sure these answers will raise more questions and to be honest I am fine about that, because now we're part of the conversation too. That's a good thing!

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