How to Develop on the Microsoft Web Platform

by Tali Smith

The Windows® and Linux operating systems approach Web development in different ways. Linux is easily configured, and it lets enthusiasts get "under the hood" and tweak every aspect of the environment. Scripting languages, with their ability to morph and adapt, can automate the tweaking of the system. In contrast, the Windows-based, Microsoft® Web Platform is not designed to be tweaked by going to bare metal. Instead, the system is monitored, controlled, and modified by using well-defined interfaces, plug-in boards, and so on. Scripting languages are most often used in Windows to drive systems through APIs not through the modification of configuration files. Understanding this difference in philosophy is key to the effective use of scripting languages on the Windows-based platform.

Until now, PHP developers may have written their applications on Windows, reaping the benefits of the intuitive user interfaces, but then used the open-source Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP (LAMP) platform to run their applications. With FastCGI support native to Windows Server® 2008, and available as an extension for Windows Server® 2003, PHP developers now have a strong platform in Windows Server for both developing and running Web applications.

The following articles provide guidance for software developers using the Microsoft Web Platform:

Additional resources for developers can be found in: