p. Since early 2006, Microsoft and Zend have been working together on a technical collaboration with the PHP community to significantly enhance the reliability and performance of PHP on Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008. As part of this collaboration, the IIS product group has been working on a new component for IIS6 and IIS7 called FastCGI Extension which will enable IIS to much more effectively host PHP applications.
p. Microsoft is eager to announce availability of the Go Live release of Microsoft FastCGI Extension for IIS 5.1/6.0 (FastCGI Extension) as a free download from the IIS community site, www.iis.net. The Go Live release is the last step in the Microsoft beta process and represents thehighest level of quality and reliability. For the first time, customers have a license that permits them to deploy the FastCGI Extension on their production Internet Information Services 6.0 (IIS 6) Web servers.
p. This release could not have come at a more exciting time for the technology: previous beta releases on IIS.NET have had over 14,000 downloads and no less than six hosting partners have already begun offering PHP hosting on IIS 6 with the FastCGI Extension. In addition to the downloads, the www.iis.net community site also has a very active forum of users exchanging ideas and providing feedback about the FastCGI Extension.
p. With Microsoft’s implementation of the FastCGI open standard, IT Professionals will be able to host PHP applications on Windows Server 2003 and IIS 6 with increased reliability, scalability, and security. Customers also know that they will be able to count on Microsoft to stand by and service the Microsoft FastCGI Extension. By supporting the open standard, Microsoft has made it possible for PHP and other CGI compliant languages to be hosted efficiently and effectively on Windows Server 2003 and IIS. With the addition of FastCGI, IIS reliably and performantly hosts ASP.NET; classic ASP and PHP Web applications, making it easy for IT Professionals to standardize on IIS and Windows Server as their Web platform of choice.
p. This FastCGI Extension release is supported on IIS 6 on Windows Server 2003 for a fully scalable production environment and on IIS 5.1 on Windows XP in order to support developers who build their Web applications on Windows client machines. This provides developers easy access to build and deploy a broader range of Web applications on the Microsoft platform. To further facilitate application support, the IIS product group is working with the community to test and optimize popular PHP applications on this platform. The IIS product group will make available ‘getting started’ guides for the most popular PHP applications as part of the release to help developers and Web hosters evaluate.
p. Looking ahead, betas of Windows Server 2008, already include the FastCGI Extension as a completely integrated feature of Internet Information Services IIS 7.0 (IIS7). The new modular architecture introduced in IIS 7 will provide additional functionality to PHP applications by enabling them to take advantage of new managed code services. In fact, Hostway has already deployed a PHP offer on Windows Server 2008 and Senior Architect, Matthew Baldwin, claims ‘IIS7′s integrated PHP support lets us offer our customers a host of new application options, with the same IIS infrastructure so there is no increase in support costs.’
p. These results demonstrate how Microsoft is embracing PHP hosting on Windows. As a result of these efforts, the PHP community will be able to take advantage of the increased reliability of PHP on Windows and simplified administration available on the Windows platform. Furthermore, this work multiplies the opportunities available on the Windows platform to partners and developers. Regardless of the development or licensing model, today’s successful companies are choosing Windows.
*(disc) FastCGI is now available for IIS6 as a Go Live release, meaning customers have a free license to deploy this production-quality release on Windows Server 2003 today.
* Microsoft embraces PHP hosting on Windows by building the enabling technology but also by working with the PHP community to ensure that popular PHP applications will run performantly on the Windows platform.
* FastCGI will ship in Windows Server 2008 as a built-in IIS component for the first time, sparing customers the hassle of downloading, installing and patching 3rd party products.
* FastCGI allows IIS to reuse CGI processes for multiple requests to PHP applications; this alone dramatically improves the performance of PHP on Windows without any drop in reliability whatsoever.
* The IIS Team expects all PHP applications built to run on Windows through CGI/ISAPI to work flawlessly with the FastCGI Extension for IIS6/7.
* To help bootstrap early adopters of PHP on Windows, the IIS team will be publishing “how to” articles that give step by step instructions on how to setup and install the most popular PHP apps on top of FastCGI and IIS/Windows.