Topic: Textpattern on a Windows Server?

Wow, didn't even know this discussion area was here! smile

So I have this client. They're my first client, and my largest client. They're also my last full time employer. My primary contact is my former boss, the VP. Needless to say, I have a lot of stake in them, their company, products... and web site.

I've been working on a redesign/rebuild of their site for a couple of years while they've been trying to wrap their heads around the idea of a CMS. Meanwhile I've been charging them by the hour to manually change hundreds of pages as new products come out, which could easily be done in just a few minutes with textpattern. It has taken this long to finally convince them to move forward. UNFORTUNATELY... in the meantime, their IT guy decided they needed to give up the Linux server and go Windows on me.

They've never had PHP or MySQL so it was a tough enough pull to get their IT guy even talking about that. Now he's talking ASP and .NET and I'm totally lost.

For some reason, their supply vendor (which they resell for) runs on ASP and that's why the Windows server. I still haven't heard for sure if this is something that will need to integrate with their website (so far they have a sub-site as a reseller, separate from the corporate site since supplies aren't really their bag), but it would of course make sense to be forward-thinking here and allow for the possibility at a later time.

My questions:

    1. Is it possible to build a site with TXP on this set up? If so, is it more trouble than it's worth?
    2. Is there a better CMS for this setup?
    3. Is it worth talking them into keeping the Linux server (adding MySQL/PHP)? That's what I've been doing up to this point.
    4. Should I just bail on this one and set them up with an actual web development team? Remember, I'm just a designer. smile

Thanks!
Nat

Re: Textpattern on a Windows Server?

You don't need Linux to run PHP/MySQL, they are both free languages and can be installed on any server.  I'd still try and get them to do it this way, since it's what you need to do what you know.  Are they using ASP right now at all, or is it just that the IT guy prefers that you use it?  Maybe try and get the VP in on this to help you convince the IT guy.

Re: Textpattern on a Windows Server?

C.Barr wrote:

You don't need Linux to run PHP/MySQL, they are both free languages and can be installed on any server.

Thanks! I think I had heard this before but people seemed to think it was just such a pain to do it on a Windows server that no one really bothered with it. ??? I'm pretty clueless when it comes to those things.

From the sounds of it they're not using it just yet but are in the process of getting everything set up. And although it's not entirely the IT guy (this resell supplier uses it for their system), i think he's pretty happy about the point/click ease that comes with Windows. I have lots of respect for him because he's been with the company since it started 20-some years ago but when I worked with him, well, I hate to say he seemed a little lazy. It's not something I can really say to my guy, that this guy he's known and relied on for years might be doing something not in their best interest. And who's to say Windows isn't just what they need if it's a big deal to integrate with this outside vendor? It's just not my call.

So although I'd personally prefer to do this in a way I'm familiar with, for them I'd much rather do what they know if I can. Unfortunately, I don't know. I just need more information because at some point IT guy may say "it can't be done" because he just doesn't want to do it and I need to be able to say "yes it can and here's how"... and even be prepared to do it myself if they need me to.

With that... are there any written resources out there for how to set up PHP/MySQL on Windows? Does it need to integrate with ASP or can it run independently? (I don't even know what ASP is). And if it does, are there some resources on ASP? I've done some research on my own but can't make heads or tails of this stuff until I actually DO it. It took me two years to feel comfortable with javascript and PHP and ASP is just that obscure thing I don't know right now. smile

Re: Textpattern on a Windows Server?

I have seen Windows-based webhosting that includes mySQL and PHP (the usual alternatives being MS-SQL for db and ASP for scripting, of course), so it is technically possible. The bigger problem, possibly, is how URLs are configured. The Txp FAQ suggests:

* Apache 1.3+ or 2.0+ with mod_rewrite
* A Unix server OS with locale support

Textpattern probably works on any web server that supports PHP. It is reported to work well on IIS and Lighttpd. Clean URLs are possible on those systems, with the right configuration, but are not officially supported.

So perhaps the bigger problem than mySQL/PHP is the server itself, i.e. Apache vs. IIs? I guess the question remains -- it is possible but is it worth it! On another thread, and from time to time in Godbit forums, [url=]Vine Type[/url] gets mentioned. (No db required, it seems, but I'm not sure about that.) Perhaps worth a look?

David.

Last edited by DjR (2008-04-05 04:45:54)

David Reimer  //  ↪ "If you know the resurrection is coming, it's impossible to be in utter darkness." — Tim Keller ↩

Re: Textpattern on a Windows Server?

It's funny you should bring this up Natalie, because in the past year or so, Microsoft has worked closely with Zend to get PHP running considerably smoother on IIS. Essentially, there is no problem anymore because they got it all worked out.

Initial partnership announcement:
http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/pres … endPR.mspx

Zend confirms Windows Server is PHP-ready:
http://devzone.zend.com/article/3233-Wi … -PHP-Ready

Basically, it used to be a pain to run PHP on Windows, but that problem has been eliminated. So, if the IT guy at your former company is telling you it's not possible to run PHP on a Windows Server, he is wrong.

At first, when I heard the news that Microsoft and Zend were partnering, it didn't make sense to me. I thought to myself -- "Why would Microsoft, which has a competing product in their .NET platform, worry about the speed of some open-source language, especially when PHP is typically run on Linux?" However, with MS's recent push to acquire Yahoo, it is clear to me now:

All of Yahoo's products and sites run on PHP.

So, if Microsoft is planning to take over a company, it's smart of them to make sure it's technologically feasible. It fits the old adage: "If you can't beat them, join them." It wouldn't be wise to re-write all of Yahoo in .NET, because it would take years to re-create. Also, from a 3rd party business standpoint, obviously Microsoft can't persuade all PHP powered businesses to go proprietary. So, the next best thing is to get PHP running smoothly on IIS, to at least get a foot-hold in the server space (vs. Linux).

=====

http://graffiticms.com/

All that being said, in addition to VineType, you could check out Graffiti CMS. It's made by Telligent, a local company here in Dallas, TX. I know their creative director, and can vouch that they're good peoples. In fact, last year Telligent CEO Ron Howard was amongst a group of invited experts hand-picked to advise Bill Gates. More about that on Snook's blog.

Give me liturgy or give me death.

Re: Textpattern on a Windows Server?

Awesome, Nathan, thanks for that info! I think we're clear on PHP/MySQL  "working" on a Windows server, but apparently TXP, and even Wordpress, still need the Apache set up for clean urls. I'm not sure if that's a must, but I've included the information in a list of options back to them. Maybe they won't care about clean urls and it will work just fine. I'm exploring all options, including hiring a consultant familiar with ASP/.NET to help on this.

Re: Textpattern on a Windows Server?

Have you heard of a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) server before? 

There's also WAMP and MAMP - I'm sure you can imagine what these are.

It's extremely easy to set up and get running.  The only question that I have that needs a bit more research is if it really that easy to set it up as an actual webserver?  I've only used this before as localhost just for testing out PHP applications locally.

Last edited by C.Barr (2008-04-05 09:29:05)

Re: Textpattern on a Windows Server?

Natalie wrote:

Maybe they won't care about clean urls and it will work just fine.

My guess is, probably not (hopefully).

My impression is the IT guy knows one technology, but doesn't know or trust another.
Seems it would be easy and cheap to buy LAMP hosting with any of a bunch of good webhosts, but sounds like he would rather manage the server(s) himself.

"I was blind, but now I see!"  John 9:25

Re: Textpattern on a Windows Server?

Outside hosting isn't totally off the table. Years ago I did set them up a customer support site on 1and1 hosting because they really wanted to do survey forms for people to fill out and FrontPage was the only way to do that at the time without PHP and they didn't support FrontPage, so we went outside for that.

I'm tempted to offer that as a solution for the main site but it would require FTP instead of just transferring files within their network. Plus, it gives them less control over the web site itself (if something should happen to me, what then?)

Re: Textpattern on a Windows Server?

If the server has multiple IP addresses then you should be able to run both IIS and Apache on the same server.  By default, IIS will bind itself to all available IP addresses on a server, but it can be configured to only bind to a specified address.

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodte … x?mfr=true

I don't have much experience with Apache, but I assume it can do the same since it is generally a step ahead of IIS.  I have set up IIS and Novell Extend Application Server to work in this configuration and it has worked fine.

Personally, I would probably lean toward keeping the existing server or outside hosting.  If they are trying to consolidate hardware and just don't want to have multiple servers, then virtualization could be an option as well.  This would allow both servers to run on the same physical hardware.  We use VMWare server (it's free) and VMWare ESX server (it's expensive) and both work quite well.  The virtualization does create some additional overhead, but it has not been a problem for us.

http://www.vmware.com/

The only ASP.Net CMS that I have experience with is DotNetNuke (DNN), and I would not recommend it.  When I used it, standards compliance was a real headache.  I stopped using DNN around version 4.3, some of the standards compliance issues may have been addressed in later releases.

Regards,
Eric

Re: Textpattern on a Windows Server?

Thanks everyone for your input. I've sent them a list of ALL of their feasible options with my recommendations being to A) take it outside and be done with it, and B) Keep the existing server and install PHP/MySQL to keep it in house.

We did start a support site and hosted it elsewhere so I know they're not totally against the idea, but it may take some convincing to get them to move the corporate site (about 10x the size). Still, oddly enough, it gets half the traffic my blog does, so it really isn't a huge undertaking. It's just an issue of logistics at this point.

Re: Textpattern on a Windows Server?

Natalie,

Little late but a good out of the box CMS for .NET is a little hard to find. But it has all the components to build an enterprise system. If you go over to ASP.NET there are sample CMS sites and I have used DotNetNuke with little modification. See www.ww4va.org for pretty much their out of the box solution with a free custom skin. It has role based security at the component level to the portal level. There is also plenty of components to use or create. But it is a framework change and will take some time to learn and to get use to.

Thanks,

Tom

Natalie wrote:

Wow, didn't even know this discussion area was here! smile

So I have this client. They're my first client, and my largest client. They're also my last full time employer. My primary contact is my former boss, the VP. Needless to say, I have a lot of stake in them, their company, products... and web site.

I've been working on a redesign/rebuild of their site for a couple of years while they've been trying to wrap their heads around the idea of a CMS. Meanwhile I've been charging them by the hour to manually change hundreds of pages as new products come out, which could easily be done in just a few minutes with textpattern. It has taken this long to finally convince them to move forward. UNFORTUNATELY... in the meantime, their IT guy decided they needed to give up the Linux server and go Windows on me.

They've never had PHP or MySQL so it was a tough enough pull to get their IT guy even talking about that. Now he's talking ASP and .NET and I'm totally lost.

For some reason, their supply vendor (which they resell for) runs on ASP and that's why the Windows server. I still haven't heard for sure if this is something that will need to integrate with their website (so far they have a sub-site as a reseller, separate from the corporate site since supplies aren't really their bag), but it would of course make sense to be forward-thinking here and allow for the possibility at a later time.

My questions:

    1. Is it possible to build a site with TXP on this set up? If so, is it more trouble than it's worth?
    2. Is there a better CMS for this setup?
    3. Is it worth talking them into keeping the Linux server (adding MySQL/PHP)? That's what I've been doing up to this point.
    4. Should I just bail on this one and set them up with an actual web development team? Remember, I'm just a designer. smile

Thanks!
Nat

† Taj