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At A Glance: ASP.net vs. PHP

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In the world of web development, the choice of which development language to use commonly comes down to two popular choices.

Web applications, specifically those relying on back end databases, are typically being created using either Microsoft’s ASP.Net language, or the Open Source alternative language of PHP. Reasons why one might choose one over the other can include: The cost of development tools, or availability of such tools, or even ones comfort level with the Open Source initiative. The goal of this article is to provide some perspective on reasons why one might choose one over the other.

Active Server Pages or ASP has long been an option for creating dynamic web content. Active Server Pages facilitates the ability to use databases such as Access or SQL just to name a few, to create dynamic, feature rich websites. The work going on behind the scenes in serving up the dynamic content is being done at the server level by the Active Server Pages source code.

Microsoft has spent a great deal of time and resources promoting their .Net family of programming languages of which ASP.Net is a member. In order to develop with ASP.Net one must obtain the extremely expensive Microsoft Visual Studio Programming Suite. While expensive, Visual Studio is an asset to any programmer due to its vast amount of features. As with all of Microsoft’s products, support and updates are constantly made available for ASP.Net. The shear amount of features that Microsoft packs into Visual Studio, coupled with Microsoft’s extensive support make certainly make ASP.Net an attractive solution for any corporation’s web development needs, but the cost can be prohibitive, if not impossible to afford for the individual web developer.

PHP which is in its 5th revision now, is an Open Source web development language that also facilitates the creation of feature rich, dynamic websites that can use databases. Being Open Source means simply that PHP isn’t owned by anyone. Just as with Active Server Pages, the work going on behind the scenes of serving up the dynamic web content is being done by PHP at the server level.

As with most Open Source products, the resources available to a PHP developer are free of charge. This makes PHP extremely attractive to the independent web developer. There are some commercial quality development suites available from companies like Zend, but there is also wealth of free resources just a Google Search away. Because there is really no corporate entity behind PHP, support and development on PHP is done by the community of its users and developers themselves. Surprisingly this does not seem to adversely affect the ability to find support for PHP.

All in all, ASP.Net and PHP are both excellent options, offering basically the same functionality. Whether the decision comes down to the cost of initial investment, or the comfort level one has regarding Open Source, or something else entirely, the end result depends upon the mastery of whichever language is chosen.

Ian Wilson Lockwood is a support analyst for Apollo Hosting. Apollo Hosting provides website hosting, ecommerce hosting, vps hosting, and web design services to a wide range of customers.

At A Glance: ASP.net vs. PHP
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  • andrewmyhre

    I have to ask the question – why is not being owned by anything/anyone a point in PHP’s favour?

    ‘Express’ versions of Visual Studio are available for free with no restrictions on the type of content you create/publish. The .Net AJAX controls are open-source, and the source behind the .Net framework itself is soon to be released to the public.

    I have to disagree with the assertion that they’re practically the same – they’re fundamentally not. ASP.Net compiles. PHP doesn’t. PHP runs with less overhead. ASP.Net has a runtime behind it. PHP code is tightly bound to the markup it generates. ASP.Net encourages seperation of markup and code. They’re fundamentally different.

    Not to mention that the PHP developers I’ve met are generally smug and unhelpful, which might explain why .Net support is stronger.

    • MalcolmX

      andrewmyhre said: "Not to mention that the PHP developers I’ve met are generally smug and unhelpful, which might explain why .Net support is stronger.." This is a typical example of a biased contributor. Why do you have to make a judgement on PHP, based on "the PHP developers you have met". Sadly, the Internet gives everyone a voice – even those who are unhelpful, malicious or who have a hidden agenda.

  • http://www.suky.ca suky

    I have to ask how useful this article really is. You very vaguely talk about these two technologies from a high level and don’t conclude much which helps.

    • Andla

      This is just ordinary article marketing. I don’t think the author really knows much about asp.net or php. But he sure make money writing articles with techno talk.

  • MalcolmX

    andrewmyhre said: "Not to mention that the PHP developers I’ve met are generally smug and unhelpful, which might explain why .Net support is stronger.."

    This is a typical example of a biased contributor. Why do you have to make a judgement on PHP, based on "the PHP developers you have met".

    Sadly, the Internet gives everyone a voice – even those who are unhelpful, malicious or who have a hidden agenda.

  • Guest

    Microsoft’s ASP.Net is bloated up software that over complicates anything a Web Developer needs to do.

    For a send mail function in ASP.Net  it was around 20 lines of code… SMTP connections had to be made too.

    In PHP I was able to write the same thing in 4 lines.  APACHE had SMTP configured and ready to go for me.

    I hope to see more large businesses try PHP and quit fearing anything that isnt microsoft.

    • Guest

      I think you just gave advice to use ASP .NET.

      Developers are relying (especially enterprise developers) on doing the work themselves, why? Because they have the control over the connections to servers, instead of the underlying parts.Especially if an application has to be configured for using multiple e-mail service providers.

      It costs more lines, but I’m in control of the connections, instead of magically by the system. This could have beven done by the system. You can’t discuss good development with comparing easy coding examples from beginners books and saying it costs less lines.

    • Guest

      Sorry i disagree with you,

      I don`t know from where are these charges on Microsoft .NET

      Every success is combatant.

  • Daniel

    It would be useful to check your facts before writing such articles. The author says:

    "In order to develop with ASP.Net one must obtain the extremely expensive Microsoft Visual Studio Programming Suite."

    Actually, you can write your code in any editor ans compile it (optional) from the command-line.

     

    • Guest

      Or use Visual Studio Express edition, which is free.

  • Madhusudhan

    Hi,

    Both ASP.NET and PHP are good for web development. The question which one to choose…Depends on lot of issues. If it were for a huge business corporation and the requirements are to make the web sites integrate to ERP then you better go with the platform used for the ERP.

    Otherwise, if you have resources availability on a purticular technology then you can choose accordingly.

    PHP has got great capabilities when it comes to image manupulations etc..

    ASP.NET has got great integration capabilities. Can integrate to any kind of devise etc..

     

     

     

     

  • http://www.prosperwebsolutions.co.uk Josh Smingin

    Good article,  check this article out it has some statistics.

    PHP VS ASP.NET (Review)

     

  • leo

    I’ve used PHP and Asp.net for web development. PHP is still the same as the classic ASP. But the introduction of ASP.Net has made very complicated e-commerce data driven web sites to be developed much easier than ever. Better security, better support(documentation, online training and web samples). For individuals, you can download the open source 2008 express edition and sql server.

    For simple websites you can use php. But for very complicated e-commerce websites, ASP.net is way to go!