Started playing with .Net

I’ve tried in the past to get .Net installed on one of my PCs. I always got errors after the install and just gave up. It’s only to get familiar with it. I usually have a Linux box as a web server anyway and we’re still using classic ASP at work. But as more projects come my way at work, I found using PHP to create different things that classic ASP can’t do. It’s not recommended but it’s a quick fix since many of the projects need to be finished ASAP. All of the sites we develop at work is written using ASP 3.0. But things like handling emails, exporting records to Excel, and uploading files can be created with more features using PHP. The transition between an ASP to PHP page isn’t something that you should do but was necessary for us to complete the project in time.

Why don’t we just develop in PHP or .Net? Well there’s a couple of reasons for that.

  • Majority of our servers are Windows. In the beginning, the IT department wouldn’t support anything but Windows servers. But since they don’t support us anyway, and we do our own support, we can use pretty much any server OS we want. We do have 3 OS X servers that can run Apache.
  • It would take a longer time to re-code already working web sites running ASP and MSSQL Server 2000 to PHP5 and MySQL or .Net. Not only do we have to re-code them, the testing would take just as long. We have to ensure that the sites work on both Windows and OS X platform and their supported browsers. It pisses me off so much going to a site that doesn’t work on the browser I use. So I make sure it doesn’t happen to any of the visitors going to the sites I develop.
  • No money to purchase new Windows hardware/software. Although, our current Windows servers are running fine, if we were to start using .Net, it would be best to run it using the Windows Server 2003 and more hard drive space. We currently are running Windows 2000 Server and MSSQL Server 2000.

So I started to play with .Net again. Luckily we got our hands on Parallels for our iMacs. We can now test on different OS and server environments. I finally got to install .Net 2.0. I know there’s 3.0 and 3.5 releasing in the near future. But I want to do baby steps. So far I have been impressed. I have been having trouble converting a site from ASP to .Net. Particularly with the user authentication. I still have to figure out how the login page will query the database.

For now, I may just try to convert features I wrote on PHP to .Net and add them to the existing ASP sites so that the transition between the pages will be smoother, less of a security risk, and easier to manage.

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