That a quote from the bottom of a series of Microsoft Web pages. Interested ? Read on….
Things have been rather interesting over at http://www.microsoft.com/web/, specifically over at
Each one of these represents a download area to an installer to get any one of these applications downloaded and installed on IIS. Yes you did read that right, that’s installed on IIS running PHP. You can have an installer do lots of the work for you here or if you if you prefer to stay in control, you can find more here, or using any one of the links listed above do even less work. But were getting ahead of ourselves.
There’s more! I also found Moodle, MojoJortal, nopCommerce, SugarCRM, Piwik, phpBB, YetAnotherForum.NET, Gallery and Mayando to name a few under the Windows Web App Gallery – click on the Browse All link to find what I’ve found and a few more.
Let’s have a quick look at one of the featured urls, and since I’m kind of partial to blogging, lets head over to the WordPress area.
There are a few things that impressed me – besides the “Install Now” button that launches a web installer and does most of the heavy lifting for me – various links on how to get started with WordPress, provide free support forums, give software away and more. I’d encourage you to explore the whole page and read in detail the options available to you, as well as the free support available if you’re at all interested in deploying a PHP application on Windows and IIS.
Now for some shiny stuff click on Plugins and Themes. Yes I know it’s bing search and bing maps, (Surprise) but it’s bing maps in Ajax AND Silverlight. I’d encourage you to play with these if you haven’t – Silverlight in a PHP site is extremely sweet. There are more Silverlight bits and pieces to explore, however one cool plugin to call out is the Windows Azure Storage for WordPress plugin. If you have an investment in Azure and want to use it to store your media as an alternative to Amazon, well now you can.
Just to let you know that this isn’t a drive by marketing effort, Microsoft has been investing a lot of effort to ensure that Open Source Apps run on all kind of Microsoft Platforms – Don’t Believe me? Check out this blog post on how to host WordPress on Windows Azure AND the Windows Azure SDK for PHP Developers on Codeplex.
Why would you care about any of this PHP/IIS/Azure integration stuff? You could go here or here (yes there’s more of those as well)and install a WAMP (Windows, Apache, MySQL, PHP) and get rid of IIS altogether, OR install it on the same machine as IIS but run it on a different port (IIS on 80 and 443 and Apache on 8080 and 8443), or…. Yes I agree there are options, However what I’m seeing is the option to integrate a Wiki, Blog, CMS, whatever INTO an existing investment on IIS and Windows OR take advantage of other pieces you may have in your corporate network that IIS is really good at.
Like what you may ask? Integrated Authentication for one, Administering any one of these in a Windows Environment for another – If you’ve ever tried download a Linux distribution and implementing one of these from scratch you would have noticed a vertical learning curve within a few minutes.
Joomla, Moodle, MediaWiki (What Wikipedia is built on) and WordPress to name a few can run seamlessly integrated in one authentication context (that’s single sign on for you and me), without managing more usernames and passwords. That right, your AD username unlocks our internal Wiki/blog/CMS. While that may not appeal to the purists out there who would sneer at the thought of running PHP on Windows at all, to bad.I for one like having fewer passwords to remember.
If you are in the Windows world, and would like to integrate any one of a raft of free technologies into your corporate or public SharePoint or IIS based site, then it’s nice to know that Microsoft is investing into exactly that, as well as making it easier than ever before for folks like me who write content and publish sites and need as much help setting up as we can get. There’s no silver bullet here, there’s still some learning to do, technologies to integrate, etc,etc however it’s nice that it’s become much much easier than starting from scratch.