This post is part of a series about my experiences building a PHP app for Windows Server 2008 and IIS 7 for the European WinPHP Challenge 2009 which is sponsored by iBuildings, Microsoft and Leaseweb.
For some insane reason, I decided to enter the WinPHP Challenge and having been accepted, I now need to actually write an app! It's not like I'm not already way too busy or anything...
The main reason that I decided to do the competition was so that I could learn about running PHP on IIS, particularly learning the .htacess equivalents. Also getting more familiarity with SQL Server is useful. We are getting more enquiries from potential clients about running our software on these technologies, so being better informed is a good thing. I'm expecting that our software will run pretty much as-is though because PHP is a cross-platform solution.
First order of business will be to get a VMWare Fusion instance of Windows Server 2008. Apparently, MS are sorting out a license which is good. Does anyone know if I can "upgrade" the trial version or will I have to reinstall from scratch? As I'm on a very slow ADSL connection (around 1.3MBps, it may take a while...)
Incidentally, I see that PHP is mentioned on the Windows Server 2008 home page in the tag line "Manages ASP.NET, PHP, and everything in between.", so may be MS is serious about making Windows a first class hosting platform for PHP sites too. That can only be good for us when selling into companies with a Windows-centric IT department.
I currently have two choices of app to write and I need to decide this week :)
Firstly, I could take the example app in Zend Framework in Action, Places to take the kids and work it up into a usable application. This would have the advantage that I could integrate Zend_Application into it and show what I would do differently now compared to what's in the book. We could also explore how to do dojo for the Ajax stuff.
A second choice is to write an SQL Server inspector/administrator along the lines of a very basic phpMyAdmin. Obviously phpMyAdmin is very mature, so I don't set my sights that high! It would however be useful if I had a tool that let me view the structure of MSSQL tables and be able to query the data in them. Related to that, the ability to dump all tables to a single file of SQL statements would be handy as I can't seem to find a way to do that in the SQL Server Management Studio Express tool.
One decision that I've actually made is that this blog needs more pictures! It was sunny today in Birmingham, so here's a picture of people enjoying the sunshine in the cathedral grounds: