Developing software in the Real World

WinPHP wrap-up thoughts

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.

The WinPHP challenge come come to an end and I’m fairly happy with how SuccesSQL has come. I wish I had realised exactly how little time I had in May though. Somehow I managed to forget that we had three family birthdays, a Christening and a weekend holiday to fit in during the month…

I already knew that PHP worked great on Windows and SuccesSQL again proves that PHP is truly cross-platform. The areas that I wanted to explore and learn a little about were running PHP on IIS and using the SqlSrv database connector.

I learnt a lot about setting up PHP in Windows. It’s amazing how much easier it was the second time when I installed it on the Leaseweb server. The Web Platform Installer is very good as long as you remember to stop the IIS service before running it! It’s also very odd that the installer doesn’t install PEAR or PDO_ODBC. I’m very glad that it uses the exact same installer as available at windows.php.net, as it makes correcting these oversights trivial.

Fortunately, Juozas Kaziukenas also wanted to connect to SQL Server, so we collaborated on a Zend Framework Database adapter for SqlSrv on codepex at http://zfmssql.codeplex.com/. Please download and exercise that too as all bug reports (and patches) will be gratefully received!

Like Juokaz, I also really enjoyed the community aspect of this competition too. Twitter was alive with #winphp tweets and it felt as co-operative rather than competitive as we helped each other overcome obstacles.

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