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Microsoft Releases IIS FastCGI Module 269

Marcy writes "Microsoft has just announced the final release of the IIS FastCGI module for IIS 5.1 (XP), 6 (2003), and 7 (2008). This FastCGI module was built with collaboration from Zend, the creators of PHP, and is intended to solve the CGI on Windows problem." It's free as in beer.
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Microsoft Releases IIS FastCGI Module

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  • Why bother? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by FictionPimp ( 712802 )
    What's wrong with apache?
    • by dave420 ( 699308 )
      It's slower, for one. And I say that as a die-hard Apache user.
    • by Niten ( 201835 )

      For one thing, Apache's FastCGI module is notoriously flaky and poorly documented. In the past, Apache users typically employed mod_php, mod_python, etc., and as a result mod_fastcgi has historically received second-class treatment by developers. There's a reason so many people are turning to lighttpd for their FastCGI applications even though Apache 2 offers its own multithreaded MPM, and performance is only part of the equation...

      • by nuzak ( 959558 )
        mod_fcgid > mod_fastcgi. However, mod_fcgid doesn't compile on older apache versions (I'm looking at you, Redhat EL). And of course, lighttpd's fastcgi just works without fussing.

        I think it was Open Market Inc's licensing that kept it out of Apache mainstream. Even though the company doesn't even exist any longer, the code still has the license problems. mod_fcgid is supposedly a reimplementation, but might have been based off the old code, and the developers haven't wanted to bother with putting it
  • by Bogtha ( 906264 ) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @08:03AM (#20924779)

    One thing I've been keeping an eye on is WPHP []. It's only alpha-quality at the moment, but it's basically a WSGI application (WSGI is the standard Python web application interface) with a FastCGI backend that runs PHP. With something like this, you can mix and match PHP and Python — for example, you could write an authentication handler in Python and link it to a legacy PHP application.

  • Zend + MS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thatskinnyguy ( 1129515 ) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @08:04AM (#20924793)

    This FastCGI module was built with collaboration from Zend, the creators of PHP, and is intended to solve the CGI on Windows problem.
    Glad to see that we all can get along.
    • That's because real standards pose no barrier of interoperability. Compare this with, say, having to implement support for NTFS.

      Besides, IMHO the CGI on windows problem is: windows :)
  • free as in beer? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Locutus ( 9039 ) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @08:06AM (#20924807)
    so you're paying out the nose, ears, ass for Windows and MS IIS and you care about free fastCGI?

    And IMO, it may be free as in beer but it's poisoned beer by virtue of where it plays.

    • by EricWright ( 16803 ) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @08:21AM (#20924895) Journal
      The "free as in beer" thing really annoys me. I've NEVER seen free beer, anywhere! I propose we all stop using this ridiculous phrase and start using "free as in air" instead.

      Now, if there IS free beer being offered somewhere, just point me in the right direction.
    • Re:free as in beer? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Thyamine ( 531612 ) <thyamine@ofdragons.ELIOTcom minus poet> on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @08:49AM (#20925125) Homepage Journal
      That may be true in some respects, but all of my clients have Windows servers to some extent, and most have only Windows servers. To suggest that people would have to pay extra to set this up is a little silly. IIS is a component of Windows, so you get that for 'free' when you purchase whichever flavor of Windows server you choose. And yes, you are paying for the cost of IIS development somewhere in that Windows price, but when someone has the option of just turning on IIS on an underutilized box, or finding/buying a box to install linux and Apache on, the idea of price is a non-issue.

      They already have IIS, and it takes 5 minutes to set it up. The cost of time alone on setting up a new box to run something else almost immediately negates the benefit in most IT manager's eyes when all they are seeing is consulting time to setup, manage, and maintain a linux box they know almost nothing about.
      • >The cost of time alone on setting up a new box to run something else almost immediately negates the benefit in most IT manager's eyes when all they are seeing is consulting time to setup, manage, and maintain a linux box they know almost nothing about.

        In my experience most IT manager's have little to no knowledge of either Windows or Linux. The extent of their knowledge seems to revolve around PPT slides on the cost/benefit of outsourcing. If they spent a little time educating themselves on the basics o
      • FYI, there is an Apache Windows client.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by suv4x4 ( 956391 )
      so you're paying out the nose, ears, ass for Windows and MS IIS and you care about free fastCGI?

      As a PHP developer I care. I can convince someone to install a free official plugin by MS on his host, than convince him to buy something.
      If it was paid, I'm sure, as any pointy haired management guy, he'd decide it's not important and run as CGI.
      Then it's my fault it performs like crap.

      Hence, it's a good thing it's there, and free.


      So, that's about step 1 in the "Make PHP devs become Windows devs".

      Now step 2: d
      • Having programmed in both PHP and .Net, I would have to say that I like programming in .Net much much much more. As for how well the server products run, that's up for debate, but the actual task of developing a product in .Net is much more pain free than doing the same in PHP.
  • by mshmgi ( 710435 ) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @08:27AM (#20924937)
    Since when did Zend "create" PHP?
    • by PHPfanboy ( 841183 ) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @08:52AM (#20925155)
      Hi, I work for Zend (not in Marketing dept.) - this issue comes up every time it's written in the press or other interviews. It's not how we market ourselves, and every time we're quoted as "the creators of PHP" Zeev and Andi get hauled over the coals by the PHP development community. It's not the first time and probably not the last time this has happened. For the record, this is how Zend markets itself:

      Zend is the PHP company.
      Businesses utilizing PHP know Zend as the place to go for PHP expertise and sound technology solutions. Andi Gutmans and Zeev Suraski, two of Zend's founders, are key contributors to PHP and creators of the open source Zend Engine. Because of their internationally recognized authority, the company and its founders continue to play leadership roles in the PHP and open source communities, and are accountable for a central role in the explosive growth of PHP.

      Slighty different, I think you'll agree.
      Happy PHP'ing
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by MrMunkey ( 1039894 )
      True Rasmus did create PHP, but Zeev and Andi rewrote the PHP parser in PHP3 and later created the Zend Engine along side PHP4. I'm not sure if it was a typo or if it was a misconception by the author of the article, but I'd say Zeev and Andi would at least know what they are talking about. []
  • ah, php (Score:5, Funny)

    by Jessta ( 666101 ) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @08:47AM (#20925105) Homepage
    ah php, the unholy merger of c/c++, perl and java.
  • FastCGI vs Proxy (Score:3, Informative)

    by tcopeland ( 32225 ) <tom@thomaslee[ ] ['cop' in gap]> on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @09:06AM (#20925309) Homepage
    Over on Linux, my perception is that FastCGI enjoyed a brief reawakening as it was (for a while) _the_ way to deploy Ruby on Rails apps with Apache. But now that seems to have changed to over to using Apache + mod_proxy_balancer + Mongrel [].

    One nice thing about mod_proxy_balancer is that it's easy to distribute the Mongrels across a couple of machines... and Apache will take them out of the loop if the machine goes down or they become unresponsive or whatever. Works for us [], anyhow....
    • Another somewhat-useful feature of FastCGI is being able to suexec each virtual host so they run as their own user rather than every site running as apache. Not necessarily for everyone, but can be very useful.
    • by Fweeky ( 41046 )
      One day, in the dim and distant future, I hope to see FastCGI supported by mod_proxy[_balancer]. Sadly, the module in Apache trunk [] seems to have pretty much died. *sulk*.

      Actually, scratch that. What I want to see in the dim and distant future is a PHP HTTP SAPI module, so it can run its own webserver and I can proxy or not as needed.
  • by LorenzoV ( 106795 ) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @10:04AM (#20925985)
    Zend gives aid and comfort to the enemy.

    Methinks it's all over but the funeral for FOSS.
    • I don't think this is a valid point at all. FOSS is not just Linux. Due to Zend work with IBM, MySQL and SugarCRM and other apps are running on iSeries machines. Windows is just another OS that people want to run stable PHP apps on. Let's not get too melodramatic.
    • by nuzak ( 959558 )
      Why don't you keep your drooling little Bill-bashing aphorisms on Groklaw where they belong?
  • Congrats, Microsoft, you came in late for about a FULL DECADE and STILL people buy your crap. No matter how unethical is the fact that your "web" thing never did anything other than crash for no reason, spawn windows when anyone hit the webserver, and eat away all resources; people do bow unto you, take your crap and PAY FOR IT.

    I can understand Microsoft very well. What ill never understand is its fanbois.
    • by jez9999 ( 618189 ) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @05:46PM (#20932947) Homepage Journal
      I have been considering this much of late.

      I really want OSS to succeed, really. I love the philosophy, and hate the idea of MS being the 'Rome' of my lifetime (the empire that collapses, but only a long time after I die). However, I can't see it happening. This is because it feels like OSS has a natural tendency to stagnate when most developers think things are 'good enough'.

      Where's a reliable FastCGI module for Apache? Where's a good config file format, and a GUI to edit it, for Apache? Where's a Linux distro with a GUI as intuative as Windows Explorer? Yes, I recently tried Ubuntu and was very disappointed that its GNOME GUI is *still*, in my opinion, leagues behind what MS and Apple have to offer.

      OSS devs develop stuff they care about, to the level that they find acceptable. They generally don't take no shit from nobody, and if you want something done, you can do it yourself. Patch it. I love the theory, but the practice is this: people DON'T HAVE FUCKING TIME to patch it. Businesses often DON'T HAVE THE MONEY. OSS needs to adapt to a philosophy of developing stuff to be better even when they personally don't get much benefit from it, because otherwise businesses WILL just pay MS to get what they want. It sucks, but there you go.

      "Hey, boss, we need to push out group policies over all machines on domains foo and bar. Windows has Group Policy Editor and Active Directory. We can do the same thing with Linux, but it will mean spending 5000 man hours developing, testing, and deploying scripts, because nobody has bothered to come up with a solution yet."

      What would you choose for your business??
  • FastCGI is a good idea that's underutilized, underdocumented, and undermaintained. It's straightforward enough; the web server launches a subprocess, as with CGI, to handle the transaction. But instead of running it only once, the transaction process can be reused to process additional transactions. The web server and transaction process communicate via interprocess communication over local sockets. If the transaction process crashes, the server starts another one. Multiple transactions processes can be

Happiness is twin floppies.