Microsoft's LAMP answer arrives in pieces
Don't mention the Apache trip
Last summer, Microsoft said that February 27, 2008 would be the single biggest day of releases in its 30-year history, promising major updates to its server operating system, developer tools and database.
After some fancy work fine-tuning PHP, MySQL and other open source code to Windows, Microsoft should have been ready to spark the interest of developers Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP (LAMP) and actually tempt them back to the Windows platform. But the company seems intent on both improving the lot of developers working with parts of LAMP and Windows and prying them away from LAMP wherever possible.
As February 27 dawned, and the mighty - from Go Daddy to Verizon - dutifully gathered to deliver well-scripted endorsements, it became clear that the only big dog barking at this launch was the PR. Microsoft hosted a glitzy global launch introduced by NBC grey hair news anchor Tom Brokaw, complete with streaming video using Microsoft's Silverlight to demonstrate the fledgling, cross-browser plug.
Spin over, we got the facts: retail availability of Visual Studio 2008, which has been available to MSDN subscribers since November, and an incomplete version of the successor to Windows Server 2003 R2: Windows Sever 2008, shipping with a beta version of its Hyper-V virtualization software. Hyper-V is expected in the next few months.
The update to Microsoft's popular SQL Server 2005 database - SQL Server 2008 - was present in name only, with availability postponed until at least the third quarter of 2008. This is just the latest delay to afflict Microsoft's database.
Invariably, when scrambling for something to announce, companies will dust off the benchmarks. On this particular occasion, Microsoft targeted server rivals IBM and Red Hat to claim superior performance.
Microsoft claimed that Windows Server 2008 with .NET Framework 3.5, underpinning Visual Studio 2008, delivers faster throughput than IBM's WebSphere running on Red Hat Linux, according to benchmarks from IBM and Sun Microsystems. Microsoft claimed 117 per cent and 94 per cent improved throughput, respectively, running a sample application.
Microsoft's faltering attempt to counter LAMP came, ironically, as it emerged that the company is courting another component in the open source acronym stack. Members of Apache visited the Microsoft campus with a view to improving Tomcat's support for Internet Information Services (IIS). Previously, Microsoft has entertained MySQL and Zend and worked with Novell.®
It's like politics, see....
The battle used to be between conservatives (mainframes), moderates (minicomputers like the HP 3000) and liberals (PCs), who were ridiculed by the first two groups as childish and naive.
Now, just as in politics, IT has turned 90 degrees so that the most visibly important split is between authoritarians (symbolized perfectly by MS and MISS/WISH) and libertarians (open source proponents, e.g., LAMP developers/deployers). In both worlds, "you're either for us or against us" and the One who crowed about being "a uniter, not a divider" until gaining Absolute Power has led to the most poisonous divide in recent history, risking their entire enterprise's future on actions that it can't rationally justify.
@Dave Lawless et al: The point of LAMP is that I can go to any vendor for any part. I can rip out any piece of my stack and replace it. Hitting some wall with Linux? Several BSDs and Open or closed Solaris give me options that simply don't exist in the Microsoft continuum. Have a great new idea for a business that requires a customized server-side database engine? Open source like MySQL lets *me* decide what IS is in my context. Have a skunkworks project that a ragtag team will build but which could scale up to illions of euros of revenue? I'd have to pay at least a few of those illions to Microsoft ust to get my idea off the ground, more illions to the regiments of 'support' people who keep things from falling apart as fast as they wold otherwise, and forego more illions in opportunity cost because my MS-based system is slow, late, defective and fails to deliver value to the customer. (How can it deliver more value than my competition to the customer, since the 'technology' used to build it doesn't deliver as much value to me as the stack my competitor uses delivers to him?)
How many moving parts are there in LAMP? How easy/difficult is it to configure? To scale?
Oracle's answer (ducking the cans and bottles being thrown from those hearing "Oracle") is called XE with APEX.
Oracle eXpress Edition is a free Oracle database. Linux and Windows. mySQL can and never will be able to compare. And XE is very much upgradeable and scalable all the way up to a 100 node Real Application Cluster.
APEX - aka APlication EXpress. Think IDE that runs via web browser. Think point and click. Think wizzards. Think session state and the complex web stuff done for you. And for the savvy developer, there is a nice and juicy API to do most anything you can in PHP or any other server-side web programming environment.
Moving parts? One. XE. Has a built-in httpd servers called EPG (Extended Procedural Gateway). No need for Apache or IIS.
You install. You go clickety click and you start developing your web application. That easy.
And for those heavy duty web apps.. we are running them. Using APEX. On Oracle clusters. Even our Java developers are having too much fun in how easy it is to deploy enterprise web apps using this architecture, than to bother with Java and JBOSS.
<ducking an empty beer barrel>
We need a quote
Brick Tamland: I love... carpet.
Brick Tamland: I love... desk.
Ron Burgundy: Brick, are you just looking at things in the office and saying that you love them?
Brick Tamland: I love LAMP.
Ron Burgundy: Do you really love the LAMP, or are you just saying it because you saw it?
Brick Tamland: I love LAMP. I love LAMP.