Technology choices

Categories ASP.NET, News, PHP

Technology choices we make can make or break your web application. Here are a few things I'd like to share based on my experience as a web developer.

1. Programming language

Not all programming languages created equal. This is especially true when we talk about ASP aka "Classic ASP". Microsoft stopped developing ASP back in 1999. Once a modern and extensible web programming language it is now a dinosaur trying to compete with spaceships. Every new release of IIS makes configuring ASP more difficult. It is now turned off by default, detailed error messages turned off, 32-bit apps are disabled by default etc. I won’t be surprised if Microsoft stops shipping ASP with IIS at some point. Not to mention that ASP apps run much slower than similar apps built with ASP.NET or PHP.

While this sounds pretty straightforward we live in world that is far from perfect. You may find yourself stuck supporting legacy ASP applications or your IT department won’t allow to run anything but classic ASP on company servers. This does happen more often than one might think. What you can do though is to educate people around you that better alternatives are available. This is what we all have to do as web developers - to promote better, newer technologies.

If you use ASPRunnerPro at least consider using PHPRunner or ASPRunner.NET when you start a brand new project. If you need to switch from ASPRunnerPro to PHPRunner or ASPRunner.NET feel free to contact support directly and we'll arrange a good deal for you.

This is what our customers say who made that switch:

I have been using ASPRunnerPro for many years now and with each version our programs have gotten slower and slower. Recently I downloaded the trial of ASPRunner.net and the speed increase is incredible. I had tried everything to get our ASPrunnerPro built sites to speed up including the recommendations to IIS. I would say our sites using ASP.NET are 90% faster than they were with just ASP. Glad I tried it.

Wayne Bihler
Web develope
r

2. Web browser

It’s safe to say that Internet Explorer is a single web browser that causes most headaches among web developers. Even though recent versions of IE come with decent support of web standards the decisions Microsoft makes never fail to surprise you. For instance, in Internet Explorer 11 ‘Compatibility mode for intranet websites’ is turned on by default making any app that uses icon fonts look bad while running on your intranet.

Again, switching the whole company from Internet Explorer to Chrome or Firefox is a difficult step that not everyone is ready. What we all can do is to promote the use or alternative web browsers so IE is not the only choice your company users have.

3. Database

We are going to talk about Microsoft Access here. Microsoft again, huh? Not their fault though. They made a great piece of software that is so convenient and easy to use that people would use it for anything. And this is where issue arises: while MS Access is a fine choice for desktop databases or quick prototypes using it as a datasource for any sort or serious web development is not recommended.

Here are some cons:
Microsoft Access is a file-based database. Something happens when file is open you may lose all your data.
Making backups/uploading new database to the website - you always need to download or upload the whole database.

Since this is a file it may be locked by the web server won’t letting you upload a new copy of the database. You will have to stop your website, upload database, start website again. A little bit of extra pain in the neck.

We have seen some large web hosting companies dropping Microsoft Access support recently. While our web hosting still supports Microsoft Access as a database choice everyone’s life would be easier.

What are alternatives? The obvious choices are MySQL and SQL Server. PostgreSQL was picking a lot of traction recently and is a viable choice.

Frequently asked questions on switch from ASPRunnerPro to another product

Q: If I switch from ASPRunnerPro to ASPRunner.NET will I have to start everything from scratch?

A: Many project settings can be imported from ASPRunnerPro into ASPRunner.NET except any sort of custom code. Normally you create a copy of ASPRunnerPro project folder, rename .aspr file to .netr, open it in ASPRunner.NET, choose another output folder, build and see what happens. You can try it with the trial version.

Q: How different is the development experience with .net? Is there a learning curve?

A: ASPRunnerPro and ASPRunner.NET are virtually identical and there is no learning curve. However they use different programming languages. If you need to write some code in events you will need to learn some C# or VB.NET. While both languages are similar to Classic ASP it will take some time

Q: What will I have to do to change the existing site to .net?

A: you will have to rebuild your project in ASPRunner.NET or in PHPRunner. Database will stay intact, .asp files will no longer be required and will be replaces with either .php (PHPRunner) or .cs (ASPRunner.NET) files.

Q: What prerequisites would I need on my desktop different than ASPRunnerPro?

A: ASPRunner.NET requires .NET framework 4.5 which is already the part of all modern Windows systems. If you run Windows 7 or better you are all set.

Q: What will need to be different with my web hosting?

A: if your website supports ASP it supports ASP.NET as well. Most likely no changes will be required at all. The same applies to switching to PHPRunner, all web hosts support PHP.

Q: I'd like to switch from MS Access to MySQL. What do I need to do?

A: Step 1: download and install MySQL. Here is the link to download page. Keep all defaults while installing, choose root password you can easily remember.

Step 2. Convert your MS Access database to MySQL. We recommend MS Access to MySQL software by Bullzip. Point it to your MS Access database, choose options and get a SQL script as an output that you can execute again your MySQL database. This is it.

5 thoughts on “Technology choices

  1. “If you use ASPRunnerPro at least consider using PHPRunner or ASPRunner.NET when you start a brand new project. If you need to switch from ASPRunnerPro to PHPRunner or ASPRunner.NET feel free to contact me directly and I’ll arrange a good deal for you. ”

    there appearsto be no way to contact “Admin” directly so what’s thre deal?

  2. I currently have ASPRunnerPro and have a few questions that I’m sure others will ask.

    How different is the development experience with .net?
    Is there a learning curve?
    What will I have to do to change the existing site to .net?
    What prerequisites would I need on my desktop different than ASPRunnerPro?
    What will need to be different with my web hosting?

    Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *