Microsoft is to make it easier for companies to run the PHP open source scripting language on its server platforms.
Microsoft has signed a deal with PHP distributor Zend Technologies to allow users to more easily operate PHP on both Windows Server 2003, and Longhorn, the next version of Windows Server.
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Microsoft said the resulting technology enhancements and ongoing interaction with the PHP community would “provide customers with richer functionality and better integration, resulting in improved performance and increased reliability”.
Technical improvements for PHP deployed on the Windows Server platform will be submitted under the PHP licence to the PHP community for feedback and contribution.
Microsoft plans to develop and release an Internet Information Services (IIS) add-on, FastCGI, which will serve as the interface between PHP and the IIS web server.
Microsoft said this FastCGI component would be made freely available from Microsoft for users of Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista and Windows Server Longhorn.
Zend will also establish a Windows testing lab and conduct regular tests and performance improvements to maintain high performance of PHP on the Windows Server platform as PHP evolves.
Bill Hilf, Microsoft general manager of technical platform strategy, said, “Interoperability continues to be an important requirement for our customers, particularly when it comes to open source applications that run on Windows.
“This announcement continues our commitment to making it easier for partners and developers to take advantage of increased reliability of the Microsoft Windows Server platform, regardless of the development model they employ.”
Zend and Microsoft will contribute the PHP improvements to the PHP community under the PHP license, starting in the first quarter of 2007.