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what are the limitations of dot net?

Hiya.

My CEO wants me to think about the direction the company's product
should take. He has a bunch of guys offshore that develop with .NET,
and he is keen to use them to build our product completely in a WAPI
environment, completely web based.

Presently we are using citrix to serve our clients a product that is
developed in house using proprietry language, with a backend that is
running on Linux using C-Isam (soon to be PostGreSQL) databases.

I agree with many things, moving to a web based application would
mean less overhead on many different levels.

I fear that locking ourselves into a .NET developed web site might
mean locking ourselves into a Microsoft only choice for teh web
servers, and this early into the decision I am unconfortable making
that decision.

Further, I fear it might mean that we'd need to rebuild the entire
back end. Also not a bad idea at this stage, but again, I am not
sure that I am confortable committing our company to this massive
shift in paradigm (and skillset) as well as the inherent security
factors that go along wtih MS products (they are by far the most
targetted for the serious malicious internet users).

Can a .NET dev house develop stuff for Apache? Can they develop stuff
for Linux? Can they develop stuff for databases that are not MS SQL?

Are there other development environments I should look to if I want to
go with a generic any-platform friendly product development?

Any sort of (or pointers to) info, opinions, gospel, rumour, all of
it would be greatly apprectiated!

regards,

googleboy
Jul 21 '05 #1
5 2941
..Net can access many databases via ado.net including oracle/mysql/progres
etc - do a seach on sourceforge or on google for the components. plenty
there though some of th more complete are comercial not free. alternatively
there are wrappers fro odbc etc which can be used to access just about any
database.

there is a pretty well advanced open sourceproject fo r.net on linux which I
have heard is pretty decent. relly not sure on the apache part thoug - again
a search or a message to the apache group shoudl clear that up quickly
enough.

phil crosland

"google account" <my******@yahoo .com> wrote in message
news:e8******** *************** **@posting.goog le.com...
Hiya.

My CEO wants me to think about the direction the company's product
should take. He has a bunch of guys offshore that develop with .NET,
and he is keen to use them to build our product completely in a WAPI
environment, completely web based.

Presently we are using citrix to serve our clients a product that is
developed in house using proprietry language, with a backend that is
running on Linux using C-Isam (soon to be PostGreSQL) databases.

I agree with many things, moving to a web based application would
mean less overhead on many different levels.

I fear that locking ourselves into a .NET developed web site might
mean locking ourselves into a Microsoft only choice for teh web
servers, and this early into the decision I am unconfortable making
that decision.

Further, I fear it might mean that we'd need to rebuild the entire
back end. Also not a bad idea at this stage, but again, I am not
sure that I am confortable committing our company to this massive
shift in paradigm (and skillset) as well as the inherent security
factors that go along wtih MS products (they are by far the most
targetted for the serious malicious internet users).

Can a .NET dev house develop stuff for Apache? Can they develop stuff
for Linux? Can they develop stuff for databases that are not MS SQL?

Are there other development environments I should look to if I want to
go with a generic any-platform friendly product development?

Any sort of (or pointers to) info, opinions, gospel, rumour, all of
it would be greatly apprectiated!

regards,

googleboy

Jul 21 '05 #2

"google account" <my******@yahoo .com> wrote in message
news:e8******** *************** **@posting.goog le.com...
I fear that locking ourselves into a .NET developed web site might
mean locking ourselves into a Microsoft only choice for teh web
servers, and this early into the decision I am unconfortable making
that decision.
As opposed to locking yourself into what else?
as well as the inherent security
factors that go along wtih MS products (they are by far the most
targetted for the serious malicious internet users).
Any Windows box can be secured. You just have to know how. It's no different
from Linux or any other OS.
Can a .NET dev house develop stuff for Apache? Can they develop stuff
for Linux? Can they develop stuff for databases that are not MS SQL?
"dev house"? You mean developers? Well I guess it depends on their skills.
Certainly I wouldn't trust a bunch of Perl developers with my flagship .NET
product. Or viceversa.
Are there other development environments I should look to if I want to
go with a generic any-platform friendly product development?


Do you need platform independence for the application, or for the users?

--
_______________ _____
Klaus H. Probst, MVP
http://www.vbbox.com/
Jul 21 '05 #3
"Klaus H. Probst" <us*******@vbbo x.com> wrote in message news:<eQ******* *******@tk2msft ngp13.phx.gbl>. ..
"google account" <my******@yahoo .com> wrote in message
news:e8******** *************** **@posting.goog le.com...
I am unconfortable making
that decision.


As opposed to locking yourself into what else?


The hope is to not lock myself into anything at this stage. ;-)
Ideally the dev house would develop a wapi front end that could
operate on apache or IIS.

I don't mind loading a perl or python engine onto a Win2k3 server,
and also don't mind loading an ASP engine onto a linux server. I
just want to leave the platform decision as late as possible in the
development cycle of the new front end.
as well as the inherent security
factors that go along wtih MS products (they are by far the most
targetted for the serious malicious internet users).


Any Windows box can be secured. You just have to know how. It's no different
from Linux or any other OS.


Well, yes. There does seem to be more overhead in securing the
windows platform, but that is not a significant factor here right
now.
Can a .NET dev house develop stuff for Apache? Can they develop stuff
for Linux? Can they develop stuff for databases that are not MS SQL?


"dev house"? You mean developers? Well I guess it depends on their skills.
Certainly I wouldn't trust a bunch of Perl developers with my flagship .NET
product. Or viceversa.


An excellent point and well made. I guess it sorta answers one of my
questions in a roundabout fashion. What languages is .NET designed
for? I assume VB and C++ (or maybe C Sharp now?)
Are there other development environments I should look to if I want to
go with a generic any-platform friendly product development?


Do you need platform independence for the application, or for the users?


The users will all be (I assume) running browsers. At this stage I
am comfortalble stating that we support only IE. It is the server
side I am concerned with here.

We run a whole bunch of databases that are presently accessed and
edited through an inhouse developed and supported application. The
backend database/product server is presently running on RedHat linux.
The front end application is deployed through nfuse and citrix. We're
looking at shifting the citrix delivered application to a wapi
solution. We're talking seriously about re-writing the engine and
database stuff running on linux at the same time. I am wondering
about the use of a .NET development team to facilitate this change
over and fearing it would limit my ability to choose what OS to run my
services on.

Cost is a major factor, both initial outlay and ongoing agreements.
Complexity of deployment is also a consideration. We'd need to run
these boxes in a web farm, I need to investigate the stability of IIS
vs Apache. But that is a different post for a different area.

I would like to know that cutting across from one platform to another
could be accomplished relatively easily. I guess these are questions
I should put to the the devolpment group.

thanks for your help

googleboy
Jul 21 '05 #4

"google account" <my******@yahoo .com> wrote in message
news:e8******** *************** ***@posting.goo gle.com...
"Klaus H. Probst" <us*******@vbbo x.com> wrote in message news:<eQ******* *******@tk2msft ngp13.phx.gbl>. ..
"google account" <my******@yahoo .com> wrote in message
news:e8******** *************** **@posting.goog le.com...
I am unconfortable making
that decision.


As opposed to locking yourself into what else?


The hope is to not lock myself into anything at this stage. ;-)
Ideally the dev house would develop a wapi front end that could
operate on apache or IIS.

I don't mind loading a perl or python engine onto a Win2k3 server,
and also don't mind loading an ASP engine onto a linux server. I
just want to leave the platform decision as late as possible in the
development cycle of the new front end.


Well, fair enough but at some point the rubber needs to meet the road.
BTW, Python CGI works much better on Windows/IIS than Perl ISAPI, at least
in my experience (if you end up going there).
Can a .NET dev house develop stuff for Apache? Can they develop stuff
for Linux? Can they develop stuff for databases that are not MS SQL?


"dev house"? You mean developers? Well I guess it depends on their skills. Certainly I wouldn't trust a bunch of Perl developers with my flagship ..NET product. Or viceversa.


An excellent point and well made. I guess it sorta answers one of my
questions in a roundabout fashion. What languages is .NET designed
for? I assume VB and C++ (or maybe C Sharp now?)


It's the other way around =) There are three main languages designed for the
..NET platform right now - VB.NET, C# and VJ#. JScript.NET as well, though as
far as I see it that's a bit of a lukewarm push by Microsoft. C++ can also
*target* .NET using compiler extensions.

Other companies might release .NET-hosted languages as time goes by. Eiffel
is one of them. ActiveState is supposedly porting Perl, Python and TCL to it
as well.
We run a whole bunch of databases that are presently accessed and
edited through an inhouse developed and supported application. The
backend database/product server is presently running on RedHat linux.
The front end application is deployed through nfuse and citrix. We're
looking at shifting the citrix delivered application to a wapi
solution. We're talking seriously about re-writing the engine and
database stuff running on linux at the same time. I am wondering
about the use of a .NET development team to facilitate this change
over and fearing it would limit my ability to choose what OS to run my
services on.
Maybe it's a bit of a stretch but there's a decent .NET implementation that
runs on Linux and BSD: Mono (go-mono.com). As long as you don't need
anything Microsoft-specific, it works fine. And since Novell just purchased
Ximian, there's a certain sense of real backing behind the thing that didn't
exist a few months ago. I personally haven't written anything serious in
Mono, but I can tell you it works. It might be a good thing to look into.
Cost is a major factor, both initial outlay and ongoing agreements.
Complexity of deployment is also a consideration. We'd need to run
these boxes in a web farm, I need to investigate the stability of IIS
vs Apache. But that is a different post for a different area.
Right. Let's not get al religious here =)
I would like to know that cutting across from one platform to another
could be accomplished relatively easily. I guess these are questions
I should put to the the devolpment group.


Well, like I said there's Mono. It would let you use .NET on both sides of
the fence. Maybe. Java is another, as well as Python and Perl, but as
everything open source that eventually makes it way to Windows I really
wouldn't trust them with my paycheck. Their Windows releases just don't get
the same amount of attention (and patching!) that the native *nix ones do.

YMMV and all that =)

--
_______________ _____
Klaus H. Probst, MVP
http://www.vbbox.com/


Jul 21 '05 #5
..NET is a part of Windows. To run a .NET-based web UI (webpages) or Web
service, practically speaking, you need Windows and IIS.
There are third parties that provide ASP.NET runtimes for non-IIS servers.
For example, there is a company called Covalent that provides an ASP.NET
runtime for an Apache 2.0 webserver. As far as I know, it still requires
Windows as the platform. I haven't evaluated it.

There are also third parties that (I think) are attempting to provide .NET
on non-Windows platforms. These often build on implementations of C# and
the CLI, which are both ISO and ECMA standards. Such implementations show
that the standards really work. Ximian, now owned by Novell, implemented a
C# compiler and a CLI, I believe, under the code name "Mono". Mono
includes more than just C# and CLI, though. We (Microsoft) haven't licensed
anything to Ximian or Novell, and we do not warranty Mono in any way.
(portability, completeness, etc). So I'll exclude the ".NET on
non-Windows" possibilies for the remainder of the discussion.

While the ASPX./ASMX logic needs to run on Windows, the front end webservers
do not need to run Windows. We have lots of customers who run front-end
webservers on Windows, but we also have customers who run Apache front ends
on non-Windows. In this case, they proxy asmx/aspx requests from the front
end to the Windows box. This is the typical way a company with a complex
existing web site based on Apache adds .NET into the mix: just change a few
settings in the httpd.conf file, add a Windows box, and they can serve
ASPX/ASMX content with minimal disruption.

..NET apps can connect to virtually anything on the backend. Any database
you can name, probably. This includes open source dbs like PostGreSQL, and
mySQL; commercial RDBMS's like Oracle, DB2, Informix, Sybase, in addition
to MS SQL Server; or non-server based databases like MS Access, or plain
xml or text files. Other than databases, .NET apps can connect to MQSeries,
CICS, Tuxedo, Lotus Notes, TIBCO, SAP, PeopleSoft, and so on.

You mentioned cost as a factor. Our aim is not to provide the platform with
the lowest acquisition cost. Or even the lowest licensing cost. We're
trying to provide the platform with the best lifecycle value. One part of
this is cost (including licensing). But we find that the overwhelming cost
factor in developing a custom solution is the labor cost associated to
development and ongoing maintenance. You can acquire something really cheap
today, but if you have to incur high ongoing development and maintenance
costs, then maybe it is not so cheap? [If I buy a 1974 For Torino for
$200, it's much cheaper than a 2003 Saturn LS200, for example. But if I
have to pay a mechanic to fix the Torino weekly, and if I spend 20x in fuel
costs, then the savings disappears quickly...] We're trying to shrink the
cost of development and deployment of custom solutions. We figure people
will be willing to make this kind of tradeoff - we hope they won't mind
paying for Windows because it saves them time and effort in the development
and deployment phases.

To get concrete, estimated retail prices for general purpose Windows Server
2003 editions are in the range of $999 for Standard Edition to $3999 for
Enterprise Edition, per server. This OS includes the .NET framework, IIS,
and the ability to run ASPX and ASMX, among many other features. There is
also an external connector license, at $1999 per server, that applies if you
want to serve content to the internet. Especially for web apps, there is
"Windows Server 2003 Web Edition", available for (estimated) $399. Again
this is per server, and it includes .NET. Your price for any of these will
vary depending on the retailer you buy from. For any of these, there is no
required ongoing maintenance charge. Once you buy it, that's it.
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserv...g/pricing.mspx

But most people do not buy WS2003 at retail. Instead they get the software
pre-installed on their server machines, or through volume licensing
agreements. In either case, significant discounts typically apply. In
particular, the OEMs like Dell, HP, and others, offer pretty cheap packages
with Windows Server 2003 Web Edition. For example, Dell has a PowerEdge
blade with WS2003 Web Edition for $1848, including 2.4Ghz Xeon, 512mb RAM,
36G SCSI HD, dual NICs, etc. Dell also has a sub-$1000 server with SBS
2003 on it (which includes WS2003) . If you are developing your own
solution, these acquisition costs will be small in comparison to the labor
you expend designing the UI or the data access mechanism, for example. What
is the fully extended cost of a single web developer, per day?
-Dino

--
Dino Chiesa
Microsoft Developer Division
d i n o c h @ o n l i n e . m i c r o s o f t . c o m

Disclaimer: I don't speak for Covalent or Dell or Ximian or Novell. Dell
prices were quoted from the internet; contact Dell for actual pricing
details. Other prices are estimates.
"google account" <my******@yahoo .com> wrote in message
news:e8******** *************** **@posting.goog le.com...
Hiya.

My CEO wants me to think about the direction the company's product
should take. He has a bunch of guys offshore that develop with .NET,
and he is keen to use them to build our product completely in a WAPI
environment, completely web based.

Presently we are using citrix to serve our clients a product that is
developed in house using proprietry language, with a backend that is
running on Linux using C-Isam (soon to be PostGreSQL) databases.

I agree with many things, moving to a web based application would
mean less overhead on many different levels.

I fear that locking ourselves into a .NET developed web site might
mean locking ourselves into a Microsoft only choice for teh web
servers, and this early into the decision I am unconfortable making
that decision.

Further, I fear it might mean that we'd need to rebuild the entire
back end. Also not a bad idea at this stage, but again, I am not
sure that I am confortable committing our company to this massive
shift in paradigm (and skillset) as well as the inherent security
factors that go along wtih MS products (they are by far the most
targetted for the serious malicious internet users).

Can a .NET dev house develop stuff for Apache? Can they develop stuff
for Linux? Can they develop stuff for databases that are not MS SQL?

Are there other development environments I should look to if I want to
go with a generic any-platform friendly product development?

Any sort of (or pointers to) info, opinions, gospel, rumour, all of
it would be greatly apprectiated!

regards,

googleboy

Jul 21 '05 #6

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