Web Development – Choosing Platform ‘linux or Windows’

linux21 Web Development – Choosing Platform ‘linux or Windows’
Maneet Puri asked:

If you will talk about developing a website with anyone, apart from gathering information about the type of website you need, an important (mandatory) question will come – “do you have any preference for the technology to be used for deploying this website?”

Most of the time answer is a question back “What do you suggest?”, reason being clients are not tech savvy so they really do not understand this question. And it’s logical too, if I am associated with implementing the technology I can better understand this question and directly say .NET or PHP as the answer, but if I am a cloth merchant looking for a website this question will sound like Greek to me.

Now here the service provider takes the advantage that they suggest the technology in which they expertise, rather it should be decided depending upon the nature of the application to be deployed, scope of the future enhancements and to an extent the budget the client has allotted for the same. While talking about deploying web based applications Linux and Windows are the most popular platforms. Now depending upon the platform of the server on which the site is to be hosted defines the options of the scripting languages and the database servers that can be used for developing the application. If we talk about Linux as the platform the most commonly used scripting languages includes – PHP, CGI, Perl, Python etc. For Windows platform the scripting languages used are ASP, ASP.NET, C#, Cold Fusion etc. For the database servers Linux offers support for MySQL, PostgreSQL, Sybase etc and MS SQL Server, MS Access, Oracle are the database servers of choice for Windows platform. Its not mandatory that these are the categorizations for the scripting languages and database servers for the said platforms, the scripting languages for Linux also come for as Windows binary and visa versa.

Though there are certain differences among these two as listed below, but both of them are platforms of choice for deploying functionality rich web based applications: -

- Linux is an open source freeware whereas Windows is a Microsoft brand.

- Additional components for Linux are generally free whereas the components for Windows need to be purchased.

- Linux is considered to be more virus proof then Windows

- Web space for Linux being freeware is less costly then Windows

- The cost of Linux web space includes the cost for database server whereas for windows if MS SQL server is opted it costs additional.

For the purposes of listing factors to choose which platform, we can say: -

- The budget the client has for hosting.

- If the specific requirement requires a specific component then identifying weather it is available with Windows or Linux

- If the size of database is going to be huge MS SQL sever is preferred because of the additional features it offers for the data management.

- Both Linux and Windows are equally reliable and robust, but yes on Windows special software are required for providing safety from hackers and non-authentic access.

- Is the client specific about brand then Windows is the only choice.

Thus to conclude, both these platform are platforms of choice for deploying feature rich websites and offer flexibilities of deploying interactive and data rich websites.

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