[lug] Web development costs for NT/IIS vs Linux/Apache

John Karns jkarns at csd.net
Thu Mar 15 21:26:42 MST 2001

Hello all,

I'm currently in an advisory situation where the client is negotiating
the development of a web based learning program.  Unfortunately the MS
platforms are very dominant in this country (Colombia), and Unix / Linux
skills are rare indeed.  Even the ISP's here are NT based, and it shows
with eradic service and low BW.

The idea is to use Apache + PHP or perhaps AOL Server + Ars-Digita on
Linux with an SQL back-end to dynamically generate much of the text.  
Flash animation is also planned.

I would be most appreciative in receiving input re cost comparison in
terms of development time for the two platforms.  Although the project is
slated to be done on Linux of course, the development peoples' experience
is on the MS side.  Assuming a developer had equal facility with Apache +
Linux + Postgres as with NT + IIS + SQL Server, in general terms how would
the development time compare?

Secondly, since Apache, PHP, and Postgres are also available for the MS
platform, I am curious as to how practical it might be to do development
on the MS side for implementation on Linux.  This way it would eliminate
the need for the developers to learn Linux admin and system manipulation
which might expedite the project a bit.

IOW, what kind of compatibility issues might be encountered in the
characteristics of the three applications on the different platforms?  
For example if Apache is implemented with forking processes on Linux but
thread based on NT, there might be noticable performance differences which
would affect design considerations.

John Karns                                              jkarns at csd.net

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