FastCGI will ship in the upcoming Windows Server 2008 as a built-in IIS component for the first time.
Microsoft has made the third beta release of FastCGI for Internet Information Services available under its free Go Live license, which means that customers can now deploy the production-quality release on Windows Server 2003.
FastCGI essentially allows IIS to reuse CGI (Common Gateway Interface) processes for multiple requests to PHP applications, helping improve the performance of PHP on Windows while maintaining reliability.
Microsofts Go Live license means the company will support customers who use this technology to build and deploy projects for production.
FastCGI, available as a free download from the IIS community site,
will allow IT professionals to host PHP applications on Windows Server 2003 and IIS 6 with increased scalability and security, said a spokesperson for Microsoft, based in Redmond, Wash.
FastCGI is a protocol for interfacing interactive programs
with a Web server, and is a variation on the earlier Common Gateway Interface. Its main aim is to reduce the overhead associated with interfacing the Web server and CGI programs, allowing a server to handle more Web page requests at the same time.
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The Go Live license gives hosting providers a new component for Microsofts Web server platform that enables popular application frameworks like PHP to be hosted in a high-performance and reliable manner.
FastCGI will ship in the upcoming Windows Server 2008 as a built-in IIS component for the first time, sparing customers the hassle of downloading, installing and patching third-party products, the spokesperson said.
The current betas of Windows Server 2008
include the FastCGI extension as a completely integrated feature of IIS 7. The new modular architecture introduced in IIS 7.0 will provide additional functionality for PHP applications by enabling them to take advantage of new managed code services.
The previous beta releases have had over 14,000 downloads and a growing number of hosting providers enrolled in the program have already deployed a PHP offer on Windows Server 2008, including CrystalTech, DiscountASP, HostBasket, Hostway, LocaWeb, and WebHost, the spokesperson said.
This latest development is a result of the long-term collaboration agreement between Microsoft and Zend announced last October, aimed at increasing the reliability and performance of PHP applications on Windows.
Click here to read more about Microsoft and Zends collaboration on PHP for Windows.
That agreement initially focused on improving the reliability and performance of PHP on Windows Server and, as part of that process, Microsoft said it was developing a FastCGI for IIS so that PHP would perform better on Windows Server.
For its part, Zend Technologies, creator of the open-source PHP Web development platform, welcomed the news, saying it was another commitment that Microsoft had delivered on.
"Significant progress has been made on all of the announced projects, and many of the improvements have been accepted by the PHP open-source project," a Zend spokesperson said, in Cupertino, Calif.
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