What do I mean by that? WIMP (Windows, IIS, MySQL, PHP) is where I have decided to direct my own web-facing applications, from a technical infrastructure perspective.

My initial web-based activities (from way back in 1997) were all deployed across Windows 95 using the then new Personal Web Server that came with Frontpage. Over the years, I have found that remaining on the Windows platform and using Microsoft web-server products has lead to less dislocation from a deployment perspective.

However, a prudent IT planner can not ingnore that most of the innovations occurring in the web services space has been around the LAMP (or sub-component thereof) space. Thus, my Windows 2000 IIS with mixed MS-Access and HTML backends, soon found itself supplanted by a number of PHP-based, multi-database compatible solutions for blogging (WordPress), e-commerce (OsCommerce), forum management (PHPBB) and custom applications (PHPGedView). This has been a mostly positive experience; I have certainly gained from the easier maintenance, and greater customisation and flexibility of Open Source-based web solutions. I can say, however, that the mixed PHP/MySQL vs. Windows/IIS environment seems to come with a number of special issues that increases the complexity of using these solutions. These seem primarily to do with the non-standard way in which IIS provides its web services, as well as the limited command POSIX/capabilities provided by Windows.

I expect to eventually move my OS and web/app server layer from Windows/IIS to a pure Linux/Apache environment. The dislocation should be minimal, since the database and application layer has already been abstracted into PHP/MySql for all of my running web service applications. Onward to free (as in beer and from encumbrances) LAMP web-delivery platform!