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Microsoft Nods To PHP Community (Yet Again) With SQL Server Driver

Microsoft continued to cater to the PHP community last week, announcing a Community Technology Preview of SQL Server Driver for PHP 2.0.

For the first time, PHP developers can use PHP Data Objects (PDO) with the SQL Server driver.

"For PHP developers, this will reduce the complexity of targeting multiple databases and will make it easier to take advantage of SQL Server features (like business intelligence & reporting) as well as SQL Azure features (like exposing OData feeds)," said Microsoft's Ashay Chaudhary, program manager for the driver project.

The move was especially welcomed by developers working with Drupal, the popular open-source content management system that's written in PHP and powers Web sites around the world, including whitehouse.gov.

"This driver allows you to install and run Drupal 7 using an SQL Server database, and it makes it possible to deploy Drupal on a full Microsoft stack (Windows Server, IIS, and SQL Server)," said a spokesman for Commerce Guys, an e-commerce company that works extensively with Drupal and worked on the driver project with Microsoft. In conjunction with Microsoft's announcement, the company presented a beta version of Drupal 7 running on SQL Server at the DrupalCon conference in San Francisco.

Chaudhary said the driver's support for PDO was developed as "a direct result of the feedback we received from the PHP community." Much of that feedback came in a survey Microsoft conducted last October. The new driver is the latest in a series of moves Microsoft has made to accommodate that PHP community.

The strategy seems to be working. "This is a great achievement, PDO support was much requested for the longest time by many in the PHP community, particularly Drupal folks," said one comment on the blog post that announced the new driver.

Another said, "WISP (Windows, IIS, SQL Server, and PHP) application development has been an interest of mine lately, and this definitely looks promising."

The driver CTP is available for download, with the final version expected later this year.

Posted by David Ramel on 04/28/2010 at 1:15 PM


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