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PHP Developers Get SQL Server, SQL Azure Insights

Microsoft isn't letting up on its full-court press to woo PHP developers into the SQL Server world.

The company earlier this month hosted 17 PHP developers at a SQL Server JumpIn! Camp, where they learned how to incorporate SQL Server support into their apps with the help of Microsoft experts, according to a post yesterday in the Microsoft SQL Server Driver for PHP Team Blog.

Program manager Ashay Chaudhary reported that the 17 developers represented 10 PHP projects from several countries. They were treated to dinners, entertainment and more at the five-day camp, where the goal was to "listen to and learn from the PHP community and educate them about our technologies, SQL Server, SQL Azure, Windows Azure & IIS, and help them understand how they can leverage them best in the applications."

The 10 projects included content management systems, a profiling utility, an e-commerce solution, a Web application framework and more. Chaudhary said eight of the projects completed enough coding to demo their apps with SQL Server, while four actually managed to publish builds during the camp. Four projects reported improved their performance on IIS using the WinCache extension, four tested successfully on SQL Azure and three used the new PDO driver for SQL Server support.

"By adding support for SQL Server, these projects stand to gain from the broad customer base that already has SQL Server in their organizations," Chaudhary said.

"We now have a much clearer understanding about what we need to do to better support PHP applications on Windows/IIS/SQL Server and the Azure platform," he said. "The PHP participants now have a better understanding of how SQL Server works and how PHP applications can best utilize its capabilities, and understand how we are trying to add value to their applications."

Last April, Microsoft held a similar camp in Zurich, Switzerland. Chaudhary said he will write more about the November camp as he has time to reflect on the event, but he didn't indicate that any future camps were scheduled.

"For now," he said, "you can look forward to Windows, IIS, and SQL Server support in several great PHP applications with many more to come over the next few months."

One of those apps will be ImpressCMS, a content management system. Marc-Andre, CEO and founder of ImpressCMS, blogged that his goal at the camp was to "implement PDO and MSSQL support" into his product and reported it was a success. "We are still missing a few things in the installer to make our CMS install properly on MSSQL, but we will get there!" he said.

What do you think about Microsoft's overtures to the open source community? Comment here or drop me a line and share your thoughts.

Posted by David Ramel on 11/30/2010

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