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The Pros And Cons Of Using .NET And PHP

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Do you have your own business that needs web development? Have you been wondering if .Net or PHP would be better for your business needs? Are you confused by the technical jargon? Both .NET and PHP have been used to develop web applications but how to choose what is best for your business. Three minutes from now you will have a good understanding of how to make the right decision.

Is .NET only for large enterprises?

.Net is a framework produced by Microsoft that could be used to develop different types of web pages and web applications. It is very versatile and easy scalable. It’s definitely not just for big companies. There are thousands of websites that were built using .NET platforms such as Stack Overflow,, GoDaddy, Unity. Also thousands of commercial products including EPiServer and Kentico.

.Net is not a programming language on its own. However, it supports 30+ programming languages, that could be used for both frontend and backend applications. For example, if you need a frontend web application, then you can use C# .NET, VB .NET to build it. For a backend application, it could be a good idea to use ASP .NET. So whatever your web applications could be, .NET has a solution for you.

Exciting! Isn’t it?

So how is the .NET platform capable of supporting all these languages? A .NET platform contains two main components. The first one is called; common language runtime (CLR) and the second one is known as BCL (base class library). These two components together help normalise any supported language into a common language understood by the platform, as we will show below.

CLR is the main module responsible for executing commands issued in .NET. It functions through converting the programmer code into a native code. It also handles any arising exceptions (e.g. errors). That is to say, without the CLR, .NET cannot execute any web application. In turn, CLR consists of two main components; common language specifications (CLS) and common type system (CTS). Let’s consider this example: Imagine you are writing your code in c#, then you have to add a semicolon at the end of each statement. On the other hand, if you are writing the same code in VB, putting a semicolon at the end of a statement will generate an error. In order to get around this, a .NET platform follows its own syntax rules (language specifications). When a code is written in a supported language using the platform, it gets converted using the CLS to a code that could be understood by the CLR. The CTS, on the other hand, is the module responsible for the conversion of different data types to a common data type that could be processed by the CLR. In simple terms, CLS and CTS transform the rules and regulations written in any supported data structure to a common set of rules the .NET platform can understand.

The second main component of the .NET platform is the BCL, which is also divided into two types. One is the user-defined class library. The second one is the predefined class library. In earlier languages like C and C++, we used to use the term header files. This term evolved to be called a package in java. Now in .Net the user-defined class library is called an assembly and the predefined class library we call a namespace. A namespace is a collection of predefined methods present in the predefined collection of classes in .NET. These predefined class libraries give an edge to.NET platforms as it reduces the time of coding. An assembly is a small unit that the user creates the class and methods in. It normally has an a .DLL extension or a .exe extension. DLL is a dynamic link library and exe is the executable file. The purpose of DLL is reusability, while an exe file represents the output file of the application.

.NET is not bound by windows any more. Mono is an open-source equivalent of the CLR that could be used on both Mac and Linux. This enables .NET applications to be run cross-platforms The mono project includes several other options such as mod_mono (Apache), monotouch (iPhone) and monodroid (Android). There are also a large variety of apps such as Umbraco) and libraries, which you can have access to through the NuGet package manager. So, for example, if a programmer makes a game for Windows or Xbox using XNA then creates an app for Windows Phone 7, he/she can easily jump between different systems using the same tools and core languages.

To summarise here are the pros and cons of using .NET

.NET – Pros

Automatic user notification of any error in code before compiling

Very versatile with lots of support features to save programmers time

Help programmers by providing them with pre-coded options

Easy to code using an excellent user interface (UI) for developers

Works extremely well with Windows

Best choice for company applications.

.NET – Cons

Needs some effort to master.

Smaller (but growing) support community.

It needs a Microsoft server.

Need to pay money for the license.

Is the buzz still going on for PHP?

PHP was first started in 1995 by Rasmus Lerdorf who originally coined the term PHP as an acronym for personal homepage tools. After version 3 PHP gained the recursive acronym PHP hypertext preprocessor. Statistics from 2007 showed that there were 25 million domains on the web that used PHP. PHP is also an extremely well-documented language. You can even get the documentation in multiple languages translated by various users from the PHP community. It’s also open source thus it’s free. There are also new extensions and third-party libraries for PHP, that are frequently added at the Pakal and peer repositories. There are also a lot of new features that are constantly being integrated into the PHP source tree such as a PC or Cairo. However, this can change any time soon as there is NO official sponsor to it, the wind could easily blow in the other direction.

One major drawback of PHP is that it is an interpreted language. Coding languages could be interpreted or compiled. A compiled language is built by taking individual components and assembling them into one block or structure. Then that’s block or structure is used to generate the result that you want out of your software. On the other hand, the way that you can think of an interpreted language is that they lack any structure. Instead interpreted languages possess blueprints. These blueprints tell us how we want to design the software structure. Each time we run the program, the computer acts as an interpreter by taking the blueprints and assembling the structure on the fly. However, because of this, PHP run quite slowly, it also suffer from limited access to low level and speed optimization code, as well as poessing limited amount of commands to run detailed operations on graphics.

What does PHP need to function?

PHP mainly needs a platform, there are multiple platforms out there, each one has got it its own pros and cons. One of them is the Nette which is a pure object-oriented framework, it also embraces the DRY concept which results in a clean code base. Nette also includes debugging tools such as Tracy which helps you quickly detect and correct errors in dumb variables. However, it has several confusing features such as internal linking and missing model layers Also the documentation is not comeple. Another platform is Yii2. Yii2 is a high-performance framework that is relatively easy to set up, however, it might be not the best choice for smaller enterprises. Zend is a popular platform with several large enterprises such as the companies like BBC and Cisco using it. However, it is very difficult to learn. This made it difficult to update, manipulate and maintain the code. CakePHP was produced in 2005-2006. So it’s mature, stable and secure. Several large companies such as BMW and Hyundai are using it. However, it lacks proper documentations.

PHP also needs a server. If you are on a Windows computer, then you should use WAMP. If you are a Linux programmer then using LAMP might seem a reasonable alternative. You can also use a multiplatform such as XAMPP. WAMP Server refers to a software package developed by Romain Bourdon operating system and it consists of Apache web server, OpenSSL for SSL support, MySQL database.

So to recap, here are the pros and cons of PHP

PHP- Pros

It is constantly being improved by a large number of people rather than a single company PHP is great for large projects like Facebook.

PHP is effective at communicating with database queries. This makes it a good alternative for web-based scripts, such as website content management systems.

It’s is easily extendable and you can customize it according to your need.

It is also relatively easy to learn

There are several support groups. This decrease the time needed for learning.

PHP- Cons

It isn’t suitable for making desktop applications.

PHP applications are slower than applications written in other languages

Too much customization can cause bugs and poor coding.

Poor error handling when compared to other programming languages which mean it can take more time to discover why a particular piece of code isn’t working as expected.

So which one is really better .NET or PHP?

.NET is better than PHP in web server based queries. A common misunderstanding of site performance and speed is that the coding language of choice determines the overall performance of your site. However, there is little difference between the performance of PHP web pages and.NET. For example, take one of the most popular tasks of any web-based application which is to send a query to a database, transfer the output to the web server and finally display the result for the end users. If you break down this workflow, you will notice that PHP and .NET perform equally when it comes to file system access, image exploration, and page display on web servers. The speed of these performances depends on the server, database, end-user computer and bandwidth, and so on. However, .NET provides a number of “shortcuts” to facilitate programming such as processing of active events (e.g., consumer clicks), forms, databases, etc. so Overall, .NET is Relatively simple and tends to take less time than PHP. PHP scripts however need to be written and updated for every new task. This increases the risk of security flaws like SQL injection.

So from our experience, based on multiple evidence .NET seems to outperform PHP. .NET is strong, Microsoft supported platform that will make your web development much stable, secure, reliable and easy to maintain. The biggest advantage of .NET platform that you do not need any other additional software for it to operate. On the opposite side, PHP would need multiple other components to perform optimally. It is also an interpretable language that requires customisation, so it is more prone to bugs!

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