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Ever since Microsoft has come up with ASP.net, there has been a widespread debate among programmers as to whether it is any better than the existing open source programming language of PHP.

If you were to make a search on the Internet on how loyalists of both PHP and ASP.net are doing almost everything by biting each other's heads off, you will realize how hot this debate actually is. The major contention is that Microsoft products are generally considered to be superior to other products, but then there are programmers that have been using PHP since ages and never once has it let them down. While there is acclaim for ASP.net being more robust and speedier, PHP fans maintain that PHP has much better support and a very easy to understand language.

As the debate between PHP and ASP.net rages on, it is important to make a frank comparison between the two languages, so that other developers who are not so strong in their opinions are not caught in the argument between the two. Here are some of the important points that distinguish the two programming languages from each other:-


(For the uninitiated, PHP stands for Hypertext Preprocessor and ASP.net stand for Active Server Pages. It helps to put things into better perspective!)

»          PHP is a relatively simpler language to use than ASP.net. Initially, PHP was written in the C programming language to replace a set of scripts in Perl. That is the reason why coding in PHP remains simple even today. Many developers find themselves to be more at ease with the user-friendly nature of PHP when it comes to coding. However, critics also count this advantage of PHP as a disadvantage. Some of them maintain that the language of PHP has not been updated much, and hence it is still quite archaic and even, somewhat cumbersome for coding. ASP.net, which is a relatively new development, has a lot of options when it comes to languages. Here, you can use languages such as C#, J#, C++ and VB.net. Hence, when it comes to sheer choice, ASP.net has better to offer. But PHP is no less, since it can do its task quite well, even with its minimum language tools.

»          PHP is has much better support for the database management system, MySQL. In fact, the very popular blogging platform, WordPress uses the formidable combination of PHP coding on MySQL for its content management system, which includes about hundreds of thousands of blog posts every single day. Another very popular and frequently updated service that uses the combination of PHP and MySQL is Wikipedia. ASP.net can also support MySQL, but PHP is unanimously hailed, by the masses and classes alike, for its great support for this database management system.

»          People who use both PHP and ASP.net also maintain their opinion that PHP is better for embedded support with another database management system, viz. SQLite. SQLite is described as a relational database management system and since it is contained in a C programming library, PHP can provide better support to it.

»          PHP has also a very good support for object oriented programming, on which whole scripting languages are being built nowadays. ASP.net also provides very capable support to OOP.

»          When it comes to support, PHP wins over ASP.net. The main reason for this is that PHP is open source. Hence, the support can come freely from all over the world. In most cases, PHP fixes are made instantly. Being open source also ensures that there are very few snags in PHP. While, ASP.net could take a while to make fixes. That is because it is owned by Microsoft, and it is the development team of Microsoft that will need to respond to the support query. That could take more time than the worldwide open source support that PHP is able to get. Most PHP supports can be instantly found online by doing a simple search on the Internet. Some of the providers of support for PHP are Zend, NuSphere and ThinkPHP.

»          PHP can use the command line to perform many everyday activities. Some of the things that the PHP command line is useful for is for manipulating across many files and for putting files into multiple directories at once. These are just some of the important features that PHP's command line is used for.

»          PHP is an open source programming language, which means it is free for anyone to use. Programmers can develop PHP applications virtually at no cost, because PHP is free to use. ASP.net is not free too, but its extensions are available for free on Windows platforms, upwards of 98. Hence, ASP.net is available to Windows users when they buy it. That puts a bit of restriction in its use.

»          ASP.net is compiled into memory in binary code. So, when ASP.net is used for coding, it is evident that it takes much longer time to process since the codes need to be retrieved from memory. However, PHP is not compiled into memory like ASP.net is. It is interpreted at runtime. That is the reason why PHP coding leads to better speed and even efficiency. However, it must be said that both PHP and ASP.net can run at supreme speeds and efficiency when they are coded expertly.

»          Talking about hosting charges, both PHP and ASP.net are quite cheap to host. If you do a good deal of shopping online, you will also be able to find hosting for as little as $4. While there are several pricier hosting services out there, their charges are higher for both PHP and ASP.net. Hence, it can be said that both PHP and ASP.net are at par with each other on the hosting charges.

»          Since PHP is older, there are many people who claim that it is much more secure than ASP.net where coding is concerned. ASP.net is much new, and the security options may not be fully in place yet. However, many programmers will pooh-pooh at this point, because they maintain that security in coding does not depend on the language that is used, but in the way that the coding is done by the coder. Even so, there is a lot of talk on the Internet about PHP coded sites being more difficult to hack into than those done with ASP.net.

Hence, there is a lot to debate on about the worthiness of PHP over ASP.net or vice-versa. There is probably no end to it, and there never shall be. The problem mainly is that both of them are good in their own place, but people who have been staunchly using PHP for several years now – some of them for more than a decade – would certainly not like to go in for the new ASP.net. The price to be paid is quite high, i.e. learning a whole new syntax and getting used to it. That is more the reason why PHP is still so popular.

But, to ASP.net's credit it must be said that it is much more dynamic, even if the mere use of different languages are concerned. While PHP is still stuck to its scripting language days, ASP.net has broken new grounds by entering into new languages, and even developing some of its own. However, a new shadow is looming large on these language-programming tools – the coming of the WYSIWYG editors such as Dreamweaver, which are making coding a very simple task to do for even the lay computer user.

Comments (48)add
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written by stian , August 28, 2007
asp.net rulez smilies/smiley.gif and it's included with windows pro atleast. just install the iis, and download .net 2.0 from windows update and you have your own webserver. You can also download visual studio express wich also is free. -Stian
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written by webdevguy , August 28, 2007
Yet another bias php vs asp.net post - please get all the facts next time
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written by ... , September 18, 2007
ASP.NET code is not "compiled in memory into binary code" - it can be, if you want it to, but generally it gets compiled offline into an MSIL assembly, and then JIT-compiled into native code the first time it's run. After that it has speed comparable to a native C program. PHP, to my knowledge, does no compilation ahead of time, re-parsing and interpreting the entire script on every request.
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written by badass , December 10, 2007
Which idiot wrote this article, I have never read such a bunch of unfounded BS in a long time!
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written by dev , January 12, 2008
I can say I am really satisfied with PHP. It runs fast, all the required software is free (unlike ASP which only runs on Windows), and the syntax is much easier than the languages supported by ASP.
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written by ... , January 25, 2008
The best thing about php is you don't have to deal with microsoft to get around to "fixing" their code. the open source community is so much better than the microsoft developers in their speed and attention to detail.
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written by criket , January 25, 2008
the fact that you're both using PHP and ASP.Net, it's not a matter of being bias, but how you use the languages very well... smilies/smiley.gif
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written by criket , January 25, 2008
the fact that you're using PHP and ASP, sometimes it's not a matter of being bais to any of the languages, but how you use it very well... smilies/smiley.gif
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written by Ninjasteve , February 15, 2008
All I want to say is that both codes are great and that a true ninja will learn them both. Good web design will require the use of various developing languages and a good web master will be able to use them all. I say that everyone should stop whining and find one that works for them.
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written by Enrique , February 24, 2008
I have use both languages personaly i feel more comfortable with php, cause of simplicity. Even so i see ASP.Net as a more robust language.
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written by Madan Koshti , March 07, 2008
I am familiar with both asp.net/asp and php..... offcourse It depends on languages but also mostly depends on the programmer that how he codes .
Depending on his optimized/secured code speed and security is concerned .
But personally I choose php because of its Simplicity and open source !!

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written by cakephp , April 04, 2008
Simply PHP rocks man
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written by sancho , April 06, 2008
I've been a PHP coder for 5 years and right now I've been forced to dive into ASP.NET's world because it was required for a new project. First I hated it. Just like when you're afraid of something you don't know. But, as I get more into it, I'm starting to experience how robust it is. Of course I prefer open source software, but it looks like I'm gonna miss some .NET goodies when I go back to PHP. In conclusion, I love PHP and I respect ASP.NET. They're both great.
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written by Ronald , April 13, 2008
PHP Sucks compared to ASP .NET ASP .NET is more thorough and better structured. The development tools are far beyond anything PHP has, the framework is way cleaner then anything on PEAR, the OO capabilities are better. This is coming from someone who started building web apps on PHP.

I would also encourage people to give J2EE a try see what frameworks are out there. J2EE is not as clean as .NET but it contains some really cool frameworks and takes care of data persistence and sessions better then PHP or .NET.

J2EE has even more advantages then .NET but its painful to learn for most people and can sometimes take longer to build something.
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written by Navneet Mehta , April 16, 2008
HI GUYS i wanna grab ur attenton 2wards my view dat y php is bettr dan asp.net:-
1 it has a browser independency.
2 web server independency lik apache,web logic,iis(internet information server.
3 faster execution
it can support any data like mysql,oracle,........
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written by Mike , April 17, 2008
Disappointed for a very biased review. I look forward to a fully clearheaded and sincere review of the two platforms; this isn't one of them.
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written by Shishir , April 25, 2008
PHP is better than ASP.net as it is open source plus good compatibility with browser and other related platforms.
As compare to security PHP gives better.
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written by William , April 28, 2008
This is such a pointless debate. Every program language has its pros and cons. Its knowing when to use certain languages to get the most from your aps.

What it really comes down to is programming experience.
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written by Pankil , May 06, 2008
it is such nice article.

thank you smilies/smiley.gif smilies/smiley.gif smilies/smiley.gif
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written by Rac , May 16, 2008
PHP is the best smilies/grin.gif
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written by Andrei Rinea , May 19, 2008
ASP.NET is the best smilies/smiley.gif smilies/smiley.gif smilies/smiley.gif
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written by Iceat , May 20, 2008
PHP is very flexible. I can setup a php programming environment in less then 5 minutes (i did this for asp.net once and ...). When i google for open source scripts and manuals, i get a lot more results for php. The community is great and it's free! It's fantastic for giving functionality to static websites in no time!
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written by Non - tecchy , May 23, 2008
Hi there,
Can anyone help me? My boss has asked me to look into which language is best to develop a large social network so that the site is robust, dynamic and highly interactive? He has asked me to find out if ASP.net or PHP would be better. can anyone please advise? We have an ASP developer we could use or a PSP developer!

Thanks
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written by Som Darshan , May 26, 2008
Asp.net is best
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written by Nick , May 26, 2008
@Non - tecchy: Use ASP.NET and C#. Forget that community crap, I have programmed both, and for big complex projects, ASP.NET beats PHP without questions. PHP is by far the worst programming language i have ever had to use. Things I wanted to do in PHP took allot of time and resources, while in ASP.NET they where solved in a giffy. I Also found PHP to be a rather unstructured, unreadable language, that works very strange as compared to other languages. I Had the choice back in the old days, and i went for asp.net after trying both.
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written by asp.net dev , May 28, 2008
@non - tecchy, you plan on having a single dev write a large social network? good luck getting it done this century.
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written by Borg , May 29, 2008
1)

I will never depend on a company like microsoft.

Eu nunca vou ficar dependente de uma empresa como a Microsoft

2) ASP.NET do stuff without my full control. I dont´t agree with it. Dreamweaver like programs won´t survive in a Google World.

ASP.NET gera eventos for de seu controle. Eu não concordo com isso. Programadores Dreamweaver ( WWWYG ) não sobreviveram num mundo do nivel do Google.

3) Open Source is the future. If good exist, Microsoft will fall. MS have contributed, but monopoly is bad.

Open Source é o futuro. Se Deus existe, a Microsoft vai se ferrar. MS ajudou, mas monopolio é ruim.

Bye !

Tchau !
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written by Akshay , May 31, 2008
I do not Find as ASP.Net as a Difficult language & PHP too...
As i am in Class 10 & I have a Good Command over PHP & ASP.net & many more......... smilies/grin.gif smilies/cool.gif

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written by Rand , June 04, 2008
.NET is clunky but ideal for HUGE sites such as corporate level where the infrastructure is Windows based as you can plug into major resources. It has much better support from MS event hough slow and paid for sometimes. NET is too big for smaller sites that make up 80% of the internet. It isn't as flexible as PHP when it comes to SEO.
PHP is lovely for smaller projects. At this point I have to say that BOTH will do large or small projects of course. PHP is more flexible and is a more "Web designer" language in that it can interact easier and slicker with the design of the site. Better DB connectivity is always good.
I use both and have done for 12 years working at Government level through to freelance. I still prefer UBUNTU/Linux PHP over MS products as they are less bloaty and the people who use open source are a friendly crowd so there's always a new way of doing something, of coding and such.
ALL languages have plus and minus points. Where I currently work we only discuss the language of the development when we know what we are developing. This way we pick the best languages based on current standards for the project. Sometimes PHP, sometimes NET, sometimes ASP. It all has a place - accept for my home where MS is simply NOT allowed! Do you remember laying out web sites in TABLES? We now use CSS cause it's better. If a language comes along that is BETTER we'll all be using it but I would say NEVER close a door on anything as flexibility simply gives you more jobs!
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written by Josh Smigins , June 07, 2008
Hmm, very bias smilies/smiley.gif
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written by filipovic , June 11, 2008
ASP.NET sucks!PHP rules!
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written by Sumit Gupta , June 12, 2008
Asp.net is Best
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written by hotice , June 12, 2008
I have used both php and asp.net and I could say that its hard to compare them in general but knowing your project scope in detail might give a better idea on what scripting tool to use that will allow you to finish your project fast. For me, I think PHP is still ahead by 2 Points but asp.net is approaching to level with php with a speed!
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written by wel , June 20, 2008
apple and banana which one do you prefer? but you want to have a full or empty stomach? answer is full is better than empty. So who cares php or asp.net, as long as it gets the done job and feed my stomach full then i am gonna to use it.
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written by joedotnot , June 26, 2008
==ASP.net is compiled into memory in binary code. So, when ASP.net is used for coding, it is evident that it takes much longer time to process since the codes need to be retrieved from memory. However, PHP is not compiled into memory like ASP.net is. It is interpreted at runtime. That is the reason why PHP coding leads to better speed and even efficiency...==
Who writes this kind of garbage? maybe he needs the .NET GarbageCollector pay him a visit and reclaim wasted space... Since when has an interpreted language become faster than a compiled (or semi-compiled) language?

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written by Hamid , June 28, 2008
I'm a PHP fan, and I'm learning .Net Framework these days. At first I thought I'm gonna read an impartial article, however the reasons make sense, but I believe there were more to tell about ASP.Net.
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written by zahir , June 28, 2008
Right now, PHP have some advantages becuase it is old and open source. BUT Microsoft has reputation ('critisism!!') to come late and takes all! So wait for few years then we may make the actual measurement.
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written by RealThing , June 29, 2008
Can someone tell me a thing which can be done with PHP but can not done in ASP.NET?
Beside, using AJAX in PHP is painfull.
If you complete a task in PHP in 30 days you can finish it 10 or less days in ASP.NET.
Moreover, if you know C# well you can both make Windows Programming and ASP.NET programming. And you can run them at all machines which are have .net framework just like owning JVM to run Java apps. (Look at mono project with running C# on Linux.)

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written by colortome , June 30, 2008
stop fussing and fighting php and asp.net dosen't mater , what it maters is what Mr. "wel" said ,if one of them make your belly full take full advantage of it , and whats with the crap i don't like MS shit almoust 98% of us use it even if we deny it or not .
jah Bless
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written by Tired of One Sided Posts , July 02, 2008
little biaist?
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written by Prince , July 03, 2008
A decent article but biased towards pHp.
The prime reason is the unwillingness of the pHp enthusiasts to atleast take a look into the world of .NET
It's a bit of a shame.... that an open source enthusiast could get the basic fact wrong of whether an interpreted or a compiled version should run faster.
I am sure most of the ppl who say .NET sucks are just open-source worshipers.
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written by Humblewizard , July 04, 2008
I like to read & write C# code more than PHP. I just like the syntax of C# better than PHP. If I'm not paying for the hosting I'll go with what I enjoy writing.
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written by NoviceThai , July 06, 2008
I'm novice web programmer. I believe most of you know both ASP.NET and PHP better than me. I have some questions. Can ASP.NET create graph for WEB by itself?
or it need 3rd party DLL? As far as I know PHP has graphic library build-in. Is that right?

Sorry for my english

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written by Brian , July 08, 2008
I've programmed in both PHP and ASP.NET and C before. I know that this article is not about C but I think the experience changes my outlook on the situation. PHP is more of a scripting language because it is interpreted each upon each request. Which as some have already mention is much slower than a compiled version that ASP.NET will give you. Both PHP and ASP.NET are excellent languages and both have their purposes. I believe one of the reasons ASP.NET gets a bad reputation is because it allows you to cheat. By 'cheating' I mean that there are controls already done for you. GridViews, Repeaters, Login Controls... I could go on all day with a list of controls that can make developing time for ASP.NET quicker. Because most people don't look at the big picture they choose to utilize every shortcut that ASP.NET provides and doing so they loose a lot of performance. ASP.NET has the potential to be faster, more organized and more structured than PHP if done correctly. Sadly the majority refuse to take the time and learn how to optomize ASP.NET.
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written by PHP Dev , July 13, 2008
I am an it student and my college's curriculum teaches PHP for server side scripting. Now I'm an intern, the company I am in uses ASP.NET. Now I have to learn this new language, and that is by using Visual Studio 2008 Express. The drag and drop way of programming does not really appeal to me simply because there is no programming to do but more like memorizing what to click. What this does for a developer is more like learn 2 things instead of 1. First, using the visual studio developer, you must learn where the controls you need are and how to use them (I'm talking about so much buttons, links, menus, checkboxes to click and memorize). Once you know them, you must understand how the REAL code works to be able to modify them afterwards (You don't really think you can do everything with a mouseclick, that's what I think unless someone really mastered the visual studio and do everything without coding). By using the visual studio for asp.net development, a developer can build standard interfaces like logins, etc.. but the result is as it is, 'STANDARD' which you really need to modify later. This is the hard part because after relying to the 'easy' drag and drop and click controls of the visual studio which you need to learn by watching a total of about 7 hours of 'beginner' videos of searching for menus, clicking button, etc.. you will have to learn the actual coding, which is not a very good sight to see. The produced codes of visual studio are long. They created a substitute for almost all html elements. A simple link they have appended with . Microsoft's promise of easy development by separating code and interface does not work. It worked for visual basic since the code it produced are simple which only automated building event procedures. All in all, Microsoft's vision of building a development tool to fasten the development for its new language is promising, but the outcome for its intended users like me is not very good. In the end a programmer really needs how to program not relying on a development tool who does the work for him/her. A tool may do many things but it has its limits, but the developer who uses a tool has no limits whatsoever if he/she really grasps the language. Relying on a development tool means relying on the actual limit that the programmers of the tool has put into it. I believe PHP is better because learning the language is simple (KISS Philosphy: Keep It Simple Stupid). Now for those developers who prefer using development tools to program, gudluck. I believe that asp.net can do things php does and vise versa. You can learn php quite easily, but the asp.net package forces you to learn the language using the visual studio development tool. I think you can go directly to learning the language but afterwards you need to learn the development tool because if you dont use that tool, then why use asp.net? - learn php instead if that is the case. ASP.NET limits a programmer's imagination to the limitations of the development tool. PHP is easy to learn and give programmers individuality. ASP.NET makes programmers rely to Microsoft's solutions which are not the same for every project a programmer faces. The community of millions of php programmers definitely defeat microsoft's thousands(?) of developers in terms of providing solutions to real life problems.
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written by persian.net , July 20, 2008
most important thing about this article is this that being a programmer is more important than language programing,but i think if php had a good ide like VS it would be better
so we must try to be expert in our language
regardless of cost (server and IDE) i think asp.net is better
in future both asp and php will grow
so choose ehich you want they are equal
my favorite = asp.net
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written by Mike in SF , July 23, 2008
Wow. File this article under "PHP Guy Tries to Feign Impartiality as He Trashes .Net". I come from an ASP background, and started .Net about 5 years ago. I can find reasons to disagree with just about every point of this article.

I have no problem efficiently connecting to many types of databases. When I start a new project, all I need to do is change a connection string and start making calls to my re-usable generic data access layer. I throw it a sproc name and some params and get data back or write data in. Simple.

The Visual Studio IDE is very powerful and I find it does not limit my creativity at all. It gives me object orientation which really allows me to structure my project codebases nicely. I implement "Master Pages" to easily conform an entire site to a single CSS-designed template. I implement User Controls that easily allow me to break the functional pieces of my pages into bite-sized, re-usable components. Visual Studio makes it very easy to debug applications at design time by compiling, or at runtime with breakpoint analysis. I can make my websites as simple or as complex as I choose, or as the project requires. I can go with a single project with simple classes embedded, or extend it into an enterprise-level, n-tier application. I can easily implement security through page inheritance, and very easily implement new "ajax" page tricks by including MS's ajax libraries in my projects.

I imagine that at PHP guy can come on here and follow up with a post that just about mirrors mine from the other side. As an experienced .Net guy, I can rebutt just about any of the reasons I've heard and read as to why a PHP guy thinks their solution is better. Programmers are going to gravitate toward the tools they know and feel comfortable with, but when you're trying to sell yourself to clients you need to come up with reasons why your solution is better than the other guy's. That's the question I'm trying to answer. There are two things to look at: the business side (cost, roi, extensibility), and the technical side (how easy is it to get things done). The technical side affects the business side because longer hours results in increased cost.

I'm trying to find truly impartial articles in debate via Google, and it's not an easy thing to do. This is like Jews vs. Muslims, Mac vs. PC.

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written by Mike in SF , July 23, 2008
To PHP Dev guy above... Abstraction of your server (back-end) code and client (front-end) code is a problem because?? Once you learn how to structure your code, you will see how powerful the .Net Framework is when combined with the Visual Studio IDE. You guys who want to still write flat pages with client elements interspersed with scripting code don't know what you're missing. I promise you I can build the same thing in less time with my setup versus yours.
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