Microsoft is eager to announce availability of the Go Live release of Microsoft FastCGI Extension for IIS 5.1/6.0 as a free download from the IIS community site, www.iis.net. The Go Live release is the last step in the Microsoft beta process and represents a highest level of quality and reliability. For the first time, customers have a license that permits them to deploy the FastCGI Extension on their production IIS 6 Web servers.
This release could not have come at a more exciting time for the technology: previous beta releases on IIS.NET have had over 14,000 downloads, no less than six hosting partners have already begun offering PHP hosting on IIS 6 with the FastCGI Extension, and there is a very active forum of users exchanging ideas and providing feedback about the FastCGI Extension.
With Microsoft’s implementation of the FastCGI open standard, IT Professionals will be able to host PHP applications on Windows Server® 2003 and Internet Information Services 6.0 (IIS 6) with increased reliability, scalability, and security. Customers also know that they will be able to count on Microsoft to stand by and service the Microsoft FastCGI Extension. By supporting the open standard, Microsoft has made it possible for PHP and other CGI compliant languages to be hosted efficiently and effectively on Windows Server 2003 and IIS. With the addition of FastCGI, IIS reliably and performantly hosts ASP.NET; classic ASP and PHP Web applications, making it easy for IT Professionals to standardize on IIS and Windows Server as their Web platform of choice.
This FastCGI Extension release is supported on IIS 6 on Windows Server 2003 for a fully scalable production environment, but also on IIS 5.1 on Windows XP in order to support developers who build their Web applications on Windows client machines. This provides developers easy access to build and deploy a broader range of Web applications on the Microsoft platform. To further facilitate application support, the IIS product group is working with the community to test and optimize popular PHP applications on this platform. Tested versions of XOOPS, phpBB, Moodle and QDig are already available today with technical guidance and setup instructions.
Looking ahead, betas of Microsoft’s next server OS, Windows Server 2008, already include the FastCGI Extension as a completely integrated feature of IIS7. The new modular architecture introduced in IIS 7 will provide additional functionality to PHP applications by enabling them to take advantage of new managed code services.