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Topic # 160478 7-Jan-2015 23:27

Hey there

We are looking to engage some developers to build us a new SaaS platform. However I have VERY limited knowledge in MS tech.

Could someone please help me understand the pros and cons of the following? Thanks!

 

     

  1. Windows Server 2008 Standard or later
  2. Microsoft .Net framework 4.0
  3. net MVC 4
  4. SQL Server 2008 or later

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  Reply # 1210284 7-Jan-2015 23:57
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Is this just for you or going to get bigger? I know that MS have recently "Open sourced" /net but still not sure if its a very open platform to develop with. It may be speedier in the short term but something linux based will give you more flexibility in the longer term generally.





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  Reply # 1210299 8-Jan-2015 01:24
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if you're building a SaaS platform you can go two routes:

* DIY using IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) (build and maintain your own servers from the OS up_
* Partially managed using PaaS (Platform as a Service)

IaaS would mean that the application could be portable between cloud providers, whereas PaaS might lock you into one cloud vendor (e.g. Microsoft).

If it was me, i'd go down the PaaS route and build the service using SQL Azure (and/or DocDB/HDinsight etc) and Azure Websites (either .NET preferable to a MS guy like me, or an open source tech like PHP etc if that's your thing).  You can also use additional services like Azure Mobile Services, Service Bus for queuing messages etc.

The big advantages of the PaaS route are that you can:
* scale up or out, and then back down again, with a few clicks on the web interface
* not have to worry about patching/upgrading OS and App tier as that all handled by the platform
* have high-availability as easy as a few checkboxes rather than hiring someone who knows that stuff

Is this something you're looking to build as a Startup?  If so then take a look at Microsoft BizSpark - if you qualify (<5yo company, <$1m revenue) you can get free software (Visual Studio etc for 5 users, and much more) and free cloud computing credits per month to use on Azure for either production or dev/test workloads. 





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  Reply # 1212363 12-Jan-2015 11:06

Thanks for getting back to me guys, I am personally from the PHP world and all the MS tech is very new to me. I do like the Azure platform and will research more into it. 



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  Reply # 1212369 12-Jan-2015 11:12

Zeon: Is this just for you or going to get bigger?

The product is rather complex with multiple operations but will only be used by a small amount of users. 



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  Reply # 1212399 12-Jan-2015 11:50
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I would not use anything before server 2012R2. It is the latest platform and supports .net 4 out of the box and will have the current longest support lifecycle. It also has more security built in and has the latest version of IIS which has improvements in speed and security. If you are going to use either a VPS or your own server, investigate the Microsoft Web Platform Installer for installing components like MVC etc. Depending on data size and features needed, you may be able to use SQL 2012/2014 express with advanced services for management which is free. 
Have a look here for SQL server editions feature comparisons. 

.net and MS server are plenty flexible and despite the linux enthusiasts dislike of it, it does serious work. Plenty of big sites and services are based on it and it is a simpler to manage solution out of the box than a linux box which requires a bit of specialist nous. If it was bad, inflexible and didn't scale, Trademe, Xero, Countdown online shopping, Stack overflow, Bing and plenty of others wouldn't use it. 




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  Reply # 1212549 12-Jan-2015 14:11
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SteveON: Thanks for getting back to me guys, I am personally from the PHP world and all the MS tech is very new to me. I do like the Azure platform and will research more into it. 


You can create an Azure Website (PaaS) with the preferred language being PHP - http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/services/websites/







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  Reply # 1212560 12-Jan-2015 14:14
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You can also set up your own Linux server (Ubuntu, Centos, Oracle Linux, etc) running Apache, MySQL and PHP (LAMP) as a virtual machine:

http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/virtual-machines-linux-install-lamp-stack/




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