Acclaimed PHP vs ASP | An unbiased overview on Scalability, Performance, Complexity and other matrices.

There are chunk of articles on supremacy of one over another when “ASP” and “PHP” are accounted together. What i personally don’t like is the biased approach of both the communities towards the brought-up of one anothers evolutionary throughput’s.

Why I have chosen “Acclaimed” as a keyword to start this ornamental topic is to assure the idea behind this writing. Make it clear! I am not here to support any of the community, neither my intentions are to dis-respect any language. My sincere request from all the readers would be to take it as an insight towards their preferred language (as per their own skill-sets) and not to take it as a typical preference to promote any one of the captioned programming environment.

I have been into the PHP industry from last 6 years and approximately 4 years in ASP, and still i am not really convinced to say that which one would be my preferred one. This actually depends on the type of work you want to do and the potential of the team you are having.

Ideally speaking, both “PHP” & “ASP” does the same job, but the difference is in the acceptability as per the programmers pre-occupied skill-sets. If i could say in more generalized way then it would be something like a C, C++ programmer would be able to work with PHP in much more comfort than ASP, and similarly a VC++, VB programmer would be able to work with ASP with much more ease. Also, to be more precise, ASP is not actually a programming language as the languages which makes a bunch known as “ASP” are VB Scripts, JScripts, C# and more.

I will be comparing both on some specific grounds to make you better understand the most appropriate one, suiting your requirements. Also, i would be locking some major myths related to both of them:-

  1. INTERFACE:- Comparing the visual interface for both the languages.
    PHP: PHP does not have any specific Visual Interface to work with, so building large applications makes it tough for debugging and code inspections. Frameworks like Zend, Sapphire, CakePHP, CodeIgniter and others are not suitable for developing large applications, but proved to be very successful for small scale applications with high efficiency.ASP: ASP have a strong Visual Interface backed by Team Microsoft, the framework is used for both large and small application development with a strong architecture to support debugging and code inspections.
  2. COSTING:- I have read some real conversations related to the cost when ASP and PHPget compared and those were inevitable. So here is an actual comparison of both according to cost.
    PHP: Its Open Source and its Free! The biggest advantage with the PHP is that it involves no cost when programming and development is concerned. It works along with bunch of software which are also free, like MySQL for Database Management System (DBMS), Apache for Server Administration and Linux as an Operating System. So some smart people joined together, researched and invested their time and efforts to make this phenomenally great language to come up, and Bingo! they never asked for money and fixed a true example of knowledge sharing. The substitute and necessary products are also Open Source which makes PHP more stronger to foot in.ASP: ASP is available free of cost but it involves huge cost on support and advanced features. It surprises me when i hear programmers speaking that PHP programming is identically same as ASP. My sincere question is that, why some of the smartest minds in the world and so called “Team Microsoft” have made this facility chargeable? This is because building applications with ASP becomes much more easy and handy when an intelligent development environment having a beautiful graphical user interface (GUI) comes into picture. But, why cost is magnificently huge is because ASP needs Microsoft SQL Server (MsSql is my personal recommendation) to work for DBMS, however ASP also work with MySQL but to insure better performance and efficiency MsSql is recommended. Also, on my personal experience the ease of developing dynamic applications/websites using ASP-MsSql has always proved to be better and convenient than ASP-MySQL. Along with this if you want to rum ASP then you need Windows Operating System, which would again cost you a lot. So certainly, if you know Windows and you don’t have idea how to use Linux, then ASP would be a less headache option for you.
  3. PERFORMANCE:- The most important thing is to understand that when you should consider performance. If you are into a development for a specific website displaying your products information, then i think both can work out for you and you don’t need to consider performance a lot. In the same scenario if you have something like Google, Yahoo kind of product, then absolutely performance needs consideration. Also it is not just that, these website only use one programming language for performance tuning. They use bunch of other languages like C, JAVA, PERL and more….Now coming to the topic, choosing one over another for performance could be situation based or maybe compatibility based. Also, there are lot many things that need to be considered from a programmer perspective, live his/her knowledge about caching, optimized SQL queries and industry knowledge. As databases like MsSQL, MySQL, Oracle, and PsotgreSQL are almost packedged with all the necessary things a database should carry for performance. However, the role of performance comes into play when we talk about web servers, database servers, internet bandwidth,  client machine performance and web browser.
  4. ARCHITECTURE: Usually C# is used for ASP.NET and if C# is compared to PHP, then obviously C# wins over PHP. For example, if someone wants to loop a billion or a million then we can see a tremendous difference between the execution time of both and ASP.NET will win over PHP. However, it is unusual even Google and Facebook don’t need that number of execution at once. Practically to consider, 100s of loop count will be sufficient and both can do the job in ideal time, so the concern is not really required for this particular point.
  5. COMBINATION: According to my research and trusted sources When it comes to PHP along with MySQL it has better performance than ASP with MsSQL.
  6. RESOURCE ALLOCATION The LAMP(Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) platform requires less CPU and RAM than ASP.NET platform, because the ASP.NET supportable platform comes in-bundle with so many unwanted packages and services which are not required, however LAMP can have more CPU and RAM available for resource allocation and can be used by database and web servers.
  7. FILE SYSTEM: When it is compared between PHP and ASP then first we need to consider the OS File System. Imagine you want to start a website like “flicker“, then i would highly recommend you to go for a LINUX based platform because the Linux ext4 file system is better in performance than Windows NTFS file system. So on this note PHP wins over ASP because ASP cannot work on Linux but PHP can.
  8. SCALABILITY:- When you talk about scalability, then should just simply mark yourself with your potential. If you are working with good and reliable code ethics, programming standards and best practices then i don’t think PHP or ASP.NET should be a point of consideration. Both of them are highly scalable and language is nothing to do with scalability, it depends on your personal skill.
  9. DEPENDENCY: PHP is a platform independent language and can run on Linux, Windows, Mac OS X, Unix. Whereas ASP.NET can only run on Windows platform.Also, this is just not that Linux is not user friendly and Windows is user friendly. It all depends on what you need and what your experience and knowledge level is. It also depends on personal skills, also if someone just want to use GUI then they can obviously try Ubuntu, CentOS, Fedora, Red Hat and openSUSE, they are packaged with nice GUI. So, it totally depends on you how much experience you have with what king of platform.

Statistics: Based on Netcraft’s July 2010 Web Server Survey of 206 million sites over the world 55% were hosted on Apache and 26% were hosted on Windows.

Good company league: Usually big sites just does not rely on anyone of the language completely, they run in serious conjunction with other languages for best performances.


Now to end up this topic, firstly, i have few other suggestions for the programmers. First to understand the availability of help and support with available library of resources. Because if ASP is compared to PHP, then PHP is having a huge resources available as compared to ASP and also when support is considered then PHP being the open source language involves large amount of people available for help, who are much friendly and don’t charge a single penny for anything. Whereas with ASP the support is less and the contributors support is negligible because there are very less people out there as contributors for ASP.

Lastly, my personal experience was better with MySQL as compared to MsSQL, which brings me to PHP always. Also i felt that MsSQL is getting too heavy with UI and is hard to navigate.

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