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PHP in the Enterprise

Readwriteweb.com argues that the announcement of HipHop will take PHP deeper into the enterprise:

The enterprise developer community is dominated by Java and .NET developers. Java is a heavyweight technology. Historically, Microsoft has had a significant hold on the enterprise, primarily due to the hegemony of Microsoft Office, and the enterprise community has scoffed at PHP.

I beg to differ. I believe that even if PHP’s performance would have been one of the reasons it is not “robust” enough for the average enterprise it is not going to change that. The enterprise wants stability and support. Unless FaceBook (very unlikely) or some 3rd party (very likely) will provide a supported version of HipHop this will not change.

In addition the defacto “Enterprise PHP Framework” Zend Framework is unlikely to work with FaceBooks HipHop Implementation right away. And considering that Zend has it’s own Platform (http://www.zend.com/products/platform/) they are unlikely to approve HipHop as a certified platform in the near future. Oh and HipHop will always be a step behind the “real” PHP in terms of features, so so much for a “drop in solution”.

I do, however, think that HipHop will conquer the enterprise via a backdoor. It does seem like a perfect platform to squeeze all you can get from your hardware. Core business applications in the enterprise are generally given enough resources and have support subscriptions, so this is not where I am aiming at…

I believe the backdoor to the enterprise is SAAS. Companies such as Salesforce.com provide tools as a subscription via the web. These companies generally run custom software and have plenty of tech savvy staff. With this combination HipHop might be able to give a player the competitive advantage.

The competetive advantage would naturally be price as you can get the most out of your physical investment. I’d say the average customer does not care which platform you’re running on. As long as the platform is, indeed, running. Not walking. Or crawling.

Written by Jorgé on Monday February 8, 2010

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