By David Peterson

Microsoft Launches SQL Server Driver for PHP

By David Peterson

Drupalcon in San Francisco — Microsoft announces the immediate release of their new SQL Server Driver for PHP 2.0 with PDO support. It is in a CTP stage right now, but can run Drupal 7 reliably.

During Dries’s keynote address he mentioned that the driving force behind this was Microsoft’s desire to run Drupal 7 in a Windows environment. It is exciting, and a bit bewildering, to see Microsoft have such a strong presence at Drupalcon — Drupal is very much a Linux, Open Sourcey project. In saying that, expanding the reach of Drupal to more developers is great and I welcome Microsoft’s presence.

Microsoft are doing a lot of good things lately in the open realm with ASP.NET 4 and their Open Data initiative.

  • Tim

    I had to read that first paragraph a few times before I realised it wasn’t written for PHP 2.0, but rather v2.0 of the driver for PHP :) It is great to see vendors supplying language specific drivers to ensure product interoperability.

    Will it ensure Drupal runs on Windows? Not necessarily, but it might increase the number of systems running and MS SQL Server backend. I consider this more as recognition that there are a large number of sites running on non MS platforms and they want to try and capture a piece of that. If only the cost jump from LAMP to WIMP/WAMP wasn’t so great. Not sure how they are going to address that “minor” problem.

    • @Tim Microsoft won’t ensure that it will work with Drupal, but Drupal 7 database layer has been totally re-written and abstracted. When Drupal 7 launches it will support: MySql, PostgreSql, Sqllite and Microsoft SQL Server. And there is work in the NoSQL camp to get it working with mongoDB, CouchDB and Cassandra

  • Wendy

    @Tim/David – it is up to us, the Drupal community, to open up options to support Drupal 7 on Windows. if we don’t, we limit ourselves some choices we can offer to our customers. it’s open source, not closed minds.

  • VodkaFish

    Is it considerably better than just using the odbc driver?

  • Andreas

    I’m currently working on a fork of WikkaWiki we are using as a base for our companys intranet and I have just recently started the switch from MySQL to SQL Server 2008. I’m using PDO_ODBC, what’s the benefits of this new driver from Microsoft over the ODBC-driver? Is it stable enough to use?

  • Tim

    @VodkaFish In theory any native driver support “should” be better than a generic driver. ODBC knows nothing about the MSSQL specific features. Native drivers should also in theory be faster.

    @Wendy I don’t think the annoucement was about options, it’s about quality. Nobody knows the system better than the vendor that created it. To have a vendor supported native driver, means that we (all PHP developers, not just Drupal developers) can treat MSSQL as a first class citizen in the development stack, rather than using ODBC or the nasty driver that currently exists.

    It’s not clear though if the driver will run on a linux web server. Would be nice to get rid of the FreeTDS layer on linux.

  • Ashay (MSFT)

    @Tim: one can always use SQL Server Express (it’s free) and move up to appropriate paid editions when the need arises. the “value” of deploying on WISP varies per one’s needs. it is up to the Drupal community to *ensure* their code runs well on the platforms they want to support, whether it is an operating system, or web server, or database – micorosft can only provide the pieces required to do so, which it has started to do. fastcgi, wincache, sqlphp are some examples, sqlpdo is the latest one.

    @VodkaFish/@dreas: more feature complete from a sql server perspective. is this something I should write a blog about?

    @dreas: we think it is close enough. in our parlance, CTP is close to Release Candidate quality. but it’s always possible to miss test cases and this is an opportunity to not on ly “kick the tires” and send feedback on design but also to send feedback on bugs that we missed.

  • This is yet another cool piece of news on the mixed technology front. I’ve put together a few Drupal sites on Windows and I’m in mid production of yet another. Up until now we have used MySQL and that’s great but it would be advantageous to have a SQL Server option for those MS shops who aren’t interested in administrating anything but SQL Server. There is no doubt in my mind that the MS driver will be slick because as Tim said “Nobody knows the system better than the vendor that created it.”

    I’ll have to get my hands on it so I can play around with it in PHP on IIS.

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