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NT Hosting and Perl scripting
Is there a conflict or problems?

 8:30 am on Apr 21, 2001 (gmt 0)

Hi everyone

I have been asked to source web space for a client who currently host on a UNIX server. They want there future space to be able to accomodate ASP/Access/SQL databases, but I also be able to cope with some heavy Perl scripts.

The hosting companies I have spoken to have given me mixed reactions - some saying 'no problem' hosting on NT and using Perl scripts, others saying that Perl and NT do not mix.

Wondered if you good people could give me the definative verdict, or offer some suggestions for hosting databases/ASP together with Perl - would Windows 2000 servers suit?

Thanks in advance.



 4:16 am on Apr 22, 2001 (gmt 0)

No first hand experience markd but my impression from what I've read is that it is server configuration dependent. If the NT server is configured to support Perl, scripts will run fine. As you know M$ and *nix paths are substantially different, so I'd expect some scripts to require a few revisions in this area.


 5:31 am on Apr 22, 2001 (gmt 0)

I've never done heavy perl on an NT box, but I have run a bulletin board and used some light weight cloaking on a shared NT box without any problems. The path thing does take a bit of getting use to but the main thing is to remember to '\' out your \s. So your path would look something like this -> B:\\PATH\\TO\\CGI-BIN\\script.pl.


 7:16 am on Apr 23, 2001 (gmt 0)

Thanks for your help guys.

Is it possible to host Access, MS SQL databases and ASP pages effectively on UNIX?

I have been led to believe from various hosting companies that it almost 'compulsory' to use NT.

Sorry if my questions are a bit naive, perhaps you won't mind indulging me one more time.

Thanks again


 9:12 am on Apr 23, 2001 (gmt 0)

My *GUESS* would be no, to Access at least, it's a Windoze only application as far as I know, part of the M$ Office suite. I suspect the same is true re:ASP server.


 9:19 am on Apr 23, 2001 (gmt 0)

Yep, that's right.

A reasonable set-up on NT should give you access to perl, although, I suspect ther reason you got a maybe from some providers is because they don't want the troubleshooting problems.


 9:30 am on Apr 23, 2001 (gmt 0)

Access is very much Windows specific, as is I believe SQL server. Whilst ASP is also an MS product meant for NT hosting, I believe from information provided by Boneheadicus that there is a product called Chillisoft that will run ASP pages on Unix systems although I have never tried it. If you did go that route however, you would have to choose a different database source, perhaps MySQL or PostgreSQL?



 11:40 am on Apr 23, 2001 (gmt 0)

You just need to make sure that the web host has perl installed on the server. Perl runs on UNIX, Windows, NT and MAC.

Just ask specifically "do you have a working copy of perl installed on the server?" and you should be okay (if the answer is yes).

Make sure your client knows the ramifications of using proprietary MS solutions, the dollars start to add up real fast.


 12:30 pm on Apr 23, 2001 (gmt 0)

agree John... the great thing about perl is that there are a lot of public domain scripts out there that a non Perl professional can modify and learn as he goes. Our ISP keeps on trying to get us to use cold fusion saying that perl is outdated and wont help on simple questions on say what the version is and what its directory is etc. What he really wants us to do is to use cold fusion, learn a new language and pay the extra monthly fee to use it. I guess they paid the license and now have to pay it.

So be careful of this. Make sure that they really DO support it, and are happy suporting it, rather than selling you on all the proprietary stuff, MS CFM etc etc etc


 12:56 pm on Apr 23, 2001 (gmt 0)

I think Chiyo has hit the nail on the head. The ISP would love you to go NT- $$$$$$$


 2:00 pm on Apr 23, 2001 (gmt 0)

Ps you WILL have to modify unix scripts for NT. As a real amateur in writing perl, its been learn as I go. We can use UNIX scipts but have to make quite a few changes apart from directory pointers.. and things so fundamental as using pl for extensions rather than cgi extensions. Permissions seem easier on NT, but seem very iffy to me.. sometimes one way will work and one way wont. That said, after much blood sweat and tears, we have managed to modify scripts written for UNIX for NT, and they are running succesfully.


 4:53 pm on Apr 24, 2001 (gmt 0)

A big 'thank you' for all of the great help and advice so far.

I have asked the question 'do you have a current version of Perl running' on the 2 shortlisted NT hosting companies and they have both replied 'yes'.

I am still torn between Unix/Linux (which my Perl developer knows best) or the likely desire of the client to use ASP in the future - notwithstanding the option of ChilliSoft on Unix.

Either way, my decision will be more informed thanks to all of you.

All the best


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