Dominic Sartorio on SpikeSource and Open Source Interoperability

by Community Contributor on February 27, 2008 08:33pm


First, many thanks to Microsoft’s Port 25 Team for the opportunity to post today!

Today SpikeSource announced the availability of five additional PHP-based applications on the Windows Server 2008 platform. Gallery, Mantis, Moodle, PhpBB and WebCalendar are available for free download from We welcome you to take a look and to offer your feedback!

Similar to the previous applications we released on Windows Server (Drupal, Alfresco), SpikeSource delivered these as turnkey “SpikeIgnited” applications, with all components needed to run the application available in a single one-click-install distribution. We have also included a variant of our SpikeNet update service optimized for Windows Server 2008.

“That’s great”, you might say, “SpikeSource has ‘Ignited’ a few more apps, so what’s the big deal?” We believe the big deal is that these applications also run on a stack of other Microsoft products in addition to Windows, namely, IIS/Fast-CGI and SQL Server Express, with which many open source products have historically not interoperated well. Quite a bit of engineering went into assembling this “WISP” stack and building/testing these PHP applications, and this know-how is an important step towards improving the interoperability between the worlds of Microsoft and open source.

Why do this? Because customers want it. Throughout SpikeSource’s history, nearly 50% of our customer’s request Windows versions of our open source applications, and most of them also care about interoperating with IIS, SQLServer, Sharepoint, ActiveDirectory and so forth. Our experience is representative of the industry. Ask any commercial OSS ISV with a server-side application, and they’ll tell you the same thing, with similar numbers.

Also, last December, the Open Solutions Alliance ( published a report (pdf) summarizing the results of its customer outreach efforts. One of the key findings was that customers want better open source and Microsoft interoperability, and moreover, they felt this was the issue that the industry has collectively done the least to address. While there has been a lot of unfortunate history that has gotten in the way of this, ultimately customers don’t care as much about grudges as they care about everything simply working. Together, SpikeSource and Microsoft’s open source lab are doing something about it.

The release of these five PHP applications is just a first step. By taking five commonly used PHP applications and making them run better on a Windows stack, we took a step towards better interoperability, and we also built some technical expertise that we intend to leverage more broadly and share with the community in the future.

So, stay tuned, and we welcome your input. What other types of open source applications are important to run well on Windows? What specific technical issues do you have that you would like to see us solve? What more can we do? Please send us your feedback!

Dominic Sartorio
Sr Director, Product Management, SpikeSource
President, Open Solutions Alliance


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