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Re: [ossig] JSP v PHP for Biz Intelligence Application

Hi Ditesh and everyone else!

I wanted to add some neutral and generic comments to this topic based upon
my experiences.

First of all, I am 100% for LAMP development architecture and a fan of PHP
since its inception, throughout my career where possible have used and
deployed PHP solutions but have been engaged with various single to
multi-tier architecture systems and applications. I have had work experience
with Turbo and Borland C++, VB 4-5-6 and .Net,
J2EE/Webspere/Weblogic/Oracle/SQLServer/MySQL, and finally now lots of PHP.
There is a more logical approach to the selection of various architectures
for software development where there are legacy and transactional
systems/applications concerned.

When I was working at the central bank of Pakistan, there were some
important aspects to keep in mind before choosing preferred development
platforms or acquisition of technology platforms for the enterprise within
the financial sector. It is not a usual practice to develop such huge
systems in house and is always procured from external/foreign venders By
enterprise I am referring to software that manages legacy systems, data
warehouses, or ERP based transaction systems. 

Secondly, such large financial or corporate institutions have a less focus
on what the system was developed with and more concerned with number of
successful implementations. Example, one of the most widely used treasury
system is Globus ZA that is a visual basic + Universal DB implementation.
When you use Oracle Apps, thatís a J2EE + Application Server + DB
architecture and can run both on Linux and Windows. Now let me discuss the
reality of such large scale implementations: 

The following things are kept in mind while making a selection of vendors
and their preferred apps.

First of all, before software or hardware is even touched, a Financial
System Analysis and Business Process Mapping activity is done that is mostly
done by the chartered accounting firms or the business management
consultants and is hardcore documentation that is to form the basis of such
an automation. Once this is completed, these CA or BMC present a RFP/RFQ on
behalf of their client. This is where the actual selection of the solution
takes place in light of the documentation and the needs analysis for
automation and then the following is checked:

1. The enterprise level project implementation experience of the vendor

2. The implementation experience of the banking solution vendor providing
solutions through the consultant.

3. The implementation experience of the DB vendor providing solutions
through the consultant.

4. The implementation experience of the hardware vendor providing solutions
through the consultant.

I have normally seen during such large scale implementations, both on SAP
and Oracle Apps based projects, the issue is not about the development
platform, its about which platform proved to be more successful and had the
most number of successful implementations.

Before selecting any vendor, the vendors used to sponsor local or foreign
visits to financial institutions running their applications and we had the
opportunity to check systems in Bulgaria, Dubai, Malaysia, Korea before
actually making the final selection.

Now to further change your perceptions, we had an in house development team
that used to add to the project what was missing. Since the ERP was all Java
and Oracle based, we used JDeveloper and Oracle, once again their was no
need to identify here whether Php or Java, what was used was what the ERP
was made up of.

Secondly for the E-governance platform, the team had all the diverse skills
including PHP/MySQL, ASP, VB6 and .Net/SQL Server, Java/Oracle expertise,
what was chosen was on the basis of the licensed hardware infrastructure the
organization was running and environment in which the applications could be
integrated with backend operations.

The choice really comes down to what the background infrastructure is
carrying. It is easy for Yahoo to shift over to PHP/MySQL because they have
the infrastructure that supports open standards, Google can play with Open
Source as much as they want because they are 100% Linux based and are hard
core C++ and Java Developers whereas their Api's can communication with PHP
as well.

What the real problem that I sense here is that you are not able to decide
upon an infrastructure for your application development. In order to
overcome that, once your project planning is complete, you will be able to

1. What is the architecture of your solution? (Logical)

2. What scope and scale of the enterprise will your application serve
server/users? (Usage)

3. If you are using transactions, at which layer, from server side or from
client side? (Legacy)

4. Which development platform provides you with transactions, you will need
a multi-tier architecture that is tied with an application server, which
technology platforms support such architectures?

So itís a matter of making the right choice of technology platform for your
solution so no need on debating the benefits of J2EE and PHP. Your just
trying to differentiate between DELL and COMPAQ.

My question would only be, why did A choose J2EE for his ERP and why did B
choose PHP for his ERP. I have seen two ERPs, one was developed with J2EE
and the other with PHP and PHP-GTK, you could hardly tell one from the
other, similar went for one developed in Python lying over a CMS layer of
Plone and running POSTgre SQL at the back end, the buyer was least concerned
with what the development platform was, he said, show me one running in a
vertical industry similar to his and let him have one to one discussions
with the end user. I won't tell you what he chose but will assure you, he
made the best choice, he had the solution implemented and he is one happy

So what was the use of advocating PHP over J2EE or vice-versa, your
experience should have already answered this question. What are you
developing and what is available that fulfills the technology need of your
application. If you are using the prototyping SE model, you can test both
with J2EE and PHP, the platform that completes your transactions in the
least time factor with the least time to draw the database queries as well
as the least overload with the maximum number of users connected to the

Fouad Riaz Bajwa
General Secretary - FOSS Advocate
FOSSFP: Free & Open Source Software Foundation of Pakistan ģ Secretariat
Office of the General Secretary
E-Mail: bajwa@fossfp.org
URL: www.fossfp.org ; www.ubuntu-pk.org
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