Forum OpenACS Q&A: Alternatives to OpenACS (for IIS)

Posted by Anton Bajri on

I'm not very experienced with site building, and the only way i know
is the OpenACS way. I've built one site, (it
isn't finished yet).

Now, at my work there's a project for building a site that would fit
perfectly OACS, in my eyes. It would serve a limited number of users
(under 100), with some specialized services, and some kind of intranet
functionality (tough the users would be spread trough several
countrues). Seems like SSL will have to be used.

My problem is that there's a strong bias towards using IIS + SQL
Server, because that's what our mother institution uses, and they have
spare resources. So here's the question: what tools are available for
IIS that are comparable to OpenACS in purpose? In principle, the
OpenSourceness is not mandatory. Any information is welcome, so i can
build a comparison of the different alternatives, and with luck, prove
that the technical merits and the availability of a trained guy (me),
overweights the hassle of providing hosting and maintenance.

Thanks in advance,


PS: sorry for my english.

Posted by Jonathan Ellis on
I really haven't heard of anything for ASP, but you might be able to find something for PHP, which I believe runs on IIS. Or, you could try running OpenACS anyway with aD's AOLServer ISAPI and postgres (which comes precompiled for NT with the cygwin kit).
Posted by Jade Rubick on
My biggest reason for not going with IIS is that you would have to patch it about once a week..  A lot of people are leaving IIS and switching to other web platforms..
4: ISAPI + OpenACS4? (response to 1)
Posted by Anton Bajri on
Jade, sadly i have no saying in what to use. I'm just a programmer in a office several thousands kilometers away from the place where those decisions are made.

Jonathan, thanks for the pointer, it sounds like a lifesaver.

Anyone know if ISAPI can be used with OpenACS4? I would really like to try with OACS4, but if that is not possible/not recomendable, what version of OpenACS would go?

Another question: Is there an estimation of how many man/hours it would take to port the querys to SQL Server? Is there any work done in that direction? (just in case i can't convince them of instaling Postgres for me)

Thanks in advance,

Posted by Jun Yamog on
Hi Jorge,

Although I have not got my hands lately on IIS.  I saw a
demo that is similar to ACS portals and more.  If you have Win2k try
downloading the beta of the example app should be pretty
close to ACS.  I am sure there is a ASP solution our there, although
given the nature of the platform most people in IIS do not tend to
share their code.  There is also a high from the ground up attitude
on IIS if the code does not come from MS.  Also keep IIS patched
from security holes.


If you are reading this post maybe you can help this guy out.

Posted by Roberto Mello on
You might want to ask around the ArsDigita bboards for their ASAPI module for IIS that let you run ACS (not sure about ACS 4) on IIS similarly to mod_aolserver on Apache.

If you get any news, and I'm pretty confident that you would, let us know. We could use that module and perhaps someone in the community (*hint*) could maintain it.

Posted by Jonathan Ellis on
You mean the one I linked four posts above? :)
Posted by Roberto Mello on
Hmm, yeah 😊

I just dowloaded, "just in case" it is no longer available in the future. I have no time (or interest right now) to develop it, but those who need to use Win2K+IIS (It Isn't Secure)  should take a shot it.

Posted by David Walker on
Whenever I can I encourage technical people to be assertive in the
technical decision-making process.  Technical decisions should not
be made by a financial or other non-technical person.  I can't tell
you how much time I've wasted trying to make their decisions work in
the real world.

Within reason, of course.  If the technical decisions are being made
by the same person that signs your checks you might not be able to
say too much.

Posted by Jonathan Ellis on
I went and had a look... the ISAPI module is based on aolserver 3.0 but all the win32 stuff is in its own directory so it shouldn't be hard to update should the urge strike someone. It includes a Visual C++ project file and nscp, nscgi, nslog, nsperm, and nssock modules.

Besides the caveat in the readme about logs not rolling, it's not clear to me how you'd hook a postgres (or oracle, for that matter) driver into this. Reading the asj article didn't help much here.

Posted by Joel Natividad on

I'm in the same boat as you are. One of our clients, a Fortune 150 pharmaceutical, has blessed "IIS", for their intranet projects.

I couldn't use OpenACS so I ended up using WebGUI from against IIS, SQL/Server.

12: Thanks to all. (response to 1)
Posted by Anton Bajri on
I post this just to close the story.

Finally, i'll go with ASP.NET, and the IBuySpy Portal thing. At least it's not raw ASP from scratch (and no, it wasn't obvious for everyone).

So, there's yet another thing to learn... Is this going to stop someday? 😊 At least, i'll be able to use what i know of Visual Basic (eeech, didn't THAT sound weird?)

Thanks again,