Case Study | SilverStripe


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Case Study | SilverStripe

  1. 1. Windows interoperability creates new markets and fresh opportunities for open source companyOverview “There’s little doubt in my mind that SilverStripe’sRegion: Asia Pacific product adoption, credibility and growth have all beenIndustry: IT Services enhanced through our involvement with Microsoft.”Customer Profile Sigurd Magnusson, Co-founder and Business Relationship Manager,Based in New Zealand and Australia, SilverStripeSilverStripe is a web development companydelivering open source content managementsystems and development services to Founded in 2000, SilverStripe is an open source web developmentbusinesses throughout Australasia, Europeand the USA. SilverStripe employs 40 company, delivering content management systems (CMS) andspecialists who work with over 300 public and development services to businesses throughout Australasia,private sector organisations. Europe and the USA. A growing number of developers wanted toBusiness Situation run its PHP based CMS application, in established and trustedFollowing recent commercial success, Microsoft® Windows® environments. Developing a WindowsSilverStripe was prompted to broaden itstarget market. As a result, the company compatible version of the CMS would encourage broadershifted its focus to larger government and adoption of the software. The successful addition of Windowscorporate organizations to ensure long-termgrowth. support to SilverStripe CMS has expanded the potential market for the technology, creating additional opportunities for serviceSolutionSilverStripe worked with Microsoft to add revenue growth. SilverStripe also recently achieved Certificationsupport for IIS, SQL Server, and Wincache to for Windows Server 2008 R2 – the first truly open source webthe CMS, encouraging easy installation andpowerful performance in a Windows application to achieve this in the world.environment.Benefits Expanded target markets Increased revenues Additional customer confidence following Certification for Windows Added value to customers through integrated systems offering Reduced deployment time and costs Enhanced customer experience offering Increased software adoption
  2. 2. “At least half of Situation source community and find securing certain large commercial deals a challenge,”SilverStripe’s Since its establishment in 2000, New said Sigurd Magnusson, Co-founder and Zealand based website and software Business Relationship Manager atcustomers manage development firm, SilverStripe, has gone SilverStripe. from strength-to-strength, picking up apredominantly string of awards as one of the fastest “Nearly 40 percent of installations ofWindows Server IT growing technology companies in Asia- SilverStripe CMS are on a Microsoft Pacific. During this time, the company has platform, so we knew there was highenvironments. These become recognised as a leading provider demand for us to officially support Internetcustomers are now of commercial open source CMS software. SilverStripe worked alongside Microsoft in Information Services, Windows Server and SQL Server. Some developers had evenable to confidently 2008 to deliver the website for the attempted re-writing the application as a Democratic National Convention. Built on short term fix – however it continued to bedeploy our software SilverStripe CMS and Microsoft® a source of frustration for them,”on the Microsoft Silverlight™ technologies, the site attracted 3.2 million visitors and delivered 350,000 Magnusson added.platform. hours of video in a four-day period. Microsoft offers a broad range of technologies and solutions, and In its early years, SilverStripe developed increasingly customers want to useSigurd Magnusson, Co-founder proprietary, licensed software but switched solutions from multiple vendors includingand Business Relationship to an open source model in 2006, releasing Open Source. Microsoft is makingManager, SilverStripe its CMS and application framework to the significant investment in supporting Open community. The software has since been Source products on its platforms, helping downloaded more than 300,000 times, Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) meet creating an active community of developers customer requirements and grow their who have helped to refine and extend the businesses. base code. SilverStripe couples publicly available open source applications with As Microsoft continues to invest in this bespoke PHP development to deliver area, it is actively partnering with custom-built web properties. companies like SilverStripe, working with them as they build in support for Microsoft The company’s recent commercial success platforms and technologies. The has seen its business aspirations grow, partnerships then work together to prompting an increased focus on large highlight the benefits found through the public sector and corporate organisations. improved interoperability, increased To help SilverStripe as it became a reliability and, ultimately, the power of competitive player in this market, the choice for end users. company needed its PHP/MySQL based CMS system to run effectively on Windows platforms common among many Solution businesses and government departments. While SilverStripe recognised the Overcoming the difficulty of installation importance of developing a Windows and reduced performance of PHP compatible version of its CMS software, it applications in Windows environments was had little experience working on the important for unlocking this target market. Microsoft platform. Fortunately, SilverStripe’s achievements had captured “It soon became clear that properly the attention of Microsoft, which supporting the Microsoft server family was recognised a mutually beneficial important to our long-term growth. We opportunity for the companies to work needed our software to install smoothly on together. the Windows platform and deliver a compelling user experience. Until we solved “SilverStripe continues to inspire others in this issue, we would frustrate our open the New Zealand web community and
  3. 3. raises expectations about what can be said Jorke Odolphi, Web Platform Architect,“IIS matches Apache achieved by a small company with offshore Microsoft Australia. aspirations. As an active participant in this It soon became apparent that manyfor hosting PHP community, Microsoft welcomed the members of the SilverStripe communityapplications on opportunity to work with the SilverStripe were running Windows Server® 2003 and team,” said Nigel Parker, Web Development Windows® XP, which required support forWindows and also Advisor, Microsoft New Zealand. IIS6.0 and IIS5.0 respectively. This created aprovides additional This understanding led to the formation of new challenge for SilverStripe, which turned to Microsoft’s technical experts to helpbenefits through a Joint Development Programme (JDP) to determine the best way to achieve help SilverStripe CMS become fully backwards IIS compatibility.improved ease of supported on the Windows platform. Inintegrating with addition, SilverStripe was accepted into Microsoft’s BizSpark initiative – an “Access to expert Microsoft technical staff and hosted servers allowed SilverStripe toMicrosoft products.” innovative programme that unites start-ups update its CMS product for the Windows and innovative companies with platform and verify it worked well in a entrepreneurial and technology resources variety of operating system environments.Jorke Odolphi, Web Platform to help accelerate business development. In particular, the close interaction betweenArchitect, Microsoft Australia. the teams was invaluable in helping us to As part of the JDP, Microsoft delivered follow Microsoft technology best practices, expert technical support free of charge and carry out the work efficiently, and ensure provided access to Windows and SQL test that the SilverStripe CMS is fully supported servers, to assist SilverStripe with the across modern versions of WindowsSilverStripe CMS development process. Almost immediately, operating systems, Windows servers, IIS SilverStripe saw the potential for the and SQL Server,” added Magnusson.became the first truly Internet Information Services (IIS) versionOpen Source Web 7.5 upgrade in Windows Server® 2008 R2 SilverStripe has subsequently been working to play a central role in the Windows with Microsoft to further simplify theApplication to achieve version of its CMS product. installation process on Windows, and wasCertification on IIS 7.5 is the latest version of Microsoft’s invited in May 2009 as one of the first ten products to be installed with the then-newWindows Server 2008 web server technology and has been Microsoft Web Platform Installer (WebPI). specifically designed to allow greater The WebPI was a product developed byR2. adaptability and customisation. It supports Microsoft to address the growing need to a range of applications, including those install open source and .NET web built using PHP, making it a suitable applications on Windows servers. Microsoft web server for the SilverStripe CMS. Shortly after this, Microsoft developed Wincache, a purpose-built tool to speed up Using the new URL Rewriting support PHP-based applications, and SilverStripe found in IIS 7.0 and newer versions, has also been verified to run reliably on SilverStripe was able to deliver the full this. functionality of its software on a native Microsoft web server, without relying on In May 2010 SilverStripe 2.4.0 was released, third-party plug-ins. SilverStripe v2.3.0 was with native support for SQL Server 2008. released in February 2009, and for the first The installer was upgraded to allow users time, it could be easily installed on an IIS to easily and conveniently choose SQL platform. Server as their database. “IIS matches Apache for hosting PHP With support for Microsoft’s operating applications on Windows and also provides system, web server and database additional benefits through improved ease completing the stack, SilverStripe sought of integrating with Microsoft products,” third party certification to highlight the
  4. 4. best practices used to develop the CMS opens up a diverse new market and“SilverStripe CMS is software, and the reliability running on will contribute to our plans for sustainablefully supported across Microsoft platforms and servers. long-term growth. Performance and reliability of SilverStripe has been proven inmodern versions of SilverStripe achieved certification for production websites as well as through the Windows Server 2008 R2 in June 2010 from recent certification process,” saidWindows operating Wipro Technologies Limited, one of, Windows Microsoft’s global certification providers. In doing so, SilverStripe CMS became the first “In addition, interoperability betweenservers, IIS, and SQL truly open source web application in the SilverStripe CMS and Windows Server and world to achieve certification on Windows. SQL Server enables customers to leverageServer Previously, Microsoft has concentrated on the investments they’ve already made in certifying native executable software, and Microsoft technology. For example, the few web applications certified to date customers deploying SilverStripe CMS on“We are confident have not been open source. Another rare Windows Server have used Microsoft Active element to the certification process was the Directory to cost-effectively achieve singlethat greater inter- SilverStripe application was written in PHP, sign-on functionality. In an economicoperability with the not in the Microsoft .NET programming environment where businesses are focused environment. on getting the most out of their ITWindows platform will infrastructure, organisations are attractedcontribute to further Benefits by the ability to do more with less,” added Magnusson.success in the years SilverStripe has experienced a number of benefits since incorporating support for SilverStripe CMS’ support for Windows wasahead. Windows into its CMS software. In the first central to it securing a significant website year of running on Windows, there has development contract with one of New been more than 60,000 downloads of Zealand’s largest local government bodies,Sigurd Magnusson, Co-founder SilverStripe from via the Greater Wellington Regional Council.and Business Relationship the Web Platform Installer, and there are Greater Wellington operates gw.govt.nzManager, SilverStripe thousands more downloading and and, heavily trafficked council installing SilverStripe on Windows without and official public transport sites that WebPI. The recent support for SQL Server necessitate a stable and reliable content and achievement of the Certification are management platform. expected to further drive adoption within SilverStripe’s commercial markets. “The recent upgrade of the council’s official websites ( and Securing new opportunities to SilverStripe CMS was a SilverStripe’s addition of IIS and SQL Server major initiative. Our choice to implement support to its CMS has opened up a broad the SilverStripe solution was based on it new market for the company, allowing it to being a user friendly and flexible product. more effectively engage with the large In addition, it was important we could commercial and public sector customers consolidate our IT infrastructure on running Windows Server technologies. As a Windows Server and SQL Server. This result, the company has expanded the approach delivered simplified management breadth of its potential market, creating of our websites and meant a centralisation additional opportunities for service revenue of our web server stack to Microsoft growth. technology was possible. SilverStripe CMS having Certified for Windows Server status “At least half of SilverStripe’s customers is important to Greater Wellington because manage predominantly Windows IT server it offers confidence that the overall solution environments. These customers are now is reliable and commercially viable.” said able to confidently deploy our software on Brett Sangster, communications manager, the Microsoft platform. The addition of IIS Greater Wellington Regional Council. and SQL Server support for SilverStripe
  5. 5. Reduction in deployment time and costs with Microsoft and the recent Certification,Web PI has significantly eased the according to Magnusson, the work so far isinstallation and upgrade path for existing just a hint of things to come.and future developers of the SilverStripesoftware. When building or deploying a “There’s little doubt in my mind thatSilverStripe CMS solution on Windows, the SilverStripe’s product adoption, credibilityMicrosoft WebPI enables developers to get and growth have all been enhanceda new SilverStripe website up and running through our involvement with just minutes. We are confident that greater interoperability with the Windows platform“Web PI makes installing SilverStripe CMS will contribute to further success in theeasier than ever before. Not only have we years ahead,” Magnusson said.overcome the performance issuesassociated with installing PHP applicationson a Windows platform, but following thework done with the Microsoft IIS team, theexperience requires far less technicalknowledge than deploying on Linux orMac. It’s a complete reversal from thesituation prior to starting the JDP withMicrosoft and I have to admit, it isn’tsomething I expected,” said Magnusson.In addition, SilverStripe CMS was one ofonly ten select applications to be includedin the Microsoft Web Application Gallerywhen it was launched in March 2009.“Microsoft handpicked a small sampleof leading PHP and .NET applications to bepart of its new Web Application Gallery,and SilverStripe CMS was included in thisgroup because it is a great product with apassionate user base. We’re delighted bySilverStripe’s commitment to working withMicrosoft and its focus on delivering acompelling experience for its CMScommunity on IIS,” said Bill Staples GeneralManager, Web Platform and Tools,Microsoft.“It has been a pleasure working withSilverStripe through the JDP. The speed atwhich it was able to able to create aWindows version of its product and go tomarket has been remarkable. The inclusionof SilverStripe CMS in the Web ApplicationGallery will extend the reach of thetechnology,” added Michael Joffe, SeniorProduct Manager, PHP on Windows,Microsoft.While SilverStripe is excited about theopportunities created by its involvement
  6. 6. For More Information “Open source” in this document refers toFor more information about Microsoft software that uses a license approved by the Open Source Initiative and where thatproducts and services, call the Microsoft software complies with the Open SourceSales Information Center at Definition. For example, that source code(800) 426-9400. In Canada, call the for the software must be publicly available,Microsoft Canada Information Centre at and able to be redistributed without the(877) 568-2495. Customers who are deaf payment of royalties. Seeor hard-of-hearing can reach Microsoft telephone (TTY/TDD) services at(800) 892-5234 in the United States or(905) 568-9641 in Canada. Outside the 50United States and Canada, please contactyour local Microsoft subsidiary. To accessinformation using the World Wide Web,go to: more information about SilverStripe,visit: www.silverstripe.comFor more information on Windows Server2008, visit: Software & - Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008 R2 - Microsoft® Silverlight™For more information on SQL Server - Windows Server® 20032008 R2, visit: - Windows Server® 2008 - Windows® 7s/r2.aspx - Windows® Vista - Windows® XPFor more information on Internet - Internet Information Services version 7.5Information Services, visit: - Internet Information Services version - Internet Information Services version 6.0 - Internet Information Services version 5.0To download the Web Platform Installer, - Microsoft Active Directory™visit: - Web Platform Installer - Certified for Windows Server 2008 R2ds/platform.aspx - Microsoft WinCache 2.0 - Web Application GalleryTo visit the Window Web ApplicationGallery, case study is for informational purposes only.MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED,IN THIS SUMMARY.Document published March 2009