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Web Application Development Blog @ Armia Systems, Inc

How to Choose the Language for Your Web App

Posted by: Ashley | On: 26th Aug, 2013 | Uncategorized

When you create a new website or web application, you have a few options regarding language. You can select  .NET, PHP, Ruby or Java as the main option.

If you are a large enterprise, most of the platform decisions are already made. Instead, it mostly revolves around what is already there and what your in house developers know. Most older companies that need large applications create this by using Java or .NET. They are mostly remnants of a relationship with Microsoft , IBM or Oracle . If you are not a Fortune 500 company, there is very little reason to pick, .NET or Java – unless that’s the only language you know.

It’s important to have an elastic architecture for your application.  This will enable immediate responses to traffic spikes or failures.

Ruby is a good option for creating prototypes, but scalability has been a concern. The alternative would be to migrate to Java or something similar. It is because of this that not very many large applications use Ruby. Some see it is a well structured framework that can support scaling from small to medium, but requires some effort for scaling large.

Ruby on Rails is an open source framework optimized for programmers by fueling productivity. Instead of taking weeks or months, the applications can instead take days to produce. As Ruby on Rails is a local Chicago product, we do root for it.  Ruby on Rails and other frameworks have come a long way over the years. While older versions may have had many issues with performance and scaling, they have since been improved.

However, the majority of web applications run on PHP. Most large consumer sites like Facebook  and YouTube are running on Lamp (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP). These companies, along with large open source communities, contribute significantly to new frameworks and improvements. PHP has more programmers than any web language, so normally it is easy to find people who know what they are doing, which is always beneficial.  Even if you plan to grow as big as Facebook , scalability is not an issue with free solutions like Hadoop and Cassandra.

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