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I know that .NET cost alot if you are thinking from different points of view: the database, the servers,etc.

When I think about Java or JSP I'm not sure how much does it cost and how it is comparted to .net regarding cost!

But when I think about LAMP, I find it the chepeast way, am I wrong?

And can anyone tell me please how much does JSP or java cost?

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Note that licensing costs aren't the only software-related costs. –  David Thornley Nov 22 '10 at 15:52
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7 Answers

I'm working on a different "variation" of the LAMP stack right now... you can call it "LAMG"

  • Linux
  • Apache Webserver
  • MySQL
  • Grails (using Groovy/Java)

You get ORM and spring framework built into grails RAD. Nothing is THAT easy, but it's not bad...

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Typically, I think of the Formula I Racing analogy for what drives innovation in an industry. The technology on those cars will eventually make it to compact cars just like fuel injection, disk breaks, safety features, etc.

Those who build massive websites end up doing the same thing. They trail blaze a lot of the new technology. They have to build it from scratch so why pay licensing fees for software we're not able to configure? That's just one influencer. There are forces from the established businesses where cutting edge technology is not required.

Someone with little IT experience can buy a Windows Server out of the box and probably get it to run. Add some accounts, figure out file sharing and now everyone has a place to clutter with their 5000 spread sheets and presentations-most of the work done with a mouse. Not ideal, but "that's all we need." Internal mail? Get a local VAR to put Exchange on this box since "that's all we need." Wouldn't an intranet be cool? The VAR mentions that your box came with a 'free' web server. "Free? That's all we need."

Believe it or not, many of these companies grow up and buy lots of 3rd-Party app licenses and prefer that they will run on their servers; almost like it's free. They have an admin at some point that got their MS Cert. Since they're already paying someone to handle their server, they can just let them handle the next 500 servers for 'free.' They even hire their own programmers who can write apps for their servers without having to buy new ones - just like their free.

Eventually, developers get tired of working for these companies and want to build their own web company. Find a host for .NET, "that's all we need." They just hope the money they spend on the licenses saves them time in the long run.

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The Java platform is equally cheap if not cheaper.

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LAMP is likely the cheapest solution in terms of basic hosting for a few bucks per month or avoiding paying license fees to Microsoft/Oracle. The real cost will be in developing your site. The cost of learning a new language is what really needs to be factored in as most companies fail because they never get a project completed as opposed to the mechanics of how to pay for software licenses.

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JSP/Java are free too (Tomcat is maintained by the Apache Foundation, and it's released under the same license as the Apache server).

LAMP is just one choice for a free server stack (though it does tend to be the default choice).

The L can be replaced by FreeBSD. The A can be replaced by NginX, or an application server specific to your app (Tomcat for Java/JVM language, YAWS for Erlang, Hunchentoot/Araneida/Anti-Web for Common Lisp, the Racket Server for Racket, HAppS/Hyena for Haskell etc), most of which can also be used to serve vanilla pages. M can be switched out for PostgreSQL or SQLite (if your project is small enough) or MongoDB/[your preferred NoSQL DB].

The P is probably the most flexible component; as I said above, most languages have their own, specialized application server, but even if you want to keep Apache, there is a mod_[language] for most things. Even if there isn't one for the language you'd like, it's pretty simple to hook most of them up through CGI/FastCGI. There's a pretty flexible menu of choices out there, and whatever you build your app in, it's a good bet you'll be able to put a decent stack together for it given enough time and research.

That said, Apache is still the most popular server. Which, if nothing else, means that it's the most battle-tested you can use (certainly more than any commercial alternative), and that more people are likely to know how to use it (which helps with peripheral costs like hosting, or hiring an admin). If you're not looking to host something special, you can safely go with it.

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Java/JSP can be run and developed entirely on a (free) open source platform (most likely Linux as an operating system with either MySQL or Postgres as the database) so in that sense the costs are the same as LAMP (assuming you use an open source database) - essentially free for the licenses.

The same is true of Python, PHP, Ruby and Perl which would likely be the other contenders.

.NET runs primarily on Windows so you'd need at least the Windows licenses for the servers (you could run using Mono on Linux but if you're asking this question I'd suggest that you keep things simple and avoid that).

From a database perspective SQL Server would be the logical choice for a .NET application. While you might be able to get away with the free express edition, eventually there could be a license cost there once the database or user numbers reach a certain level.

Beyond that you need to look at the cost of development tools.

.NET will require a copy of Visual Studio. Again there are express versions which are free but depending on what you're doing they may not be sufficient and you may need to shell out several hundred dollars per developer for a full copy.

For Java - as with PHP, Python, Ruby and so on - there are good, free open source development tools available. Something like Eclipse would cover all of them and is freely available.

But the final thing could be the cost of actually developing the site. The best technology here is likely to depend on what exactly the site does but assuming it's nothing too involved, you may find something like Ruby on Rails or Python with Django will allow the site to be developed fastest (and therefore cheapest).

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Thank you, but why most people nowadays go with .net for web development. What the reason behind that? Is it because it keep changing and Java is quite stable? And by the way regarding running java on open source platform, will open source databases such as MySQL will perform very well with Java? –  Goma Nov 22 '10 at 14:10
@Goma - .NET is a good platform (not that Java isn't). Generally if you're a corporate a few thousand dollars on Microsoft licenses is nothing compared to the cost of the developers who are developing the site (likely many tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars). Plus big corporates like the idea that there is one company they can go to with problems rather than the sometimes less clear support that can exist for open source software (though there are now plenty of companies who will offer corporate level support for the likes of Linux and MySQL). –  Jon Hopkins Nov 22 '10 at 14:16
@Jon Hopkins: Actually, I do not care about companies, but me as an individual who wants to be creative and create a large website one day what do you think will best suit me? –  Goma Nov 22 '10 at 14:22
@Goma - As an individual I'm guessing you don't want to shell out a lot of money up front on licenses so I'd go the free / open source route. I'd look at either Java on Linux or Python/Django on Linux with a MySQL or Postgres database. –  Jon Hopkins Nov 22 '10 at 14:27
There is also a saying that permeates most large companies... "nobody gets fired for picking Microsoft", heh. No, I don't agree, but you do hear it a lot. –  jmq Mar 14 '11 at 22:55
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The answer to your question is a big ol' "it depends". Typically Windows hosts will be more than Linux, but the cost all depends on what you need from your host. I pay $8 a month for Windows hosting and that includes unlimited MS SQL Server databases and "unlimited storage and bandwidth" (truly, there is no such thing though!) The same host has linux hosting for $4 a month, so half the cost but considering I know .Net I decided to go and pay the extra $4 a month.

LAMP by far is the cheapest (and if your P = python you can even get free hosting on Google's App engine) in general.

In the end though, I think cost shouldn't be the first thing on your mind and you should go with what you know and what you enjoy.

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I know a little about most of them, do you recommened going with .net as you tried it? –  Goma Nov 22 '10 at 14:14
@Goma - I can only recommend using the technology you enjoy using because any other technology will make you either dislike the project or at the best less productive. For me, I love .net. I'm more productive in C# than I am in python and definitely PHP so that is why I chose .Net. Nobody can answer the question on which technology to use for you (except an employer) we can just give tips based on our experience. –  Jetti Nov 22 '10 at 14:45
URL of your windows hosting? –  Thomas Stock Nov 22 '10 at 15:03
@Thomas Stock - arvixe.com - I use the PersonalASP package ($8 a month) –  Jetti Nov 22 '10 at 15:17
The only difference in hosting on Linux/Apache and .Net seems to be using SQL Server. –  JeffO Dec 6 '10 at 14:49
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