Classic ASP migration directions

ComprehensiveIT
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Hi community and thanks to anyone who responds.

My company has a client who has been running a classic ASP application for many many years.  My client is still in contact with the original programmer who has promised for nearly 2 years to update the application from ASP to ASP.NET.  This has yet to happen and now I've been tasked with finding a migration path and solution to champion for them.

I've done some research and keep landing on PHP and ASP.NET as solutions.  Originally JavaScript was thrown out as a possible path but I haven't seen much discussion about migrating classic ASP to JavaScript.  It seems as though ASP.NET and PHP are the two most commonly mentioned.  

The client suspected ASP.NET would involve large amounts of money, software, hardware, programmer's time, etc. Is this the case?

PHP seems much easier to use and less complicated by far and by such I suspect it would be easier to find programmers just because there are more of them simply because it's Open Source and free for the most part.

Hosting also seems to be much less expensive.  Linux vs Microsoft.  That pretty much speaks for itself.

Where is JavaScript in all of this?  Can we truly compare server-side to client-side languages?

I guess I need to know what the advantages are with ASP.NET rather than PHP or JavaScript.

Thanks.
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Fixer of Problems
Most Valuable Expert 2014
Commented:
JavaScript is strictly client side.  To access databases, it would still need the server side code.  To move a mature application to PHP or ASP.NET, you really need an experienced programmer.  There is no reason to think that either would be cheap.  There is no easy path from Classic ASP to PHP or ASP.NET.  It is a complete rewrite in either case.  I've seen that C# is recommended over VB.NET in many cases also.
"ASP.NET would involve large amounts of money, software, hardware, programmer's time", "Hosting also seems to be much less expensive.  Linux vs Microsoft."
On the face of it, there is no reason to assume this. In the past, I have migrated an application from Classic ASP to ASP.NET without any issues. In fact, because both run on IIS, it made it possible for us to actually create an ASP.NET project, bring in the ASP files into it (as is) and run both in the same solution. We then rewrote pages of the application over a period of time (over a year in our case), we had BOTH Classic ASP and ASP.NET pages deployed and working together. Of course there are some tricky technical issues, but that approach worked well for us. We used the same hardware that had been running the Classic ASP. Visual Studio is no longer that expensive, with Visual Studio Code and the more friendly licensing terms for Visual Studio 2015, entry costs are no longer a barrier. Most hosting will charge the same or with really marginal differences for Linux vs Windows hosting.

PHP vs ASP.NET is really not so much of a big thing now (IMHO). I think it's more about using the one you're more comfortable with and not so much of technical differences between the two. ASP.NET has had huge improvements in recent years and now supports and sports many different development models and has a health open source community as well.
Most Valuable Expert 2011
Top Expert 2016
Commented:
...advantages [of] ASP.NET [vs] PHP
None.  But you may want to give us a little more information so we can really answer the question!

Where is your client located?  We can probably find / recommend a cabal of software developers who can support your conversion effort.

What kind of application(s) does your client run?  We can probably show you similar implementations on other platforms.  But please keep in mind that any application written years ago may be completely obsolete today.  Many such applications have been subsumed into the larger purview of "business practices."

You may also want to hire a computer science professional to help you design the new application.  We don't call it "migration" any more - that was always a misnomer.  At least read up on design patterns and refactoring, because these are the processes that your client is going to go through, whether they like it or not :-)  Don't be put off by the fact that these books make reference to Java; any experienced programmer can translate the principles into PHP or Ruby, too.  We use object-oriented design principles these days.  We use test and behavior driven development to prove that our applications are fully functional and are meeting client needs.  We build in an Agile work environment, with rapid prototyping and continuous deployment.  We use interchangeable software components.  Anything written in ASP predates these relatively new methodologies and is frankly inferior.  Anything written for the desktop is already obsolete because it tethers your employees when you should have them out front solving customer problems.

"Where is JavaScript...?"  Everywhere.  All "clients" run JavaScript.  That means all phones, pads, desktops -- in short, all browsers of any sort.  You cannot truly compare client-side and server-side technologies because they are different and provide separate parts of the puzzle.  This article may be too technical for the tone of the question, but it might be helpful.

Here is my "broad-brush" view of questions about ASP vs PHP.  Do all of the smartest people in the world work for Microsoft?  If you believe the answer is "yes," go with Microsoft solutions, because you will never find smart solutions anywhere else.  If you believe that the 5+billion people that don't work for Microsoft may have (thousands of) smarter solutions, go with the Open Source community.

And please understand that questions about PHP vs ASP.NET are like questions about Cadillac vs Ford.  The vehicle is interesting, but it is far less important than where it takes you!
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RobOwner (Aidellio)
Most Valuable Expert 2015

Commented:
I've requested that this question be deleted for the following reason:

Not enough information to confirm an answer.
Again, this is not a 1+1=2 kind of question. I think that the experts that have made a contribution here have all provided meaningful and useful professional advice for the authors question.
Most Valuable Expert 2011
Top Expert 2016

Commented:
Agree with MlandaT.

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