So, I decided not to progress down the PHP/MySQL route with SearchMann.com and opted instead to play with the brand spanking new Visual Studio 2005. So I downloaded the free Express version and played around with that instead.
The UI is nice and friendly and everything worked really nicely on my machine. I suspected I might have some problems deploying to my provider, so decided to set up a Sample site and try deploying that; just to tease out any issues I may have. Visual Studio 2005 has an inbuilt FTP client, which I thought I would give a try; however it’s rather clunky, so I abandoned that after a couple of tries.
So, my hosting provider has the .Net Framework v2 already installed on the server, which is great. However, the samples that ship with VS2005 assume you have SQL Server 2005 Express installed on your box. So while I could run my sample locally, deploying to my hosting provider proved to be a bit of a nightmare, as certain features, like Personalization, require you to have an inbuilt ASPNETDB database to store your users, roles etc. As part of the Framework, you get a tool you can use to create this database, which goes
by the name: c:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\aspnet_regsql.exe
I do have a plan of action however, as I have SQL Server 2000 available on the server, and aspnet_regsql can create SQL scripts for you to create your ASPNETDB tables, stored procedures and any other artifacts you need. So hopefully next weekend I’ll get some more time to play with this stuff …