Microsoft has made the third beta release of FastCGI for Internet Information Services available under its free Go Live license, which means that customers can now deploy the production-quality release on Windows Server 2003. FastCGI essentially allows IIS to reuse CGI (Common Gateway Interface) processes for multiple requests to PHP applications, helping improve the performance of PHP on Windows while maintaining reliability. Microsoft's Go Live license means the company will support customers who use this technology to build and deploy projects for production.
FastCGI, available as a free download from the IIS community site, will allow IT professionals to host PHP applications on Windows Server 2003 and IIS 6 with increased scalability and security, said a spokesperson for Microsoft, based in Redmond, Wash. FastCGI is a protocol for interfacing interactive programs with a Web server, and is a variation on the earlier Common Gateway Interface. Its main aim is to reduce the overhead associated with interfacing the Web server and CGI programs, allowing a server to handle more Web page requests at the same time.