Good morning all,

This is a plea for help. Here is the situation:

Over the last year I have been building an intranet type site based on 
Linux/Apache/MySQL/mod_perl. This is delivered via the internet, suitably 
authenticated (mod_perl/LDAP) and encrypted (mod_ssl), as most of our 1,700 
people use client supplied PC equipment.

It has been very successfully received and much more development is wanted. 
To accommodate all the requirements I have asked for funding for two perl 
developers to rebuild the site in a more modular and easy to manage form 
and add content management, forums, document management etc etc.

This is all fine but there is a big cloud. We have a new IT manager who 
wants to bring all development into one team and use a single toolset for 
web based applications.

The other development team has been working for 3 years on a web-based job 
management system which has been developed/enhanced by several third 
parties (we own the code but sub for the development resources). It is an 
NT system, using IIS, ASP, VBScript, VB dlls, MTC components and a MS SQL 
backend with stored procedures etc etc. This system is deployed on our 
client sites and does not at any time run over the internet. They now have 
a need to redevelop large parts of the application as the original 
requirements have changed considerably and are looking to bring the 
development in house.

We are now locked in argue^H^H^H^H^Hdiscussion about how to standardise our 

My belief is that the LAMP type route provides a very cost effective, 
portable and scalable solution but I concede that bigger backends are 
needed for volume transaction systems.

The help I need is in answering some questions:

What big corporates are using perl in web development and how/for what ?
Why perl is better (or could be better) than a combination of 
Is there any benchmarking available of salary bands for differing skills, 
i.e. are perl guys much more than ASP guys who can also do the other bits ?
Any other arguments I should be making !

My big problem is that with a huge investment in the MS code base, I am 
fighting a rearguard action to prevent having to adopt MS stuff, just 
because we've already spent loads on it, which seems false economy to me.

My preferred approach would be to stick with MS tech for maintenance of the 
existing code base and continue to sub out for developers, and use open 
source tech for new development, with commercial backends when we need that 
level of sophistication. Anyone have any comment on this ?

Thank you for your attention, all advice gratefully received.


Simon Wilcox

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