PHP and PostgreSQL Open Sesame

by David Sklar

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At a meeting last night of the WWWAC Open Source SIG, Tom Clarke of Union Square Internet Development gave a talk on how his company moved Sesame Workshop from a proprietary platform to an open one.

The motivation for using Open Source products came from within Sesame Workshop and it was not ideological -- it was financial. The ongoing costs of licensing and maintenance for StoryServer, Oracle, and their Sun hardware was too much to bear, especially with a decreased IT staff.

In 4 or 5 months, Sesame Workshop's sites were rebuilt using PHP and PostgreSQL, running under Apache and Linux on Intel-based hardware. The new sites also use add-ons popular in the PHP community: PHP Accelerator for caching compiled scripts, JPCache for caching generated pages, and ADOdb for database access and query caching.

The success of this project is a reminder that ideology aside, sometimes Open Source is just better for the bottom line.