When we began work on REAL Studio Web Edition, one of our early problems was deployment. The Stand Alone deployment option was an obvious choice, but isn’t acceptable to most hosting companies, and generally requires somebody with IT skills to properly maintain it. We decided that FastCGI would be easy enough to deploy on an acceptable number of hosting companies.
Unfortunately, although we weren’t wrong about FastCGI, we weren’t right either - it isn’t good enough. Once your server has been configured, deployment is quite simple, but that initial configuration is more difficult than we want to put our developers through. The number of hosts supporting FastCGI WE apps isn’t bad, but isn’t acceptable either.
Beginning with REAL Studio 2011 Release 1, we will be introducing a new deployment option with two important goals: easier to deploy, and acceptable on a broader range of servers. This option will be called “CGI” deployment.
This new option will use a standard CGI script - CGI stands for Common Gateway Interface, and has been available from nearly every hosting company for a very, very long time. This script will work as a sort of middle man or gateway between the web server, and your app. If your app is not running, the script will launch it. Deployment requires nothing more than an FTP client, and maintenance is handled entirely by the script. And because CGI scripting is nearly universally supported, nearly every web server will support this model.
We will be dropping the FastCGI deployment option. However, if you currently have FastCGI working on your server and you would like to continue using FastCGI, the new CGI script can be run as a FastCGI with no code changes. Using FastCGI will help improve performance, but will be completely optional.
For those of you that have been working through the issues with configuring FastCGI to deploy your app, we know it hasn’t been easy and appreciate your efforts. This new CGI gateway will make deployment painless. Your patience while we have been developing this solution is appreciated.