Heal Your Church WebSite

Teaching, rebuking, correcting & training in righteous web design.

A bit More on Microsoft-based Solutions for your Church Web Site

While there are times blogs4God can become a 687lb Gorilla, this site on the other hand continues to be a daily joy. Not only because I can help some of you, but because there are some of you regular readers out there who make me love what I do, and love you guys (in a macho-brotherly kinda way!-) Your comments are fun to read and often fill in the blanks on things technical. Point in case, comments I received yesterday as I pondered aloud if one could implement .NET solutions on a church web site without going bankrupt. It appears that indeed one can.

Kevin at Random Trout enumerates several stellar solutions when he writes:

  1. The ASP.NET team has developed a free tool for making ASP.NET apps called Web Matrix
  2. MSFT has a ‘lite’ version of SQL Server called MSDE (Microsoft SQL Server Desktop Edition). (Actually, it’s confusing to me if MSDE is free or not. The link has all the info.)
  3. And ASP.NET web hosting can be found that is comparable in price to Unix hosting, which includes SQL Server space.
  4. And, the .NET framework is free as well.

If that’s not enough, Glenn at The Journal contributes these compelling comments:

  1. Disregarding the purchase of the OS, there is no cost for the .NET runtime or the .NET SDK. As kevin said, all the tools necessary for developing .NET apps are also free.
  2. MSDE _is_ free, it is essentially SQL Server with limited connections and no GUI admin tools.
  3. Many of our developers in house don’t use the massively bloated VS.NET IDE — we use our favorite editor, the command line, and NAnt.
  4. Also, if you want a cheap site to try this stuff out on, go look at WebStrikeSolutions (no kickbacks, just a happy customer). They offer the latest .NET run-times on their MS servers, and the price is right — $30 setup, first year free with no commitments after that.

Like I said … I love my users! Thanks guys!

And because I know you and other regular readers want my posts to be something a bit more substanitive than re-hashed comments, here are a few interesting websites and tools on that might help you use ASP.Net with your church web site:

Okay, that last one didn’t have anything to do with ASP or VB.Net for your church web site — I just happened to find it while looking for the other stuff and didn’t want to lose the bookmark.

Got any other tools to suggest? Leave a comment!


  1. Hi Dean,

    Don’t forget Mono, an Open Source implementation of .NET:

  2. Note to self: read *all* of the article before commenting. D’oh!

  3. Wow, thanks for the FCKeditor pointer. There weren’t any good open-source WYSIWYG editors when I went to add one to my CMS earlier this year. This one is much better than what I used, and was infinitely easier to integrate. It took 30 minutes to get it integrated, and another 30 to configure things like file uploading and such. Now if only they’d change that unfortunate name… ;-)

  4. This is what MSDN has to say about obtaining MSDE: “In addition to SQL Server 2000, MSDE 2000 is distributed on the CD with all editions of Microsoft Office that include Microsoft Access 2002. It is also available to registered users of Microsoft Visual Studio.Net. Registered users of Visual Studio can obtain the latest version of MSDE by contacting Microsoft Developer Support at 1-800-936-5800. Several Microsoft product licenses convey the right to use and redistribute MSDE 2000.” So if I read that correctly it means that MSDE is free as long as you’ve got SQL Server, Access or the .NET IDE. Have a look: http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/dnmsde/html/msderoadmap.asp

  5. Just as a note about the database stuff, ASP.NET is not limited to MS SQL Server, or MSDE. I’ve run across plenty of developers using MySQL with ASP.NET. You can use any database that supports OLE DB.

  6. How about the HomeSite editor?

    If you are doing ASP.Net (or ASP or PHP), stop by my ASP4HS site for some add-on’s that’ll really make life easier in HomeSite.