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Overview of Microsoft's PHP to ASP.NET Migration Tool

November 14, 2017

If you look deep enough for php conversion software, you will no doubt find out about Microsoft's "PHP to ASP.NET" migration tool. It is not immediately clear from their website, but the product is deprecated, unsupported, and doesn't even run on any version of Windows except XP. This is because Microsoft's website is a timeless archive of all documents. Unlinke other companies who refactor their website and drop the old links, Microsoft's pages mostly still work. You can find the date "2003" on their docs page for the migration tool.


2003 is an important year for PHP because in 2004, PHP 5.0 was released. PHP 5 introduced new OO features like access modifieres. That means that whatever Microsoft did for its converter was immediately obsolete a year later. No matter how well it worked, it was only for PHP 4.


So when testing the "PHP to ASP.NET Migration Tool" it is important to keep in mind that only PHP 4 compatible code can be written. Mainly, that means using "var" instead of "public/protected/private".


Due to lack of information, I've loaded up a Windows XP virtual machine to test how their converter works.


In order to run the converter, it is necessary to install Firefox (to browse the web) and a very old version of the .NET runtime.


Basic Function Conversion

Basic Class Conversion


Basic Script Conversion


CURL Example Conversion



Overall, the conversion looks decent for classes, functions, and scripts. For some reason they did not separate classees and functions, but put them inside of the .ASP script files. What they clearly don't have is the ability to work with native functions and extensions. From the CURL example conversion, they wrote out all the php function calls exactly without any attempt to convert them to ASP.NET.

In conclusion, the PHP -> ASP.NET migration tool was and is more trouble than it was ever worth. It can provide you with a basic skeleton of a project if you were really interested in going from PHP to ASP.NET, but you could also do that with a good regex script.


They do, however, provide a very nice conversion report that can only be viewed in Internet Explorer.





And after agreeing to use Active X...




You can view some detailed statistics.



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