WISA is an acronym for a solution stack of Microsoft software, referring to the first letters of Windows (operating system), Internet Information Service (file/web server), SQL Server (database software) and ASP.NET (.NET programming language, principal components to build a viable general purpose web server.
The exact combination of software included in a WISA package may vary, especially with respect to the web scripting software, as ASP.NET may be replaced or supplemented by other .NET technologies.
In this case, Microsoft has arguably maintained efforts to ensure their applications were/are compatible with other Microsoft applications and system unlike the LAMP stack equivalent. The software combination has become popular for a number of reasons, mainly because of the efforts made to make most Microsoft software compatible with each other.
When used together, they form a solution stack of technologies that support application servers.
The WISA stack offers a number of advantages for developers:
- Variety of .NET Languages: A developer who uses ASP.Net for example can build something and get it up and running.
- Easy to deploy: Microsoft offers a variety of methods to deploy site and applications. For example, WebMatrix allows solutions to be developed and uploaded to a host. WebMatrix even allows the developer to modify files the reside on a hosts' server.
- Variety of Support: Microsoft offers support via MSDN, telephone and email in addition to the various Microsoft-related forums available on the net.
Microsoft's own brand of computer operating system. Since most computers come with a version of MS Windows installed this makes it an appealing choice for a web-server application as adding other Microsoft products are simplified to some extent. Windows can be configured to specific needs and help is widely available to both setup and trouble-shoot any issues should they occur.
Internet Information Server (IIS)
IIS is Microsoft's main web server. Depending on the version of Windows being used, IIS is sometimes found bundled with OEM releases of Windows. Otherwise, IIS can be downloaded and integrated with an installed version of Windows.
SQL Server is a multithreaded, multi-user, SQL database management system (DBMS) owned by Microsoft with numerous installations. Alternatives at this level of the stack do also exist, for example by using Microsoft Access (WIAA).
ASP.NET and other .NET Technologies
ASP.NET is just one of the .NET programming languages that can be used in this stack. Some others include Classic ASP (programming langauge), C# (programming language), F# (programming language), Visual Basic (programming language) and J# (programming language). One of the major advantages of the .NET technologies is the ability to mix and match snippets of code from different languages. Although it may not be possible to have different langauges exist within the same file, it is possible to have a website with different pages developed in say C#.NET with calls to other pages in another .NET language, say ASP.NET. Regardless of the .NET language used on a web page, any .NET language can also be used for the server-side application software.
Variants and equivalents on other platforms
With the growing use of LAMP, variations and retronyms appeared for other combinations of operating system, web server, database, and software language. For example the equivalent installation on a Linux operating system is known as LAMP. An alternative running IIS in place of Apache called WIMP. Variants involving other operating systems include MAMP (Macintosh), SAMP (Solaris), FAMP (FreeBSD) and iAMP (iSeries). The web server or database management system also vary. LEMP is a version where Apache has been replaced with the more lightweight web server NGINX. A version where MySQL has been replaced by PostgresSQL is called LAPP.
- Learn, develop and deploy using Microsoft products
- Install a LAMP server on Ubuntu Linux
- Install a LAMP server on Debian GNU/Linux
- Install a LAMP server on SUSE Linux