So it was finally decided that the company website was indeed horribly dated. As I don't have the time, or art skills necessary to do it properly (I have several failed attempts as documented proof) ... We're having a third party do it. This requires adding a CMS system (CMS Made Simple), which I'm on the hook to install. Okay...
I don't even remember what the exact chain of update requirements was ... But I'm currently working on doing a test upgrade to PHP v5.3.5 (VC9 - Thread Safe) on a lab server so I don't completely torch the production server, and things do seem to have changed quite a bit.
At the moment I'm running the new PHP installation under FastCGI with the php-cgi.exe instead of the ISAPI DLL. On my other server I use the ISAPI. Both are the ZIP file and not the installer. FastCGI is supposed to give far better performance (20x?), so that's why I'm running with that.
20x?!? (Damn) ...I'll have to investigate that one myself. I actually don't recall why I went the ISAPI route originally, but it was several years ago when I first set up an IIS5 (Win2k) web server and I've just been replicating that config ever since.
I do. Because the CGI extension just didn't work reliably!
Seems ok now though. Microsoft is recommending FastCGI and the php-cgi.exe binary. They've got a whole truckload of open source stuff available at the MS site. Have for a while now actually.
I tried doing a manual install (without-a-net) first and that went badly mainly due to the (save for the many folks complaining about it) seemingly undocumented decision to do away with the (key Web Services Extension target file) php5isapi.dll. It is no-longer part of the package. So apparently the CGI route is now stringently recommended by way of mandate.
I ended up (just to get something to work) going the installer route, and discovered that the Web Services Extension entry is not automatically added by the installer. I went with plain CGI as I hadn't added FastCGI (testing...) yet and the server responds noticeably slower (with CPU usage spiking) even though I'm the only requester ... Zoiks!
I'll update this later with how/why/what happens info. as the story unfolds.