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Creating a VAMP (Vista, Apache, MySQL, PHP) Setup

With the abundance of communication between the browser and a server in these days of AJAX and JSON data interchange, there has never been a better time to get your own development web server set up so that you can test all those dynamic scripts you’re writing. This article will show you how to do it using some of the most popular software.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:
  1. Creating a VAMP (Vista, Apache, MySQL, PHP) Setup
  2. Installing and Configuring Apache
  3. PHP
  4. MySQL
  5. Configuring
By: Dan Wellman
Rating: starstarstarstarstar / 41
May 20, 2008

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Apache is still undeniably the most popular, and many would say the best, web server available; it's secure, easy to configure, highly scalable, and above all else, it's completely open source and therefore totally free. The current stable version of Apache is 2.2.8, which is the version we'll be installing during the course of this article. To download it, visit the Apache downloads page.

In the database world, the MySQL server from Sun Microsystems is a popular, open source and flexible solution for data storage and retrieval. A database server is crucial for dynamically allowing visitors to save personal details securely for later visits, and is usually used to store login information and products. Although there is an enterprise version for which you must pay, the MySQL community server is completely free. The most recent version, which we'll be working with today, is version 5.0. It's available on this page of the MySQL site.

JavaScript alone cannot work directly with the data stored in your MySQL database unfortunately, so to make your AJAX really effective, you'll need a server language to act as an interface. PHP is perfect for this; it's well established, has a huge developer following and is powerful and robust. Again, it's open source and free; get it now from the PHP site. The current version is 5.2.6; make sure you download the zip file and not the installer. The zip file comes with a lot of additional extensions, such as the cURL library and the MySQL DLL, as well as the file essential for Apache to run PHP files correctly, which for some reason do not come as standard with the installer.

Apache is more secure and runs better (although not by much these days) on UNIX-derived systems, but many developers have Windows-based machines. Does this mean that we must rely on the proprietary IIS from Microsoft (Vista Basic users can't even run IIS7) ? Of course not, Apache runs very well on a Windows system, and the process of installing the three required elements is very easy. If you've downloaded the binary installers for Apache and MySQL, and you have the PHP zip file, we're ready to begin.



 
 
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