|In order to test PHP applications, you will need a web server, database and the PHP language installed on your computer. For many years, I have used the Sokkit Webserver Toolkit to install my PHP testing environment and I have been happy with it except for one thing. Sokkit does not install the MySQLR database as a service. What did I say? When something like MySQL is installed on your computer as a service, this "service" will automatically start running when you turn on your computer and WindowsR loads. With Sokkit, I needed to manually start MySQL before I could test my programs. So one day, I went on the search for an auto-installer application that would install both ApacheR and MySQL as a service. I found a great package, called XAMPPR, from the good people at Apache FriendsR and it is free under the GNU General Public License. Apache Friends was started in spring of 2002 by Kai 'Oswald' Seidler and Kay Vogelgesang and XAMPP is their main project.|
XAMPP will auto-install Apache, MySQL, PHP, and Perl. It comes in four versions (LinuxR, Windows, SolarisTM SPARC beta and Mas OS XR beta). It also comes packed with phpMyAdmin and an FTP server. This self-installer application is easy to use and doesn’t require any manual configuration after installation. Once the installation is complete, there are a few sample programs that you can run to verify that the installation was successful.
The only drawback I can see for this product is that the documentation is written in German which is perfectly logical. After all, that is the author’s native language. Also, this package is meant to be used as a testing environment and not for production because of its lack of security features.
- To use the installer on Windows, just download the XAMPP for Windows installer and follow the setup wizard. When it asks if you want all the modules to be installed as a service, answer “yes” to all the prompts.
- At the completion of the installation, you will be taken to the XAMPP Control Panel where you will notice that Apache and MySQL are listed as “running”. Click on the Admin button to open the XAMPP for Windows page.
- On the XAMPP for Windows page, the menu has four sections (XAMPP, Demos, Tools and Languages). If the text on the page is not in your language, choose the correct language from the list of languages.
- Next go to the Demos section and check out the sample applications.
- Under the XAMPP section, you will find links to the documentation.
- When you are ready to work on your database, use the link in the Tools section to open the phpMyAdmin database management interface. In fact, it will save a lot of time if you just bookmark this page in your web browser.
- You will put your PHP programs files in XAMPP's htdocs folder.
If you want to use a subfolder, place it in the htdocs folder.
- To test your PHP programs, you will use this address in the web browser.