I am a web developer. And to be specific, I have been using php and mysql for quite some time after I moved from Microsoft's Active Server Pages (ASP) simply because php and mysql are free and of course very stable.
But just recently, I had been part of a project that is not web based but this project uses php and mysql which are web based applications.
As any web developer knows, these trio – Apache, MySQL and Php require separate installations on the server machine. Now having been working for internet applications, I usually did not have to install these softwares because they are already in place in some remote place. All I would do would be to tweak the configurations to my specifications, upload the pages I made and then the project is done. Of course, I have to have the three softwares on my computer to test the pages before upload. What I'm saying is that is that I didn’t have to install all three every time there would be a new project.
Now, in this new project, every time there is a need to install the whole application, and many clients have already expressed interest in acquiring, one would have to separately install Apache, MySql and Php. And that is not to mention manually configure each of them. This is not only a tiring and cumbersome process but it can also be confusing to our technical support who go to the field. And since our organization is small and non-profit, we don’t have many IT staff. Our new staff can experience the steep learning curve for these three technologies- let alone the learning curve to the functions of the application itself.
We finally found our solution – XAMPP. The name is really an acronym for X (any of the four popular operating systems – Linux, Mac OS X, Windows and Solaris), Apache, MySQL, Php and Perl.
XAMPP bundles together the aforementioned technologies into one installer so that the user can easily install in one click. Our senior IT specialist customized the flash screens to include our software logo and also configured the settings for Apache, MySQL and Php. The past experience of individually installing the components and doing the process in almost an hour has been reduced to five minutes and very few clicks.
Next to being its easy to use and efficiency, the best thing about XAMPP is that it is totally free of charge and also free to copy under the GNU General Public License terms. Many non profit organizations have really benefited from free software.
Right now, our application runs on both Windows and Linux. The latest version for both Linux and Windows is XAMPP 1.6.2 which contains Apache HTTPD 2.2.4, MySQL 5.0.41 and PHP 5.2.2 among other useful applications like ProFTPD 1.3.0a, phpMyAdmin 2.10.1, Webalizer 2.01 and PEAR.
The official website of XAMPP can be found at http://www.apachefriends.org and there are abundant resource which can be found.