Review: WAMP stacks for Web developers

All-in-one Apache-MySQL-PHP server packages for Windows vary widely in features, flexibility, and ease

By Serdar Yegulalp, InfoWorld |  Software, Apache, MySQL

One thing that's clear from having looked at these stacks: They're definitely not created equal. They may be built from the same components (they would scarcely be useful if they weren't!), but how those components are managed and deployed makes a big difference. Stacks with automatic customization (AMPPS, Web Platform Installer) are far handier, especially when you want to devote more of your attention to working with the stack than actually setting it up.

Second, don't assume these stacks will be production-ready. Some ship in a locked-down state and will only serve connections to the local host, but there's no guarantee the stack as created has been put together to serve live traffic. Other stacks ship with blank MySQL passwords or other major security omissions that need to be addressed, so they're clearly not intended for production use. Develop locally; deploy remotely.

Finally, the differences in deployment styles between each of these stacks means there's a stack for just about every need, application type, or work habit. PHP-heads can run WampServer for the sake of the integrated debugging tools. Microsofties have Web Platform Installer and WebMatrix. The choices are yours.

While assembling this article I found a number of other stand-alone stacks worthy of mention, even if they didn't make it into the final article. Uniform Server contains a stack similar to XAMPP or WampServer (especially in terms of the tray-based control panel) and comes packaged in a "miniServer" edition for enhanced portability and security. Server2Go was originally built to allow a working PHP website to be distributed on media like a CD-ROM or USB drive, but can be used for stand-alone development as well. And EasyPHP has the PHP debugging functions of WampServer and a small collection of add-on application packages à la Web Platform Installer and AMPPS.


Originally published on InfoWorld |  Click here to read the original story.
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