One obvious solution is to approach a software development company and obtain a custom built product. However to take this approach one needs to first know what features and functionality is desired. Then on the other hand in some instances the need does not warrant the cost of commissioning a custom application.
A plethora of free open source web applications exist today. Regardless of the specific circumstances of the need these applications can quite often prove to be a valuable resource.
http://freshmeat.net is one of the best online directories of open source applications. A quick search on freshmeat.net for say “intranet”, “cms” or “groupware” will yield pages of results. Browsing these results any application marked beta, stable or mature is a possible solution. A large majority of the available web applications would also state PHP + MySQL as the platform.
Oh well I need to have some Linux Server and it’s way too hard is a common reaction. Fortunately this is not entirely true. If you wanted to host a large scale production site then the chances are that a custom Linux server may well be a requirement. However just evaluating on your own PC, or setting up a solution on your LAN for anywhere between 1 to 100 users can be easily realized without custom Linux servers.
The solution is in another open source free product known as WAMP server. The acronym stands for Windows Apache MySQL PHP server. WAMP is extremely simple to install and a good platform for either evaluating PHP + MYSQL applications or operating the same for up to a few hundred users.
Or http://www.wampserver.com/en/ for the English version
First it is important to note that most open source PHP + MySQL applications will not run correctly on the latest versions of PHP and MySQL. For this reason instead of the downloading the latest version of WAMP server click on “downloads” from the left menu and then click on “older versions at sourceforge” This will take you to
scroll down and select “WAMP5 1.4.3”. Download the WAMP5_1.4.3.exe file and install it on your computer with default options.
Once installed and started a new icon will appear in the icon tray near the date/time on your task bar. Left click on this icon to activate it’s menu which allows you to restart or edit the configuration files.
Changing the web server port if necessary.
One common reason for wanting to edit configuration file is in case you already have a web server running on the same computer. In this case you would need to change the port address used by apache to something other than 80. In this case 8080 would probably be a good alternative choice.
-------Changing the web server port address Begin-----------
Click on the WAMP server icon and from the menu under “config files” select “httpd.conf”. A long text file will open up in notepad. In this file scroll down to the line that reads “Port 80” and change this to read “Port 8080”, Save the file and close notepad. Once again click on the wamp server icon and select restart all services. One more change needs to be made before we are done. In Windows Explorer find the location where WAMP server was installed which is by Default “C:\Wamp”. Next goto the subfolder named “www”. Inside here you will see another subfolder named “phpmyadmin”. We are looking for a file named “config.inc.php”. In a default installation this file will be at “C:\Wamp\www\phpmyadmin\config.inc.php”. Open this file in wordpad and find the line that reads
$cfg[‘PmaAbsoluteUri’] = ‘localhost/phpmyadmin/’;
Change this line to read:
$cfg[‘PmaAbsoluteUri’] = ‘localhost:8080/phpmyadmin/’;
-------Changing the web server port address End-----------
Now open a web browser and access http://localhost . Or if you changed the port address to 8080 then goto http://localhost:8080/ You should be greeted by the WAMP welcome page. For each application that you wish to install create a new folder inside the “www” subfolder of where WAMP was installed. Lets assume that WAMP was installed at “C:\Wamp”.
Let say for example you wanted to install Mambo (www.mamboserver.com)
- You would download the .zip or .tar.gz or .tar.bz2 file and uncompress it using winzip or winrar into “c:\Wamp\www\mambo”.
- You would access the wamp welcome page http://localhost/ or http://localhost:8080/ and access phpmyadmin. In here you would create a new database for mambo.
- You would then access the wamp welcome page http://localhost/ or http://localhost:8080/ and from the list at the bottom of the page you would click on Mambo
- You would then be greeted by the mambo installer which is a simple 5 step process. (the default username for MySQL is root and the password is blank as in an empty string)
Let say for example you wanted to install oscommerce
You would download the .zip or .tar.gz or .tar.bz2 file and uncompress it using winzip or winrar into “c:\Wamp\www\oscommerce”.
5) You would access the wamp welcome page http://localhost/ or http://localhost:8080/ and access phpmyadmin. In here you would create a new database for oscommerce.
6) You would then access the wamp welcome page http://localhost/ or http://localhost:8080/ and from the list at the bottom of the page you would click on Mambo
7) You would then be greeted by the oscommerce installer which is a simple process. (the default username for MySQL is root and the password is blank as in an empty string)
And so on and so forth.
Any PHP + MySQL web application which does not provide an automated installer is most likely not a very mature application.