MAMP SERVER

Fewer features, more focus on your hosting

MAMP stands for Macintosh Apache MySQL PHP, the latter three words respectively describing the web server, database language, and compatible web-programming language it provides. It’s a free download from http:// mamp.info. The free version has all you need to get started.

It’s very focused and doesn’t include any of the supplementary features bundled with OS X Server, but don’t let that deter you. The pay-off is that this makes it very easy to manage. Also, because it ships with an integrated MySQL server, it’s ready to run content management systems like Joomla and WordPress without the further configuration that’s required if you’ve opted for OS X Server.

It also pre-installs phpMyAdmin, which is used to administer the MySQL database through a browser, allowing you to set up the various Schema and Tables required to host your CMS.

It doesn’t have a great deal in the way of controls, though, so isn’t very flexible. The main interface is just a handful of buttons for switching the lead components on and off and accessing its preferences, with an overview web page giving you further information about the system status and where to find various options.

It makes no changes to OS X, so all you need to do if you want to remove it entirely at the end of a project is delete the MAMP folder.

MAMP is very focused, so has fever features and a simoler control panel than OS X Server.

1. GET MAMP Download the free edition of MAMP and execute the installer. It has grabbed MAMP Pro at the same time, so step through the installer until you see the Customize button, then click this and uncheck the Pro option. Click Install to write the files to your Mac.

2. LAUNCH IT Launch the app to call up its control panel. Click Preferences…, go to the Ports tab, and change the Apache port address to 80 and the MySQL port to 3306. Click the Apache tab and make a note of the address shown there, which is where you need to put your site files. Click OK to close the dialog.

3. ACTIVATE SERVERS Click Start Servers to activate the underlying processes. It can take several seconds for the Apache server to start up, so give it time for the running light to turn green. MAMP automatically displays its configuration page in your default browser on a successful start-up.

4. PLACE YOUR PAGES Place your web pages in the Apache folder whose address you noted in step 2.

PROS & CONS

■ You can get all the features you need for home hosting by downloading the free version of MAMP.

■ It’s simple to set up and doesn’t make any changes to the underlying structure of OS X, so you can quickly remove it, too.

■ It ships with the MySQL database engine, as used by WordPress, so it’s great for home blogging. phpMyAdmin is also installed with MAMP as standard for administering the database.

■ It’s built on widely distributed, open source applications with a broad user base, so it should remain actively developed.

X It doesn’t have any of the supplementary features that makes OS X Server a fully fledged workgroup server, so you can’t use it to share calendars, files, and so on without installing web apps.

X It’s not as flexible as OS X Server, so professional users may find themselves wishing it could do more.

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