If you hang out in the IT community long enough, you are bound to hear the term LAMP thrown around by people involved in web hosting, dedicated servers, and web development. The LAMP stack, as it is commonly called is the combination of a Linux-based operating system, Apache HTTP Server, MySQL database server, and the PHP scripting language. LAMP is used by many small, medium, and large organizations because of its reliability and stability.
A common proprietary alternative to that open source software stack is to use a Windows Server running IIS web server and ASP.NET. In some cases, however, you may have a Windows server but still want Apache, MySQL, and PHP. For that there are two options: 1) install each component manually or 2) use a solution called WampServer.
WampServer is a free tool that automatically installs Apache, PHP, and MySQL on your Windows server. The current release supports Apache 2.2.11, MySQL 5.1.36, and PHP 5.3.0. You can also optionally install your own preferred versions of any of those software components and even run multiple instances of any of them simultaneously.
WampServer comes with a web-based control panel to help you manage your installations. Even for those who have Linux servers, WampServer is a great way to develop on your local Windows-based computer and still use the open source components of LAMP. WampServer is free and open source and is available for download from the project’s website.