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Step 1: EasyPHP—A simple tool for getting into PHP

You can use any PHP tool you like, but I've found EasyPHP to be, well...easy! EasyPHP is what is called a WAMP software bundle:

  • Windows: The bundle runs on the Windows operating system.
  • Apache: The bundle includes the Apache Web server.
  • MySQL: The bundle includes the MySQL database management system (or database server).
  • PHP, Perl, or Python: The bundle includes these as programming languages.

The first step is to download and install a copy of EasyPHP, which installs the Apache Web server onto Windows. Also installed is the MySQL database management system and a programming language. Once you install EasyPHP, you can run it from the Windows Start menu.

I found I had to make just one adjustment to my environment to run EasyPHP. You'll have to do the same if you see the dialog illustrated in Figure 1 when you start the program.

Figure 1

Figure 1 A port clash

The problem indicated by Figure 1 is easily solved. Open the Administrative Tools: Start > All Programs > Control Panel > Administrative Tools, and choose Services. Locate the service called IIS Admin (see Figure 2), and click the Stop link on the left side of the window.

Figure 2

Figure 2 Switching off the IIS Admin service

When you opt to switch off the IIS Admin service, you may see a further dialog indicating that there are two dependent services (World Wide Web Publishing and Simple Mail Transfer Protocol). If you're comfortable with terminating these services (i.e., nobody is relying on them), then click OK and you're good to go with EasyPHP.

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