LAMP is an acronym standing for Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP,
which is a combination of tools with which to develop software for the World Wide Web. Approximately
60% of all web sites worldwide are running one or more pieces of the LAMP platform.
Linux is an operating system, which is the software that "translates" between the computer
hardware and the programming and applications software running on one's computer. Although
different in many ways, Linux performs the same basic functions as Microsoft Windows; thus,
if you are running Linux on your computer, you have no need for Microsoft Windows. Linux is
freely available to be downloaded and installed on your computer from a number of commercial
vendors, the best known of which are Red Hat and Suse. Linux is based on the operating system
Unix, which was originally developed at Bell Labs during the late 1970's.
Apache is a web server, which is the software that translates your request to see a web page
into the format that your web browser can interpret. Apache can be used to service web sites
available to anyone browsing the WWW, or it can be used to service an intranet (a web site
which is only available within a particular organization), or it can be used on your desktop
computer to enable you to develop your own LAMP applications. Apache is also freely available
MySQL is a database management system, which is the software that stores and allows access to
large sets of data. MySQL is based on the relational model, and as such is similar to such
products as Oracle, SQL Server, and Sybase, each of which can cost tens of thousands of dollars,
whereas MySQL is freely available for download.
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PHP is a programming language specifically designed for web applications. It's structure is
quite similar to C++, but is has a number of built-in features which make it more intuitive. PHP
allows the programmer to deliver web sites which react dynamically to user input, store data (via MySQL),
and generally be more useful than static "brochure-ware" web sites. As with all other open source
software, PHP is freely available to all.
Together, these tools enable us to create software that can be used anywhere in the world via the
web, whether your clients are using Microsoft Windows, Apple Macintosh, Unix, or Linux on their
desktop computers. The LAMP development suite is secure, well tested, well supported,
powerful and inexpensive.