Appendix B. Set Up a Development Environment: Get Ready for the Big Times

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You need a place to practice your newfound PHP skills without making your data vulnerable on the Web. It’s always a good idea to have a safe place to develop your PHP application before unleashing it on the world (wide web). This appendix contains instructions for installing a web server, MySQL, and PHP to give you a safe place to work and practice.

Create a PHP development environment

Before you can put your finished application on the Web with your newfound jQuery and AJAX skills, you need to develop it. And it’s never a good idea to develop your web application on the Web where everyone can see it. You can install software locally that lets you build and test your application before you put it online.

There are three pieces of software you’ll need on your local computer to build and test PHP and MySQL applications:

  1. A web server

  2. PHP

  3. A MySQL database server

PHP isn’t a server; it’s a set of rules that your web server understands that allow it to interpret PHP code. Both the web server and the MySQL server are executable programs that run on a computer.

Keep in mind that we’re talking about setting up your local computer as a web server for PHP development. You’ll ultimately still need an online web server to upload your finished application to so that other people can access and use it.

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