IN THIS CHAPTER
The production environment refers to the specific hardware, software, network configuration, and distributed system architecture affecting any host system(s) that will serve a RIA. With that said, a development environment is simply the best imitation of the production environment a developer can piece together on her local system or network. The perfect development environment exactly replicates hardware specs, choice of operating systems, and software versions composing the production environment.
As you can imagine, a number of factors make the perfect development environment unattainable. The usual suspects are budget constraints and the impracticalities of maintaining a separate yet specialized system to support testing scenarios. So, what constitutes a good compromise? Well, try to match the server software as much as possible, preferably getting down the software versions.
Your development environment priority: match development server software to the versions running on the production server. If you can’t get a precise version match, get as close as possible.
Since we’re using PHP and MySQL for our host applications, there is a quick and easy shortcut we can take to weave a development environment right into our local machine. If you run Windows, it’s called WAMP, and if you run Mac OS, it’s called MAMP.