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SETTING UP A COMPLETE PHP DEVELOPMENT ENVIRONMENT ON WINDOWS WITH DEVSERVER

laurentabbal profile image Laurent Abbal ・3 min read

A. GETTING STARTED

1. Download Devserver

First, you need to download and install Devserver

2. Install

  • double-click on the downloaded executable
  • select an installation folder and follow the instructions

3. Post install

  • a shortcut to Devserver is created on your desktop getting-started_01.png
  • use this shortcut to launch Devserver (or go to the install folder and click on run-devserver.exe)
  • when Devserver is launched, an icon appears in the Notification Area (next to the clock) - if you don't see the icon, click on Show hidden icons and move the icon next to the clock.
  • a right/left-click gives access to various menus getting-started_02.png or getting-started_03.png

4. Start HTTP Server

Two ways :

  • right/left-click on the icon in the Notification Area, click on Open Dashboard and under HTTP SERVER click on start
    getting-started_05.png

  • if you don't need to open the Dashboard, click on Servers > Start / Restart HTTP Server or Start / Restart All Servers (with this option the database server will start as well).

getting-started_04.png

5. Start Database Server

Two ways :

  • right/left-click on the icon in the Notification Area, click on Open Dashboard and under DATABASE SERVER click on start
  • if you don't need to open the Dashboard, click on Servers > Start / Restart Database Server or Start / Restart All Servers (with this option the http server will start as well).

B. SETUP YOUR ENVIRONMENT

Your files have to be stored in folders that the server knows. Two options: put them directly in the server document root ("Portable Directory") or use "Working Directories".

1. Option 1: "Portable Directory"

Use this option if you plan to use Devserver as a portable server. That means that Devserver is installed on a portable device (USB key, memory stick...) and you use it on several computers (for development, demo, presentation...).

Save your files in this folder: <server-install-folder>\eds-www and open them with your browser thru the Dashboard(Portable Directory section) or directly at this address: http://127.0.0.1/ (if you chose a port other than 80 use http://127.0.0.1:8080/ if 8080 is your port - change the value accordingly).

2. Option 2: "Working Directories"

  • Create the folder in which you want to store your files. This folder can be anywhere on your computer (drive C:, D:...).
  • Open the Dashboard with your browser (http://127.0.0.1:1111), click on + add directory
  • Fill the fields, click on save and wait a few seconds (servers need to restart if they were running).

Now, you can open your files with your browser thru the Dashboard(Working Directories section).

3. Your first page

There are many suitable code editors (text editors specialised for code with syntax highlighting). You can use Notepad++ (https://notepad-plus-plus.org/), Sublime Text (https://www.sublimetext.com/), Atom (https://atom.io/)...
Steps:

  • Open your code editor
  • Create a new file
  • Type the structure of an HTML page:
<!doctype html>
<html lang="en">
    <head>
    <meta charset="utf-8">
    <title>Your page</title>
    </head>
    <body>
        ...
    </body>
</html>
  • Add your PHP code (display the date for example):
<?php
echo "The current date is ";
echo date("l F d, Y");
?>

Final code:

<!doctype html>
<html lang="en">
    <head>
    <meta charset="utf-8">
    <title>Your page</title>
    </head>
    <body>
    <?php
    echo "The current date is ";
    echo date("l F d, Y");
    ?>
    </body>
</html>
  • Save your page in the "Portable Directory" or in a folder declared in "Working Directories". Don't forget to give it the proper extension : .php. You can name your file date.php. Warning : be sure that your system shows file name extensions (read this).
  • Open your file with your browser thru the Dashboard. Your browser should display something like that:
The current date is Sunday April 2, 2017

4. Reminder

Devserver is not designed to be used as a production server, but as developing server to test your pages offline before moving them on the hosting server. Indeed, Apache for Windows is a test version, and is not guaranteed for an optimal operation (reliability, load rising, ...) contrary to Unix/Linux based platforms.

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