LAMP – The Linux Solution for Web Development
Web Development has become a mainstream business as well as a full-scale enterprise. Web development works in its simple form when it comes to development of web sites and works at its full strength when it comes to developing enterprise class web applications.
For development and hosting of web, there are many software available in the software market. When it comes to web development and hosting, it is quite important to understand that this is not just one technology or a software tool that should be used. Web development always involves with many technologies, tools, and software packages. Therefore, web development solutions always come as bundles of software, regardless of the platform they run on.
LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP) is one of the software bundles for web development on Linux or UNIX-like platforms. Each software component of this platform plays critical role in the process of web development and hosting. There are four main software components for any web development solution; the operating environment, the web server, the database, and the scripting language. In LAMP, each of the software represents each of the four necessary components. Although predominantly letter P of LAMP is for PHP, PHP is usually replaced by Python or Perl as required.
First of all, letâ€™s have a look at the history of LAMP.
At the beginning, the software components of LAMP were not supposed to be working together for web development specifically. The original authors of the four technologies did not have any such objective. Being all these technologies open source, they shared a common philosophy. This was the common platform for all four technologies to come together for the purpose of web development eventually.
Although LAMP was an experiment initially, soon, people understood the power of LAMP. Then, it started become a mainstream solution for web development. In no time, of course with the help of thousands of community developers and software companies, LAMP started competing with the rest of the web development solutions. By now, LAMP is the most used web development solution in the world.
At present, users do not have to installed LAMP packages separately. Usually, almost every Linux distribution comes with LAMP pre-installed for easy use.
Advantages for the Web Developers
Following advantages for the web developers made LAMP popular within a short period of time.
- Easy to learn: Even newbies in programming can learn PHP, Python, Perl, and MySQL fast and start developing web components.
- Easy to deploy: LAMP offers one of the most easily deployable web development technologies at present. PHP is a standard module of Apache. Therefore, you just have to upload your PHP files in order to make them work.
- Local development: You can easily setup LAMP in your desktop or laptop and start developing web applications. In case if you are on Windows, you are offered solutions such as XAMPP for local development, so you can deploy your work in a LAMP environment.
- Cheap: All LAMP software components come free of charge. Therefore, web-hosting companies do not spend money for licensing these software components of LAMP. Eventually, this advantage is passed to the end-customer as cheap web hosting packages.
Let’s have a look at each of these software components one-by-one.
Linux provides the bedrock for web development. Linux is the operating environment of the web development and web hosting solutions. Linux has many built-in libraries, scripts, and technologies for successfully supporting web development.
One of the main characteristics of Linux is its security. This makes Linux a great candidate for web hosting, as web security is one of the main concerns when it comes to the customers. Same as other LAMP software components, Linux comes to you free of charge. Since Linux is a UNIX-like platform, Linux is compatible with other UNIX-like server-oriented hosting platforms.
Apache is an open source web server. Apache was initially developed as an experimental web server for smaller projects. With contribution from all over the world, Apache started its journey towards the mainstream.
There are many independent and individual professionals who have contributed to the development of Apache web server. In addition, the companies who benefit from free and open source software, such as IBM, have contributed to the efforts of Apache development. By now, there is a foundation of Apache development and governance of its roadmap.
At present, Apache is the most popular web server in the world. Apache owns the majority of web server market share. World’s most famous web applications are now run on Apache.
MySQL is the trademark database system for the Linux platform. MySQL is a lightweight database system that has been designed for multi-user, multi-threaded functionality. Oracle Corporation now owns MySQL and MySQL has more than 11 million installation all over the world.
The basic edition of MySQL is free for anyone’s use. In case if you want support or enterprise versions of MySQL, you will have to pay for that. But for small and medium scale businesses, free edition of MySQL just works fine.
PHP, Python, or Perl
All these programming languages are scripting languages. These languages are used for developing dynamic web pages. With these programming languages, developers can develop competitive, feature rich software within a fast turnaround.
Variants of LAMP
Due to the success of LAMP web development solution bundle, there have been a number of variants and equivalents developed for other platforms. XAMPP is one of the most popular solutions packages available for the Windows platform. XAMPP comes as a standalone installation that installs all the software components of LAMP, with the exception of Linux. In addition to XAMPP, WAMP and WIMP are two other similar solution bundles that work on Windows platform.
LAMP has been ported to Macintosh operating system as well. On Macintosh, LAMP variant is called MAMP and it deploys all software but Linux on Mac.
Similar to Windows and Macintosh, Solaris and FreeBSD have their own equivalents of LAMP and they are called SAMP and FAMP respectively.