A Google search of LAMP stack yields about eleven million results. Thus, it is worth knowing about the stack. LAMP is arguably the most valuable technology stack for the Internet as it drives millions of sites. The use of and support for this group of technologies is extensive. Thus, it is a great starting point for any company that is making its first foray onto the web.
What is a Technology Stack?
Before we move to discussing LAMP, we need to understand what a technology stack is. A stack is a name for a group of technologies. A stack gets its name from the fact that the technologies are stacked on top of each other. Some stacks are vendor specific, but typically a stack is a mix of technologies that are not owned by a single group. Microsoft is an example of a vendor-owned stack, but due to its diverse offerings the “Microsoft solution” is referred to more often than the “Microsoft stack.”
A stack typically is comprised of an operating system, a server, a database, and a development language. The four components of a stack tend to work together well and have a community behind its use. Thus, rather than struggling through learning each of the components individually as typical best-of-breed solutions require. Instead, the stack combines to feel more like a cohesive solution.
LAMP stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP. Linux is the operating system for this particular stack. However, similar stacks replace Linux with Windows (WAMP) or Mac OS (MAMP). Apache is the web server, MySQL is the database, and PHP is the development language. The database and development components are not essential if all you want is to run a simple web server. Nonetheless, they are necessary for most dynamic business applications and e-commerce sites. If you want to add a “Contact Us” form to your site you need to select a technology stack.
Explanation of LAMP components:
Linux – is an open-source operating system modeled on UNIX.
Apache – is an open-source HTTP server for modern operating systems. Apache Web Server is the server of choice for most companies. Especially, those looking for a free solution to serve small to medium business needs.
MySQL – is an open source, relational database management system (RDBMS). A database is an excellent way for managing data. Also, relational databases are reliable ways to manage data.
PHP – is an open source general-purpose scripting language that developers can use for web development.
Why Choose LAMP?
Companies developing web applications have many different stack options available for their products. Many of the options available are open source. Open Source is a term used for software that freely available and includes the source code as part of the application distribution. The inclusion of source code allows developers to enhance and extend the original code. However, they do need to credit the original developers.
LAMP is the best choice partially because it is the most popular choice. There are millions of sites powered by LAMP and that equates to millions of developers working with that stack. The LAMP stack is regularly found in use in a wide variety of industries. Thus, you are not likely to find bugs or errors. However, if you do run into a problem, it is highly likely that someone else has run into it and found a solution.
Any stack is going to have some level of support for installing and configuring it in a small number of steps. LAMP not only has a lot of great installers. It also has a wide variety of configurations across those installers. There are even options to build an entire LAMP environment with no more work than clicking a button. This is why you tend to find the LAMP stack on so many hosting solutions.
The LAMP stack is great for web development. However, the components in the stack can make a great foundation for building non-web applications as well. PHP is a great scripting language and can be useful for a variety of tasks. Such as, as database administration and automating tasks. Within the world of the web this stack can be used to build a “contact us” form, but also it powers some of the biggest and most complex sites on the Internet.
The LAMP community is huge (millions of members) and helpful. There are so many sites and blogs about LAMP development that entering any related question in a search engine will yield thousands of results. These sites are also full of friendly and helpful individuals that provide their expertise freely to anyone who asks. You will not be able to find free consulting, but you can get answers to many specific questions. Often this is done a quick and thorough manner.
Hopefully, you found this article informative, if you want to know more about LAMP check out:
Have a look at Apache HTTP Server introduction (an excellent low-cost reference)
Start learning more about LAMP or WAMP today via one of our articles or through Bitnami’s easy-to-install bundles.
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