Sokkit – Install Apache and PHP on Windows: A while back, we mentioned FoxServ as a great way to get Apache, MySQL, and PHP (AMP) running on Windows. It was really nothing more than an installer that got all those pieces working together for you, but this was still a very handy thing since doing it from scratch can be a tedious pain.
Since that recommendation, however, the project seems to have come to a halt. The FoxServ site refers to the “old server” as “dying.” While the support forums and the SourceForge download page are still active, there doesn’t appear to have been any activity on FoxServ since 3.1.
FoxServ installs Apache 2 and MySQL 4, which are nice, but the PHP version is stuck way back at 4.2.2 (circa June 2002), which is a drag. Add to this a big problem getting PHP extensions to load for some reason, and I got pretty frustrated the last time I worked with it. (Although I will say that I currently have a FoxServ install serving a production intranet app and it works great so long as you don’t need anything beyond the old PHP version and the standard PHP extensions.)
Regardless, I went looking for something new a few weeks ago and I found Sokkit (formerly PHPTriad). It’s the same concept as FoxServ: a good, solid AMP installer. It installs Apache 2 and PHP 4.3.9 — almost the latest stable 4.x version. Extra PHP extensions can be enabled and seem to load with no problems.
MySQL installs as a “module.” phpMyAdmin gets installed with it. There are other modules for Webmail, Perl/CGI, and SSL.
Sokkit isn’t free, but at $19.95, it’s worth it. Getting a quality AMP platform running on Windows in just a few minutes is worth quite a bit more than twenty bucks. Sokkit 4.0 is coming with PHP 5. No reason to wait — if you buy 3.5, they’ll give you 4.0 for the price difference when it comes out.
But, here’s my question: Sokkit comes with a 30-day trial which installs MySQL and Apache as Windows services. After the initial install, Sokkit really just becomes a handy little monitoring app which lets you edit config files easily and stop, start, and restart services.
So how do you enforce a 30-day trial with this? Does it uninstall the services after 30 days? I have it installed, and it strikes me that Apache and MySQL are currently autonomous services, just as if I installed them myself from scratch. I’ll be curious to see exactly what happens when the 30 days are up.
No matter — I plan to purchase a license just because I want to be sure it continues to develop. The problems with PHP on FoxServ 3.1 made me realize how much I depended on it, and I want to make sure Sokkit will always be there when I need it. It’s a good product worth having when you move machines or need something up and running in a hurry.