Web PI vs WAMP

Until the advent of desktop virtualization like Virtualbox, application development is tied to a computer. Staging an application environment is manual and tedious. Worse, you have to mirror the test environment with that of deployment (I hear you screaming DevOps).

If you are on Windows, you may think of XAMPP or WAMP. However, those are designed and integrated for Apache web server. And Microsoft has already made a tight integration with IIS (see the Microsoft Web Platform Installer) such that PHP development is a breeze. You can setup a Virtualbox environment such that it will mirror your deployment environment. One caveat though. Web PI requires .NET (3.5 or 2.0) so you better download it first.

Once everything is ok, you can just export your base Virtualbox appliance, or clone it and just add MySQL or whatever software component you need.

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