Trying to learn and help some other programmers to find their solutions on the Yii Forum (I think is a superb way to learn the framework), I was facing one challenge with an external library that a fellow programmer wanted to use -quite good indeed: PHPExcel. And what is PHPExcel?
This article explains issues about installing XAMPP server package (Lite version) on Windows OS and configuring it for serving webapps written in Yii. Please note, that XAMPP is available for many more platforms and systems. I write about Windows edition as it was the only one tested by me.
Yii makes it really easy for all to use their already made objects that automate everything we do. It provides also great power of flexibility and styling but hey, we programmers tend to complicate our lives and push a little more the power of our tools.