Difference between #3 and #2 of Yii and XAMPP server on Windows

Yii and XAMPP server on Windows
windows, xampp, server
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.

>Info: It is also worth underlining that I'm using XAMPP for years as
**development environment only**. I host my apps in production versions on paid
hosting and cannot guarantee that XAMPP has enough security level for running as
production server. Especially if you want to use Windows version for this
purpose, which is **highly NOT advisable**! Please, consult its documentation or
community about that.

For development purposes the Lite version [available
here](http://www.yiiframework.com/wiki/98/ "XAMPP Lite") is far
enough. Consult documentation to see differences between Lite and Full
versions. Please note: Lite version does not contains any mail server and
mail() PHP function fails because of that. You need full version of XAMPP, if
you plan to test applications with mailing capabilities (for example: e-mailing
new password in user management modules or RBAC extensions).
### Introduction
At the beginning it is important to answer why to choose XAMPP among so many
server packages available? Well, there are two strong advantages of it. First -
it's configuration is so easy, that even a child can do it. It particularly is
minimized to unzip archive and run setup batch. Second - XAMPP is extremely
portable! Moving it from one directory or drive to another requires only one run
of setup_xampp.bat. You can even install it on USB stick and have your private
webserver along with your apps go anywhere with you and to be available on any
computer, you plug your USB stick to!

As I read other Wiki articles on how many problems people have with installing
and configuring other servers or server pack I think it can be more simplier
than with XAMPP.

Differences betweens setup version (EXE) and setup-less version (ZIP) are at
least questionable (half the size for the first one) and I still can't figure
out how do the achieve it? :) But for this tutorial and for advantages of
portability we will use ZIP version.
### Installing XAMPP
Well... there is actually no installation. Just unzip archive grabbed from
ApacheFriends website to a directory of your choice, execute **setup_xampp.bat**
inside unzipped folder once and answer to a few simple questions (including one,
if you want to make XAMPP portable - i.e. put on a USB stick).

After that, execute **xampp_control.exe** to run any webserver component (like
Apache, MySQL) you need or to install it as system service. If you pass this
step, you can open your browser and point it to _localhost_ to see XAMPP welcome
page, which consist of some modules for checking / granting security to your
webapps run under this server. If everything is double checked and all issues
all solved, you may delete contents of _httpd_ subfolder in you XAMPP directory.

That would be all! :)
### Installing Yii
I assume that you've already grabbed zip file containing newest edition of Yii.
If you are already familiar with Yii, you may obey _demos_ folder, but it might
be wise to run at least once a _requirements_ to see, if your fresh XAMPP
installation satisfy all yours and Yii's needs? For this purpose, copy contents
of archive to _httpd_ subfolder in you XAMPP directory and go to _localhost_ in
your webbrowser.

If everything is fine, you may move Yii outside webaccessible directory, as it
is advised in documentation, and update bootstrap index.php file in your webapps
to point to correct file. In my situation I put contents of an archive in the
same directory as _httpd_ subfolder (i.e. main XAMPP folder) and rename
_framework_ directory to _yii_. Therefore my bootstrap file looks like this:

$yii = dirname(__FILE__).'/../../yii/yii.php';
$config = dirname(__FILE__).'/protected/config/main.php';


### Epilogue
This example (XAMPP server) was tested by me on Windows 2000, XP and 7, but I'm
pretty sure that it should run without any problems on any modern version of
Windows (2000 and up).

>Info: For _yiic_ to work without any problems, you have to go to **Computer
> Properties > Advanced system settings > Advanced > Environment
Variables > System Variables**, click on **Path** and then on **Edit** and
add there a correct path to both **php** and **yii** folders in the location,
where you installed XAMPP.

If you done everything correctly, you may now start coding with wonderful Yii

Completely off-topic. This is Yii Cookbook article number **one hundred**! :)