The WAMP software is an easy way to get started with the Apache server, MySQL relational database system and PHP language combination under a Windows operating system. The software can be installed with just a few clicks and you will be able to run your PHP code just seconds after you have downloaded the software. Your own computer will act as a web server and will respond to the localhost URL command. The WAMP software is delivered with the latest releases of Apache, MySQL and PHP and includes a number of sweet features making your development a lot easier. The WAMP Server website have a great tutorial on how to install the software with good text and screenshots. If you are sitting on a Linux machine you can find the same software under the name LAMP.
If you just started with PHP and web development you might ask yourself why you would need a web server, HTML and CSS works just fine without one. The main difference is that when working with PHP (and many other languages) you will need a web server to execute the code you have written. When you write PHP code you will never be able to see the PHP code when looking at the page source. This is because the PHP code has been executed/translated by the server and transformed to HTML before it’s sent back to your browser. To read more about the Apache server, MySQL database and the PHP scripting languages follow the links below:
This was a very short introduction for getting the tools to be able to work with PHP and MySQL under Windows or Linux. The links above provide a lot of useful tips and trix if you want to read more about the seperate software parts included in the WAMP/LAMP software. The WAMP software works great both under Windows XP and Windows Vista.