Most server administrators are familiar with the terms LAMP and WAMP. This shorthand stands for a common operating system (Linux or Windows), Web server (Apache), database (MySQL) and scripting language (PHP) combination that hosts the majority of Web applications. In general, the OS is the interchangeable part of the equation, and while Linux and Windows are the most widely used systems, Mac and Solaris (MAMP, SAMP) also figure into the mix.
Setting up a WAMP stack can be cumbersome and unintuitive. What do you download? What do you install? Does the order matter? Plus, it's even more difficult if you don't' have experience with the elements in an AMP stack.
BitNami has an all-in-one solution for people who want to get WAMP-ed with minimal hassle. The WAMPStack is a preconfigured Apache 2.2.13/MySQL 5.1.30/PHP 5.2.10 installation that can be set up from a single binary installer. With this product, instead of having to chase down three or more packages, you can do everything at once -- and get the most recent editions of each package. The best part is WAMPStack is completely self-contained: a separate machine or virtual appliance is not necessary, and the product uninstalls cleanly.
Note that although MySQL can be administered from the command line, most people will want to avoid doing this -- especially if they're only installing MySQL on a provisional basis or for the sake of running some other application that requires it (i.e. a blogging suite or CMS). To that end, WAMPStack also installs phpMyAdmin, an administrative console for MySQL, shown in the figure below, which makes it easier to create and administer MySQL databases. This console is accessed through a Web browser -- no extra configuration or software is required.
Figure 1: The administrative console for MySQL, phpMyAdmin (click to enlarge)
To install WAMPStack, you need to know how certain elements in the stack work. For example, you'll need to provide passwords for MySQL's root (administrator) and anonymous-access accounts (which cannot be empty). Check out the WAMPStack quick-start guide, which explains almost everything you need to know for installation.