To get CiviCRM running on my Apple iMac I need four items of software installed.
- Apache Web Server
- A Database. I am using mySQL
- PHP programming language
- A Content Management System (CMS). Either Drupal or Joomba
Some of these come pre-installed on my iMac but to get the versions up to date instead of compiling software or installing binaries, I downloaded MAMP a bundle of Apache, mySQL and PHP. It just drops right into the Applications folder and you just click on it to launch the web server and mySQL. Very nice. If you look around the internet about web servers, you will see the acronym LAMP servers, which refers to Linux, Apache, mySQL and PHP. Replace Linux with Mac and you get MAMP. Don’t despair if you are a Windows user as there are packages of Apache, MySQL and PHP for you also.
Update: Jerimee posted a link to XAMPP a Apache, MySQL, PHP and Perl bundle that has a Window version. Thanks guy!
Since BlueNC and the NCDP uses Drupal as their CMS, I am in good company. Installing Drupal was dirt simple, I downloaded the zip file of the latest version and unzipped it in the htdocs directory of my MAMP server. Pointing my web browser to the location specified in the installation document the installation web page started up and I quickly set up my new Drupal site. MAMP comes with mySQLadmin which made it easy to set up the database required by Drupal.
Installing CiviCRM was almost as easy. I downloaded CiviCRM and unzipped it into drupal/sites/all/modules directory and launched the setup web page. This page checks the perquisites and after I added two directories that it told me I was needed, the installation process installed the CiviCRM database. The next step was to go to the Drupal administration web page and enable CiviCRM. Woops an error. The current version on CiviCRM is not compatible with the latest version of Drupal (6.2). I wonder why the CiviCRM installation process didn’t squawk on this when it checked the prerequisites. Of course if I had read the requirements on the CiviCRM web site I would have caught it too. No big deal. I deleted the Drupal directory, downloaded the older version (5.7) and went through the same steps. In under fifteen minutes, my test CiviCRM site is up and running. Man, installation of web services has certainly improved. Just a few years ago this would have involved hours of reading cryptic instructions, creating and editing configuration files and using SQL commands to create all of the databases and tables.
So give it a try. Using MAMP makes it quick and easy to install Drupal and CiviCRM to play with with little impact to your Mac laptop or desktop.