Imagine that you are trying to create a new scientific calculator in a web application. Apart from a fundamental grasp of mathematics, you would need a programming language to write your application, a database to run it, a server to operate the database, and an operating system to manage the server. These four independent components would then have to cooperate together well enough to make your calculator function. Consequently, the closer the relationship is between those four elements, the stronger your calculator app will be.
This is where LAMP Solution Stack comes in. In a phrase, LAMP is a set of subsystems combined to be able to perform tasks without dependencies on external software or data. The acronym stands for Linux (the operating system) Apache (the hosting server), MySQL (code managing the database) and PHP (for web development).
There’s no need to become overly concerned with the meaning of the acronym, because the specific parts that make up LAMP are somewhat interchangeable (a fairly simple process for PHP programmers). For instance, PHP can be swapped out with Python or Perl, MySQL can be traded for MariaDB, and so on.
Furthermore, it’s important to understand LAMP within the context of other solution stacks. These include GLASS, LYME, LEAP, WISA, MEAN, and many others. They all have their own appeal and use to developers. So among the variety of solution stacks available, what makes LAMP so special?
Advantages of LAMP Solution Stack
At the outset it’s important to understand that while the languages that make up LAMP were not specifically designed to work in unison, they nevertheless share an incredible synergy. This is largely due to the fact that every part of LAMP is composed of open source software. As open source software, all of the following come into play:
- Universal redistribution
- Crowd sourced improvements to the language
- Price tag that says “free to use”
Furthermore, popularity counts when it comes to selecting a solution stack. Because there’s no shortage of developers who have working familiarity with LAMP components, there are clear advantages to using it from both a developer and a publisher’s point of view. Additionally, being open source means there’s no vendor lock-in for working with LAMP. And last but not least, each of the components that make up the stack are thoroughly tested, widely used, and very secure.
The Bottom Line
Putting aside for this particular discussion the intimate technical details of any one particular component, there are three main points to know about LAMP:
- It’s free. There is always a possibility of potential hidden costs (e.g., unexpected occurrences during development or later costs in the form of support), but the absence of a vendor lock-in gives developers independence that consequently overcomes barriers to market entry.
- As open source software, the amount of documentation available for any given component of LAMP is rivaled by none.
- LAMP has been widely adopted by the industry, which means that the number of apps written specifically for LAMP is unparalleled.