When it comes to configuring a WAMP (Windows, Apache, MySQL, PHP) server, some Windows administrators might be turned off by the need to manually configure it via the httpd.conf file. This type of setup/configuration is old hat to UNIX/Linux users, but Windows users (especially new admins) are not as familiar with the command line and flat text files. That’s where ApacheConf PRO comes
in.

With this easy to use GUI tool, you can set up WAMP servers in a more point-and-click friendly environment. ApacheConf PRO allows you to do the following and more:

  • View all information for the Apache main
    configuration file in a structured view
  • Work with several web servers
  • Interact with your Apache server (start,
    stop, restart)
  • Insert directives
  • Add directories
  • Download and upload configuration files directly
    to and from a remote server
  • Automatically load the external configuration
    files (e.g., files from the “Include” directive and .htaccess, .htpasswd,
    .htgroup, CustomLog, and ErrorLog)
  • View full descriptions of the all the directives
    present in httpd.conf
  • Use an SSI and PHP Wizard
  • Edit the .htaccess, .htpasswd, and .htgroup files
  • View CustomLog for every virtual host
  • View ErrorLog for every virtual host
  • Set up directory locking
  • Conduct a quick test of the httpd.conf configuration file
  • Embed Internet Explorer for every Apache
    server
  • Manage some of Apache’s directives (LoadModule,
    Alias, ErrorDocument, language, charsets, etc.)
  • See warnings when an invalid directive is used

Cost

ApacheConf PRO is $75.00 USD for a personal license. The cost is $290.00 USD for a company license. The
difference between the two versions is that the company license allows anyone in the company
to use the software — regardless of the number of machines.

You can get a free 15-day trial in
order to kick the tires and find out if the software meets your needs and is worth the price.

Installing ApacheConf PRO

Before installing ApachConf PRO, your WAMP server needs to be installed. Read my article Set up a basic website with Apache for details.

Now follow these ApacheConf PRO installation steps:

1. Download
the installation file.

2. Double-click the downloaded file.

3. Walk
through the wizard.

After the software is installed, launch the application from Start | All
Programs | ApacheConf PRO. When the app starts, you’ll start the
process of creating a server.

Using ApacheConf PRO

1. Click New Project from the
main window (Figure A).

Figure A

The main ApacheConf PRO window.

2. From the New Project window, click Add Server in the right
pane. This will open the Add Server wizard (Figure B).

Figure B

The New Server wizard makes it easy to set up a virtual
server for the project.

3. In the wizard, give the server a name
and select from either Apache 2.x.x or Apache 1.3.x. Click Next. 

4. In the next window, define if the
files are found on the local machine or if the files are to be downloaded with
either FTP or SSH (Figure C). If the files are on the local machine, check Local Files and
then click the Browse button to locate the httpd.conf file. Most WAMP servers
will place that file in C:\wamp\bin\apache\AapcheXXX\conf\
(XXX is the Apache release number). Select that file and click Next.

Figure C

If you opt for either SSH or FTP, you will be prompted to
configure the remote location and authentication.

5. Select the operating system on which
Apache is installed. For WAMP, you will select Apache Server Under MS Windows
(the default) (Figure D). In the same window, give the server a name
and click Next.

Figure D

Setting up the server definition.

6. Add a URL for the server (if
available) and click Next.

7. In the final window, note the location of the Apache log file and click Finish (Figure E).

Figure E

You can change the log file’s location, if necessary,
by editing the information in the right pane.

8. Your server will be listed
in the Your Servers window. Click the server that is listed, and you can start working with the setup (Figure F).

Figure F

You can now start and configure your server.

9. From the left pane, you can expand each section to reveal
configurations for Logs, Includes, htaccess, Directories, Virtual Host, and External files. Click a section and then either configure it in the right pane or in the resulting popup window (Figure G).

Figure G

Adding virtual hosts with ApacheConf PRO is simple.

Summary

For administrators who are looking for an easy way to
configure a WAMP server, ApacheConf PRO is an outstanding means to a near
point-and-click end.