Supporting office processes with open source database applications on Mac OS X

I'm not sure if anyone is interested in back-end applications that you might need to support your work -- e.g. network asset control and contact management -- but I've been setting up a development server for my group for the past few months with a blue and white G3 Mac running Mac OS X. I've found that getting up and running with OS X server is a cinch if you run the Apache web server with PHP and MySQL. Plus, you can't beat the price, and who can argue with that in these lean and mean times. You might need to do a little tinkering using the Terminal application to get PHP configured in the Apache configuration file (/etc/httpd/httpd.conf) and to get MySQL installed properly. So this is for people who aren't afraid to use the Terminal. If you are interested, all you need is located in these few sites:

  • Apache/PHP configuration: If you have Mac OS X server running, Apache and PHP should be installed. You will just need to turn the server on from the Dock and then using Terminal, edit /etc/httpd/httpd.conf by removing the pound signs before the php configuration lines. If you are running OS X client, you will probably need to install PHP. Apache should run from System Prefereces/Sharing. If you need more info. on installing Apache/PHP, this DevShed article may shed some light. If you are afraid of Unix you can buy the OpenOSX OpenWeb package, which installs and configures Apache/PHP/MySQL from a CD.
  • MySQL package: Download from VersionTracker or Marc Liyanage's site. Follow the installation instructions on Marc's site.
  • phpMyAdmin to set up MySQL databases: phpMyAdmin is a php-based MySQL administration tool that lets you create, configure and edit MySQL databases and tables using a Web interface. Install phpMyAdmin from phpwizard to configure your databases.
  • If you want to access MySQL from an application, you might have a look at Runtime Labs' MacSQL.
If anyone is running an OS X server to support their business processes in some way, I'd be interested in hearing how you're doing that. -Michael