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Anyone fancy creating a Windows Server "XAMPP" template!

Written by Nik Tetteh-Lartey - 31 january 2014

Getting started

Imagine we want to build a Windows server machine, containing a web development stack, including Apache web server, MySQL, PHP and Perl, the equivalent to the popular LAMP stacks, but with the Perl language added on, just for more flexibility! UForge factory will allow us to do this and more, as it will allow us to define our Windows machine as a "model" or so called server template, giving us the flexibility to add to or refine our machines capabilities and or functionalities, over time, by the simple clicking of a button. Let's get started. Firstly, we have to create a new server template which is based on our chosen Windows operating system and architecture.

  • Using the UForge UI, we create the template selecting Windows Server 2008 R2 as our preferred operating system.

  • This completed, we now proceed to defining the "OS profile" by selecting the Windows Server 2008 R2 distribution we'd like to use, in this case, Enterprise, Core, English.

Adding the software

The next step is to add the necessary middleware components. There are many options available here and a simple Internet search can give us some ideas. In this case we opted for Apache Friends community offering with a well-integrated middleware stack using an opensource software project called XAMPP. As we will find in the XAMPP online documentation, PHP needs some extra software i.e. the Microsoft Visual 2008 studio compiler, which is a redistributable package from Microsoft. Finally, we note, that Tomcat has one additional requirement; a Java runtime environment (JRE). So re-capping, we need to add two extra pieces of software, JRE, Microsoft Visual C++ and XAMPP itself. With UForge, adding these extra pieces of software to a template can be done using what is called My Software projects. Typically, for our XAMPP server template, we will create three of these My Software projects, but this is only a suggestion, we can, if we want, create more or less, depending on how we want bundle certain pieces of software and/or special files. Each project is named, with a version number and a description. We may also consider adding the corresponding software license file to the projects. As for the software itself, we simply upload the each piece of software to its corresponding My Software project.

Installation and configuration

The installation and configuration of our chosen middleware software components can be done in many ways, two of which are:

  • In the My Software project itself, by ticking the "Install this software" check box, and giving some parameters to pass for the installation process.
  • Using classic Windows bat configuration scripts files.

In this example, we'll illustrate how to perform our chosen middleware software installation and configuration with bat installation scripts. We will create two scripts: one to be executed at first boot, and one to launch XAMPP service on every boot. The installation script is a simple Windows executable bat file, Note: this first boot script contains all the installation, configuration and service setup processes:

C:\uploads\mysoftware\JREWindows64bit-7.45\jre-7u45-windows-x64.exe /s
C:\uploads\mysoftware\MSVS-2008\vcredist_x64-2008.exe /q:a
timeout 30
taskkill /F /IM TrustedInstaller.exe
C:\uploads\mysoftware\XAMPP-1.8.3\xampp-win32-1.8.3-2-VC11-installer.exe --mode unattended

This script installs the JRE, Microsoft Visual Studio and XAMPP stack. Looking at the script launching the XAMPP management stack for every boot, it contains only the XAMPP stack's component startup scripts:

C:\xampp\xampp_start.exe

Adding the Windows bat script files to the template is easy, we just use the UForge UI's Configuration view, as the following clearly depicts.

Et voila ... that's it!

We're done, our UForge Server Template is complete, at least for this iteration of its life. Note we can easily update this server template, at any time, to improve and perfect it, over its overall life-time. So, what's next for our newly created Windows 2008 R2 Server XAMPP server template?

Image Generation and Launch

We specify some desired machine sizes and select our preferred "physical, virtual or cloud" format to create the image in, after which we are ready to launch and start it. 

 

Note using our template description for instructions, we'll be able to connect to the XAMPP console using our favorite web browser.

You can also launch the XAMPP Control Panel in the Windows image.

So what are you waiting for? Try it out for yourselves, now! Just sign-up at UShareSoft for your free account and get cracking with modelling and building your very first Windows server template, you can even use our Marketplace templates as basis of yours.


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Classified in : News, Technology, Tutorial, Microsoft Windows - Tags : template, windows, uforge


2 comments

friday 07 march 2014 @ 01:52 Gaven said : #1

This great except that Windows is not selectable in the uforge application so I hit a brick wall right at the start of this process. Any help would be greatly appreciated :)

wednesday 16 july 2014 @ 12:22 Gillian Gover said : #2

@Gaven : Hi Gaven, Unfortunately we can't provide access to Windows in our free accounts. If you'd like to use Windows with UForge, take a look at our paid accounts at https://www.usharesoft.com/products/pricing.html . If you can contact us on sales@usharesoft.com, we'll be happy to provide more information. Thanks for getting in touch.

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