You’ve probably heard of Microsoft’s Web Platform Installer, a free-as-in-beer tool that makes it a snap to install a variety of Microsoft and Open Source web applications and development tools, ranging from “The Usual Suspects”, such as Visual Web Developer, IIS and SQL Server 2008 Express to stuff you might not expect, such as PHP and WordPress. It makes installing these goodies a simple of matter of checking the items you want and clicking the Install button. (While the old way of installing PHP on Windows wasn’t rocket science, it involved enough steps and configuration changes to justify my writing a whole article on the topic in an old developer blog of mine.)
One necessary thing that the Web Platform Installer doesn’t do for you – and I assume it’s because of licensing restrictions of one kind or another – is install MySQL, which many PHP apps, including a number that the Web Platform Installer installs, use. You’ll be told that you need to install MySQL, but it leaves installing it up to you.
Hence this article on my personal tech blog Global Nerdy, where I walk through the steps of installing MySQL Server 5.1 on Windows for a developer machine. In it, I walk through the process of installing MySQL Server 5.1 (Community Edition) on my 64-bit Windows 7 Beta (build 7000) box; your experiences should be the same whether you’re on 32- or 64-bit, or on XP, Vista or 7.