For all of my development work I use an AMP stack running on my windows machine (commonly referred to as a WAMP server). This allows me to run Apache / PHP / MySQL on my windows box without the need for a Linux machine - very handy if you are developing something like DMCMS and don't have a linux box on which to test your work. Over the years I have tried many different WAMP distro's - I've even installed the seperate components myself.

Nowdays I tend to favour Wampserver - as it is compact, easy to install and has a nice, easy to use interface. I have also used UniServer ( ) as it has a very small footprint and can be installed on a memory stick so it can be used an any PC. However, it didn't integrate correctly with the syntax checking function in Ultraedit so for the time being Wampserver is my tool of choice (although I must admin I have no use for SqlLiteManager).

The only problem I found with Wampserver is that it does not include a mail server - this makes it impossible to test any mail functions within your software.

With my current focus on getting DMCMS Version 080 ready, it didn't take long for me to get bored with uploading changed files to a test site, so that I could test out changes involving sending mail, so I decided to install a mail server on my Windoze machine.

A little searching about lead me to this article on the UniServer website.

The article outlines the installation and setup of Office Mail. (available from )

Office mail is a free to use program that runs a mail server / service on your Windoze box, usefull for internal and external corporate applications, it also seamlessly integrates with your Apache installation allowing you to test any sendmail functionality you may have within your code. There is a free version and a registered version - for my purposes the free version is great - it adds a footer to the bottom of outgoing emails which is customisable in the registered version but then as it's only for testing I wasn't worried about the footer.

Installation is straight-forward and once installed you basically need to set the 'SMTP Delivery' so that 'outgoing mail is returned to sender'. You can then add a user by clicking on the add user button on the the 'Users' tab - You will need to associate an email address with the user account by setting an alias under the 'Local Distribution' tab. Once this is done you are all set to test.

You may need to modify your php.ini file if the 'sendmail_from' directive is commented out or not set as this will end up returning an error when you try to send an email using your php script - dont forget to restart your servce after doing this.

You can now test your mail script using the php mail() function - set the 'to' field to the alias address of the user you previously added - make sure Office Mail is running and then run your code - if all is good, you can then view the mail in the office mail program by clicking on the user name in the application.

For more detailed instructions view the article above on the UniServer website - for UniServer users there is also a further article on how to integrate Office mail into your portable UniServer setup.