>> Table of Contents >> Advanced User's Guide

Advanced User's Guide:

Note: This guide is meant for advanced users.
If you have problems, please check the section for beginners.

Installation (summary)

The installation is done in several steps:

  1. Decompression of the archive file. It is important to note that filenames are case-sensitive, and the saved file paths are also be restored.
  2. Transfer the extracted data, taking into account the path structure, to the HTDOCS directory of the Apache Web server Using an appropriate software of your choice. If you can work on the server directly, this is usually either the command line or a file manager. Otherwise, as a rule, it is an FTP client. To get the required settings for the FTP connection, please contact your competent administrator.
  3. Note under Unix or Linux operating systems that access rights for the software are configured correctly. This software requires all included files and directories to be readable. All files with the extension "php" must be executable. In addition, the software requires write permissions for the directories "config /", "cache /" and all the files and subdirectories.
  4. The following steps are required only if a database plug-in is to be used.
    1. Setting up a new database, unless an already existing database is to be used. For example this can be done using an appropriate graphical user interface like PHPMyAdmin. If this is not available, you may also use the command line of MySQL with the following line: "CREATE DATABASE yana". The database may have a different name than those used here. Note that the name is case-sensitive. For further details on MySQL syntax, I recommend reading the free MySQL manual. (see recommended literature)
    2. If no suitable user is available for the database, please add a new user for this purpose. This user needs access to the database is created and the following rights: SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, CREATE, ALTER. Use the following SQL statement: "GRANT SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, CREATE, ALTER ON '<DatabaseName>'. * TO" <UserName> "@" <Host> "IDENTIFIED BY '<password>'; ". Adjust this instruction if necessary. Replace the name of the particular database user name, password and the address of the database server ( "Host"), if necessary in accordance with your current configuration. Write down this information for later use. Note: If you want, you may revoke the user rights "CREATE", "ALTER" after successful installation of the database.
Note: This guide aims at users who already have experience in dealing with PHP and HTML, and the creation of scripts on Unix systems. If you find yourself not ready for this, please start with the chapter for beginners.


The most important steps to configure the application:

  1. Open the index page "index.php?action=index" in a JavaScript enabled browser. We recommend the use of Firefox 3 or later. This program is available on various platforms. You may, of course, use a different browser of your choice. This should, however, at least meet with the following requirements: support for HTML 4.1, JavaScript 1.5, DOM Level 2 and CSS 2.1 or later.
  2. Log on to the system. Click the button labeled "Login" and log in using the user name "administrator". Leave the field "Password" empty. (no password is set yet)
  3. The main menu has two settings: beginner and expert mode. You should switch to the expert mode. Use the switch at the head of the table.
  4. Above the main menu, you will find a menu bar for profile management. This allows the creation of new profiles, and the selection of existing profiles. Moreover, you will find a switch to empty the template cache. This causes all stored files in the directory "cache /" to be deleted. This switch can occasionally be useful if the program does not behaving as expected, after changing settings. The main menu itself is divided into 2 columns. In the right column, you find a list of all installed components. These are divided in 3 categories: Plug-ins, skins and language files. In the left column, you will find all the configuration settings for the installed plug-ins. The content of this column will change dynamically depending on what plug-ins or application components have been installed.
  5. The following steps are required only if a database plug-in is to be used.
    1. Select "Basic Settings" from the profiles bar, then click on "database setup" in the left column of the menu.
    2. Enter the data necessary for the connection to your database server. You will get this data from your competent administrator, in case you don't already got it. Note the information from the online help. (This is the grey text printed above the entry form.) Then save the changes. Detailed instructions and how to handle errors can be found in chapter "plug-in: database administration".
    3. The required tables are created automatically, and synchronized with existing tables stored in the file system. If you would like to complete the process by hand, please use these SQL source files, which are prepared for your DBMS.
  6. Finally, it is advisable to set a password for the user account "administrator". For this purpose select "change Password" from the options menu. Enter a new password and then save the changes. Then you have to log in to the system with the new password.
  7. Optionally, it is recommended to set individual settings for the layout of the software. This influences the appearance and behavior of the GUI. The options for editing these settings can be found in the left column of the administration menus. Make sure to consult the provided online help for the software.
  8. If you are happy with your settings, you should for security reasons log out by clicking on the button "Logout". This will terminate your active session. This prevents potential attacks by a third party using your session ID. ("Session Riding")

SQL source files for manual installation:

General information

The program has a profile administration, which allows, several sets of settings (profiles) to be stored and operated at the same time. First of all, you should choose the default profile and adapt it to your needs. Choose one after the other the "setup" entries from the options menu to edit the settings, which are related to the functions of the program. The administration menu offers a number of different options.

Tip for web communities: For example, if you have several guest books and want one of your books to use very special settings, which differ from the default values, use the field "new profile" in order to create an own profile for this guest book. Enter the ID of the guest book and click "GO". The options are the same as for the basic settings. Once the settings are saved, the name of the new profile appears in the selection menu of available profiles. This way you can access all saved profiles at any time and edit them.

This program can have any number of users simultaneously using separate instances of the application. It is a multiuser system. For example, if you use the guestbook application, you could assign each user to a separate guest book.
To be able to distinguish between all these guest books, each has a unique ID which clearly identifies this book (like giving it a "name"). The id is also available in the URL of the browser as the optional parameter "id".
You can create multiple profiles. A profile is a set of properties that apply to the guest book. There is always 1 profile for exactly 1 guestbook.
If a guestbook has no own profile, then default values are used. The default values are stored in a separate profile with the name " default settings ".

At the administration menu of your application, you will find a list of all profiles, which have been created until now. You can use this option to edit your different profiles, if more than 1 profile exists. A profile is only for the guest book with the appropriate ID.
You may create additional profiles using the option " create new profile ". To create new profiles, you need to have administrator privileges.

The user administration for communities is disabled by default. To enable this option (requires administrator priviliges), select the option "on" next to "user administration, configuration" from the menu "Plugins" in the administration menu. ("on" is the left of the two switches) then click "Save Changes". In the left column of the main menu a new menu labeled "user administration" will automatically appear, which allows you to create new users, set passwords and grant or revoke access rights.

for further reading

  1. MySQL online documentation, http://dev.mysql.com/doc/
  2. Self-PHP, http://www.selfphp.info
  3. Official PHP website, http://www.php.net
  4. PHP Security - Manual http://www.php.net/manual/en/security.php

Author: Thomas Meyer, www.yanaframework.net