Unify Support Center

Support Center

Development Environment Tips

Last Updated: Mar 22, 2012 03:11PM CDT
In order for Unify to work, you must have purchased a license and registered your copy of Unify for a specific domain or sub-domain. If you need to run Unify in a dev environment, you have three options:
  • Purchase a license for a sub-domain/domain specifically for Unify installs, e.g. unify.yoursite.com. This will be a one time fee, and will allow you to use Unify in any folder in this sub-domain. You could copy fifty Unify folders in to fifty site folders for fifty clients, and they would all work in that sub-domain on one license for a one-time purchase.
  • You can transfer a Unify license one time, so dev on one server, push live on another. See here for more details.
  • Simply develop in a sub-folder of the domain on which you wish to use Unify.
You will need a live connection to the Internet to use Unify.

Working Locally

Unify requires a handshake with our server in order to log in, and perform many other tasks. This means that in order to operate Unify, you need a live internet connection. This does not, however, preclude the use of a local environment to develop for Unify. Just set up your local environment, purchase a Unify license for the eventual domain that you will be using Unify on, and install the files in the proper folder. Then alias your localhost to the URL of the destination domain. Here are instructions for doing this in Windows or in Mac OSX.

Aliasing Your Localhost to the Domain (using XAMPP on Windows)

Thanks to Harmony Steel for this info:
  1. Open up your .hosts file in notepad (usually lives at “c:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc” and you may also need to have “show hidden files” turned on in your Windows folder settings).
  2. At the bottom of the .hosts file paste the following and change “yourdomain.com” to whatever your domain is (minus the www), e.g. alarinmusic.com yourdomain.com
  3. Save your .hosts file. IMPORTANT – Once your website is live you may want to comment out this line in the .hosts file (e.g. # yourdomain.com) or otherwise every time you type in yourdomain.com you’ll be redirected to the localhost version and will never actually see the live website.
  4. Next open up your httpd-vhosts.conf file in notepad. In XAMPP it can be found at c:\xampp\apache\conf\extra\httpd-vhosts.conf
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the file and paste the following text without changing any of it. NameVirtualHost DocumentRoot C:/xampp/htdocs/ ServerName localhost
  6. Then add beneath the following code for each website you want to set up a virtual host for to use Unify locally. I’ve used my domain alarinmusic.com as an example (for the “logs” bit just make sure you create a new folder in your directory called “logs” and that’s all you need to do for that bit).
    DocumentRoot "C:\xampp\htdocs\alarinmusic"
    ServerName alarinmusic.com
    CustomLog "C:\xampp\htdocs\alarinmusic\logs\example.local.access.log" combined
    ErrorLog "C:\xampp\htdocs\alarinmusic\logs\example.local.error.log"
    Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
    AllowOverride All
    Order allow,deny
    Allow from all
  7. Stop and restart Apache and you’re done. Now if you type your domain in it should take you to the localhost version of the site but Unify will actually work with it now.

Aliasing Your Localhost to the Domain (using MAMP on Mac)

Note: this is using the free version of MAMP. MAMP PRO may make this easier.
  1. Create the folder on your machine that you want to use as your development environment.
  2. Edit MAMP’s configuration file:
    • Find and open the file "/Applications/MAMP/conf/apache/httpd.conf" in a text editor.
    • At the bottom of the file, under the line "# NameVirtualHost *" enter:
      <VirtualHost *:80>
           ServerName localhost
           DocumentRoot /path/to/the/previously/created/folder/on/your/computer
    • Save and close "http.conf". Restart your server through MAMP.
  3. Edit your computer’s hosts file:
    • Open Terminal.
    • Enter this line to open your hosts file:
      sudo vi /etc/hosts
    • Enter your password for your user on your computer.
    • Hit "a" on your keyboard to insert text.
    • Move the cursor below the references to "localhost" and hit return a couple of times to create a new line.
    • Enter this line (make sure to use the domain or sub-domain you registered Unify for):       your.registered-unify-domain.com
    • Hit "Control + C" to exit editing mode.
    • Type the following to save your hosts file:
      :w /etc/hosts
    • Quit Terminal.
You should now be able to use Unify locally, so long as you have a working internet connection.
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