This solutions article will guide you through how to install the smartCARS API on to your phpVMS 5 or 7 instance. This is a clone of the GitHub repository and may be occasionally out of date. It is recommended to check the repository to ensure you are following the most up-to-date instructions.


  • PHP 5.6 for phpVMS 5, PHP 8 or above for phpVMS 7;
  • MySQL 5.6 or higher;
  • PHP Database Objects (PDO) Extension; and
  • A web server that accepts the Authorization header (Apache, nginx, etc.).
    • If you are using shared hosting, your host may have this option disabled. Please contact your host to ensure that this option is enabled. Note: TFDi Design web hosting has this option enabled.


  1. Download the latest release from the GitHub releases page
  2. Follow the instructions depending on your platform:
    • phpVMS 5:
      • Extract the contents of the release zip file into a new, empty folder in the same directory (folder) as your base phpVMS 5 installation. You will find a "core" folder on this directory. The new folder name can be called whatever you like.
    • phpVMS 7:
      • Extract the contents of the release zip file into a new, empty folder inside the phpVMS 7 "public" folder. The new folder can be called whatever you like.
  3. This step is only if you are running your web server using nginx. Please skip this step if you are running your web server on Apache.
    • Modify your nginx configuration to provide the smartCARS API in a different location. An snippet of an example configuration is provided below:
    • location /smartcars/api {
          try_files $uri $uri/ /smartcars/api.php?$query_string;

  4. Verify that the installation was successful by visiting the handler file in your browser. You should see a JSON response with the version number of the API and the name of your handler.
    • Assuming you have placed the platform you are using in your public_html folder and your API folder is called smartcars:
      • If you're using phpVMS 5, the URL will be http://yourdomain.com/smartcars/api/phpvms5/.
      • If you're using phpVMS 7, the URL will be http://yourdomain.com/smartcars/api/phpvms7/.
    • This URL will be the "Script URL" option in smartCARS 3 Central when managing your community.