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Cees-Jan Kiewiet:
AWS PHP SDK Asynchronously
June 30, 2015 @ 11:31:15

Cees-Jan Kiewiet has a new post today talking about some interesting trickery he was able to do with the AWS (Amazon Web Services) PHP SDK to allow requests to be made asynchronously.

Just got off the AWS SDK for PHP Office Hour hangout and it was great talking with both team members Jeremy and Michael. And one of the things we talked about was async access to the AWS services using the PHP SDK. The goal of this post is to get the AWS PHP SDK client working asynchronously.

He starts with brief instructions on getting the SDK installed (via Composer) along with a library of his own that brings in a few other dependencies. The ReactPHP event loop is what makes the asynchronous connections possible. He includes the code to create the new handler stack and how to use it to make the asynchronous calls. A demo screencast is also included in the post to illustrate the output from a simple set of requests.

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Link: http://blog.wyrihaximus.net/2015/06/aws-php-sdk-asynchronously/

AWS Development Blog:
DynamoDB JSON and Array Marshaling for PHP
February 04, 2015 @ 10:51:30

In the latest post to the AWS PHP Development blog Jeremy Lindblom looks at a new feature of their PHP SDK that allows for more flexibility (and easier handling) when using DynamoDB for document storage in storing more complex data.

Back in October of 2014, Amazon DynamoDB added support for new data types, including the map (M) and list (L) types. These new types, along with some API updates, make it possible to store more complex, multilevel data, and use DynamoDB for document storage.

He talks about a new class thats been added to help work with the DynamoDB storage, the DynamoDb Marshaler (in version >= 2.2.7) that handles the push and pull of the JSON document data directly from the storage, reducing the need to perform the operation manually. He includes code examples of its use and JSON examples of what results are returned on a get request. He also shows how to use it with a native PHP array, translating it with help from the Marshaler and the "marshalItem" method.

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Link: http://blogs.aws.amazon.com/php/post/Tx3QE1CEXG8QG1Z/DynamoDB-JSON-and-Array-Marshaling-for-PHP

Ben Ramsey:
Setting Up Jenkins on Amazon Linux for PHP Testing
August 08, 2014 @ 09:36:33

Ben Ramsey has posted a complete walk-through of setting up and configuring Jenkins on an AWS instance for testing your PHP applications.

One of my first tasks at ShootProof was to set up a Jenkins server for continuous integration and get it ready to run unit tests for PHP and JavaScript code. There are plenty of tutorials around the web to help you do just that. This is yet another one, but it's primarily my cleaned-up notes -and less of a tutorial - placed here for my future self to find and provided publicly for all to benefit. These instructions are specifically tailored for setting up Jenkins on an Amazon Linux EC2 instance.

While he doesn't call it a "tutorial" it's still a great step-by-step guide to the things you'll need and the process to follow including commands, installing and starting Jenkins and configuring the environment to execute your tests. The main goal was to set it up for PHP-based applications, but he also throws in the setup of some Javascript testing via Node.js and the PhantomJS/CasperJS combo.

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Link: http://benramsey.com/blog/2014/08/setting-up-jenkins-on-amazon-linux-for-php-testing/

AWS PHP Development:
Testing Webhooks Locally for Amazon SNS
April 08, 2014 @ 11:33:07

In a previous post the AWS for PHP blog showed how to set up webhooks for handling the callbacks from their SNS messaging service. In this next part of the series they continue the process, showing how you can test these hooks locally without needing to actually send the messages. This eliminates the need to deploy to a public-facing server just to test the hooks every time you need an update.

In a recent post, I talked about Receiving Amazon SNS Messages in PHP. I showed you how to use the SNS Message and MessageValidator classes in the AWS SDK for PHP to handle incoming SNS messages. The PHP code for the webhook is easy to write, but can be difficult to test properly, since it must be deployed to a server in order to be accessible to Amazon SNS. I'll show you how you can actually test your code locally with the help of a few simple tools.

Using PHP's own built-in webserver and a tool called ngrok to tunnel from the public internet to a local server. He includes the commands to set up the PHP script directory, the code to intercept the POSTed data from the request, validate it and send the subscription confirmation request. He helps you create an SNS "topic" through the management console and walks you through a sample test request while tailing the logs.

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Link: http://blogs.aws.amazon.com/php/post/Tx2CO24DVG9CAK0/Testing-Webhooks-Locally-for-Amazon-SNS

AWS PHP Development:
Receiving Amazon SNS Messages in PHP
April 01, 2014 @ 10:53:14

The Amazon Web Services PHP Development blog has a new post from Jeremy Lindblom showing you how you can receive inbound SNS messages via a webhook on your application.

Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS) is a fast, fully-managed, push messaging service. Amazon SNS can deliver messages to email, mobile devices, Amazon SQS queues, and HTTP/HTTPS endpoints. [...] Though you can certainly subscribe your email address to receive SNS messages from service events like these, your inbox would fill up rather quickly. There is great power, however, in being able to subscribe an HTTP/HTTPS endpoint to receive the messages. This allows you to program webhooks for your applications to easily respond to various events.

Using the AWS SDK for PHP you can set up a listening script that can receive the message and handle subscription confirmations, message signature validation and handling the notifications.

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Link: http://blogs.aws.amazon.com/php/post/Tx2G9D94IE6KPAY/Receiving-Amazon-SNS-Messages-in-PHP

Till Klampaeckel:
Speeding up composer on AWS OpsWorks
October 09, 2013 @ 12:10:25

Till Klampaeckel has a new post today showing how to get your Composer installation (and package install) to work a bit faster on the Amazon AWS OpsWorks management system.

At EasyBib, we're heavy users of composer and AWS OpsWorks. Since we recently moved a lot of our applications to a continuous deployment model, the benefits of speeding up the deployment process (~4-5 minutes) became more obvious.

He talks some about the current needs of their deployment process and how one option - symlinking the "vendors" directory just wouldn't work. Instead, they make use of Ruby and Chef to work with the OpsWorks hook system that fire on deployment. He includes the example Ruby scripts they put in place to handle "before migrate", "before symlink", "before restart" and "after restart" events. This new setup saved them about two to three minutes on their total deployment time and resulted in a much more stable environment.

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Link: http://till.klampaeckel.de/blog/archives/202-Speeding-up-composer-on-AWS-OpsWorks.html

Amazon Web Services PHP Blog:
Provision an Amazon EC2 Instance with PHP
August 23, 2013 @ 09:15:23

On the Amazon Web Services blog today Jeremy Lindblom shares a quick way you can use the AWS SDK to create an EC2 instance directly from PHP in just a few lines of code.

Amazon EC2 is a powerful AWS service that includes the ability to provision on-demand servers. While you can easily do this through the AWS Management Console, in this post, I want show you how to use the AWS SDK for PHP to do it programmatically by interacting with the Amazon EC2 API.

He starts with an outline of the steps (requiring a little bit of EC2-side configuration first) and shows how to use the SDK. His code sets up the client, creates the key pair and security group then is ready to make the instance. You can give the "runInstances" method a configuration that includes number of instances and what type. There's also some hooks back into the request that can tell you when the instances are running and how to get the path to the new instance (for ssh access).

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Link: http://blogs.aws.amazon.com/php/post/TxMLFLE50WUAMR/Provision-an-Amazon-EC2-Instance-with-PHP

CoderWall.com:
Scale PHP on Ec2 to 30,000 Concurrent Users / Server
July 19, 2013 @ 11:07:08

On CoderWall.com there's a post sharing some findings about how RockThePost.com scaled PHP to 30,000 concurrent users on Amazon EC2 instances.

RockThePost.com is a LAMP stack hosted on Ec2. We're preparing to be featured in an email which will be sent to ~1M investors... all at the same time. For our 2 person engineering department, that meant we had to do a quick sanity check to see just how many people we can support concurrently.

They have a list of five suggestions/opinions on what has helped them scale out to this level including using Varnish for caching, turning on APC (PHP opcode caching) and using a c1.xlarge EC2 instance. They used Google Analytics and Siege to run their load testing on the "exterior" of the site.

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Link: https://coderwall.com/p/__z9ia

Amazon Web Services PHP Blog:
Syncing Data with Amazon S3
June 28, 2013 @ 11:57:59

On the Amazon AWS blog there's a recent post showing you how to sync data with S3 and handle multiple files quickly and easily.

Have you ever needed to upload an entire directory of files to Amazon S3 or download an Amazon S3 bucket to a local directory? With a recent release of the AWS SDK for PHP, this is now not only possible, but really simple.

He includes example code for doing it both ways - upload and download syncing - as well as some options you can use to customize the connection. You can define things like ACL settings, the number of concurrent connections and if you want the debug options turned off or on.

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Link: http://blogs.aws.amazon.com/php/post/Tx2W9JAA7RXVOXA/Syncing-Data-with-Amazon-S3

Snipe.net:
Sending Mail Using PHP and Amazon SES on Centos/AWS Linux
March 27, 2013 @ 10:56:53

In this new post to her site Alison shows how to send emails through the Amazon Simple Email Service (SES) from a CentOS instance (an AMI in this case).

If you find yourself using Amazon SES for sending outgoing emails in a PHP web app, getting everything set up is much simpler than it may seem. In my case, this was on an AWS Linux image, but it will work on any Fedora/CentOS AMI. You can, of course, set up sendmail and use a proper MTA to send email from your web app, but in this case, I had inherited the requirement to set up an environment for code that was already written to use SES for outgoing email and Google Apps for incoming emails, so the actual mechanics weren't up for debate.

She includes screenshots showing how to configure the SES system with your site's domains and DNS as well as the email addresses you're planning on using. She links over to the MSMTP software you'll need to install on your instance to make the connection and what you'll need to do to get it configured for PHP's use. A sample email script is also included to test the connection (and where to look to make sure everything worked correctly).

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