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Michelangelo van Dam:
Running Apigility on Azure
November 21, 2014 @ 11:55:15

Michelango van Dam has a new post on his site today walking you through the process of running Apigility on Windows Azure. Apigility is a project from Zend that makes creating and maintaining APIs much simpler (based on the Zend Framework).

Since a couple of years I've been a fan of Microsoft Azure, the cloud platform by Microsoft. It offers a platform as a service (PaaS) in the form of Azure Websites which makes it a great solution to prototype and to play with new stuff. Last year Matthew Weier O'Phinney announced Apigility at ZendCon, a manager for API design. It was immediately clear that it would revolutionise the way we would design and manage REST API's.

Michelangelo walks you through the entire process, starting locally. He shows you how to clone and set up the latest version of Apigility and create a basic endpoint named "demo". He adds in a bit of code to handle the API request (returning user data) and includes an example of what the REST request looks like. With that up and running, he moves on to the Azure side of things. He shows you how to create a "web.config" file to configure the Azure server and run Composer as the install is being processed. He helps you get an Azure account set up and shows how to set up the website instance where you'll deploy the application, pointing it to a GitHub repository as a deploy source.

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Link: http://www.dragonbe.com/2014/11/running-apigility-on-azure.html

SitePoint PHP Blog:
How to Implement User Log-in with PayPal
November 03, 2014 @ 12:19:09

On the SitePoint PHP blog there's a new tutorial today showing you how to setup a user login through PayPal that lets users authenticate for your application through PayPal's systems.

Curiosity is one of the most important traits in our job. The other day, I found myself exploring PayPal documentation to find something interesting to learn (and share). After a while I stumbled upon the Log In with PayPal tool. With the "Log In with PayPal" tool, your users can authenticate into your application using PayPal. It's the same procedure we already know for Facebook, or maybe Twitter and GitHub. Using this type of authentication is recommended if you want to integrate it with an e-commerce website, but you can use it in every situation and application that requires a user account or membership.

He starts by answering the "why use it" question, suggesting that it adheres to one of the main goals of good, secure authentication systems - simplicity. He then shares an overview of how the process flow works including a graphic outlining each piece involved and what kinds of data is transmitted at each step. He then walks you through the full process of setting up a PayPal application on your account and using the Httpful library (installed via Composer) to connect to their API. He includes the code you'll need to include in your application to provide the link to PayPal for the login and the page it will return to once the process is complete.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/implement-user-log-paypal/

Qandidate.com Blog:
Using the Accept Header to version your API
October 20, 2014 @ 12:56:46

On the Qandidate.com blog today there's a new tutorial talking about the use of the Accept header in REST HTTP requests and, more specifically, working with it in a Symfony-based application.

I investigated different ways to version a REST API. Most of the sources I found, pretty much all said the same thing. To version any resource on the internet, you should not change the URL. The web isn't versioned, and changing the URL would tell a client there is more than 1 resource. [...] Another thing, and probably even more important, you should always try to make sure your changes are backwards compatible. That would mean there is a lot of thinking involved before the actual API is built, but it can also save you from a big, very big headache. [...] Of course there are always occasions where BC breaks are essential in order to move forward. In this case versioning becomes important. The method that I found, which appears to be the most logical, is by requesting a specific API version using the Accept header.

He shows how to create a "match request" method in his custom Router that makes use of the AcceptHeader handling to grab the header data and parse it down into the type and API version requested. He also includes an example of doing something similar in the Symfony configuration file but hard-coding the condition for the API version by endpoint.

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Link: http://labs.qandidate.com/blog/2014/10/16/using-the-accept-header-to-version-your-api/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Bitcoin and PHP with Coinbase's API - Basic Usage
October 07, 2014 @ 10:41:31

On the SitePoint PHP blog there's a recent post showing you how to combine PHP and the Coinbase API to add the ability to accept bitcoins as payment in your application. This is part one in a series of posts about making the connection and integrating it into the application.

Have you ever thought about selling your services in exchange for Bitcoins? It's not so strange - today, many big players are actually doing it. From OkCupid to KhanAcademy, even WordPress is accepting Bitcoin. Also, some countries are thinking about it as a currency. Today, we will see how to accept Bitcoin payments on your website/application in an easy way, with the Coinbase API (and its SDK).

He briefly explains what kind of services the Coinbase API provides and talks about some of the different integration methods they offer. While they do offer a "button" you can add to the site, this tutorial focuses on the PHP integration using their SDK. They help you get it installed and show how to use the Coinbase site to set up authentication and authorization handling. He helps you get an instance of the Coinbase object ready for use and shows how to use it to interact with your account. The SDK also allows you to create the same button as the Coinbase site does, just in a more programatic way.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/bitcoin-php-coinbases-api-basic-usage/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Using the Google Analytics API with PHP Logging In
October 02, 2014 @ 09:47:08

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new tutorial posted from Younes Rafie showing you how to use the Google Analytics API from PHP (part one of a series) using the Google PHP API client library to make the connection.

In this series, we're going to see how we can use the Google Analytics API to interact with our Google Analytics data via PHP. [...] In this article we're going to build an app that looks like Google Analytics Explorer, but to make it short, we're going to limit the functionality and discuss how we can extend our demo.

He starts with an overview of the different parts of the Google Analytics APIs including the metadata and real-time reporting systems. In the tutorial he'll be combining several of these to provide all the data needed. After walking you through the creation of a Google developer account, he starts in on the code. With credentials in hand and the library installed via Composer, he shows how to make the connection, check if it's logged in and makes a simple "home" controller that handles the login and OAuth validation process.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/using-google-analytics-api-php-logging/

Sameer Borate:
Sentiment Analysis of Twitter feeds
September 30, 2014 @ 10:07:35

Sameer Borate continues on his theme of Twitter-related development (part one is here) with his latest post showing how to do sentiment analysis of Twitter feeds. His "sentiment analysis" analyzes a string to determine if it's generally negative or positive based on the AFINN word dataset.

In the last post we looked into accessing Twitter API v1.1 from PHP. In this post we will see how we can add sentiment analysis for the tweets. Generally speaking, sentiment analysis aims to determine the attitude of a writer with respect to some topic. A basic task in sentiment analysis is classifying the polarity of a given text, whether the expressed opinion in a sentence is positive, negative, or neutral. In this post we will use a simple sentiment analysis library to analyze the sentiment of tweets.

His example uses the viracore/caroline library to do the actual analysis. He shows how to install it via Composer and how to make a sample checker, returning the score and the comparative ranking. With that working, he shows how to integrate it into the Twitter connection originally created in the first post, extracting tweets from his own timeline and returning their scores.

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Link: http://www.codediesel.com/social/sentiment-analysis-of-twitter-feeds/

Matthew Weier O'Phinney:
Deployment with Zend Server (Part 7 of 8)
September 17, 2014 @ 10:44:13

Matthew Weier O'Phinney has posted his next-to-last article in his "Deployment with Zend Server" series, part seven of eight concerning the "zs-client" tool.

This is the seventh in a series of eight posts detailing tips on deploying to Zend Server. The previous post in the series detailed setting up and clearing page caching. Today, I'm sharing how to use the Zend Server SDK to deploy your Zend Server deployment packages (ZPKs) from the command line.

Zs-client is a handy tool that lets you interact directly with the Zend Server API is a more programatic way without having to worry about the request signing process. He walks you through a sample use of the tool and shows how to add a target application and use the tool to get its current status. He also includes a basic command that lets you run an automatic update on the application.

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Link: https://mwop.net/blog/2014-09-16-zend-server-deployment-part-7.html

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Create a Movie Recommendation App with Prediction.io - Implementation
September 16, 2014 @ 10:54:16

The SitePoint PHP blog continues their series about creating a movie prediction engine with Prediction.io in this second part focusing on implementation. In the first part of the series they set up the server and configuration to make the jump into the code. This second part gets more into the application side and features working code linking the prediction engine with the TheMovieDB API.

He jumps right into the code, showing how to:

  • Fetch the data from the TMDB (via Flight and Guzzle)
  • Populate the data back into the Prediction.io database
  • Picking a random movie from the list (and outputting it to a page)
  • Get movies the engine predicts as recommendations

The recommendations are based on ratings on other movies in the database with most of that logic happening behind the scenes instead of in the PHP script. The results are then output to the page along with the other movie data.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/create-movie-recommendation-app-prediction-io-implementation/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Create a Movie Recommendation App with Prediction.io - Setup
September 15, 2014 @ 09:47:24

On the SitePoint PHP blog today Wern Ancheta has posted the first part of a series about creating a recommendation engine with the help of PHP and a system called Prediction IO.

In this tutorial, I'm going to walk you through Prediction IO, an open-source machine learning server. It allows you to create applications that could do the following: recommend items (e.g. movies, products, food), predict user behavior, identify item similarity and rank items. You can pretty much build any machine learning application with ease using Prediction IO. You don't have to deal with numbers and algorithms and you can just concentrate on building the app itself.

He walks you through the download and install of the Prediction IO software, how to start up the server and how to access its web interface. He shows you how to create an "engine" that will be used to make the recommendations and some of the settings allowing you to tailor it to your needs. The script will hook into The Movie DB API for content. He starts in on the PHP packages that will be needed to make the API connection and recommendations, but the actual code will come in a later article.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/create-movie-recommendation-app-prediction-io-setup/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Single Page App with Laravel and EmberJS
September 01, 2014 @ 15:28:33

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted the fourth part in their "REST App with Laravel and EmberJS" series today. In this latest tutorial they focus in on the frontend and investigate how Ember works how to get started in your application.

In this part, we will see how Ember works, how to use Ember Data and how to build something simple with it. Router, Route, Model, Template and Store are some of the concepts of Ember. I'm not going to explain every one of those, so if you feel stuck, use the documentation.

They dive right into the code, getting a simple Ember "App" instance set up and configured. They add in a REST adapter to connect it to the backend API and lay out a few of the routes. They then create the models to represent the data and link each to a route. Next they get into views and creating the interface and frontend markup (using Handlebars templating). A gif is included showing the results and how things should look at this point.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/single-page-app-laravel-emberjs/


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