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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

Andi Gutmans:
Zend Server 6 is launched and available on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Marketplace
February 21, 2013 @ 10:40:26

Andi Gutmans has a new post to his site about a recent update to the offerings on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) - it now offers Zend Server 6 as an installable option.

Zend Server 6 is the ideal application platform for mobile and web applications, and this version brings a new level of enterprise capabilities. [...] Today, I'm also pleased to share that this newest version of Zend Server is now available on the Amazon Web Services Marketplace. Now, for one combined fee with Amazon Web Services, you can run your applications on a fully supported PHP application platform with Zend Server 6 running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux or Ubuntu Linux.

If you're interested in what Zend Server has to offer, check out the product page on the Zend website. Zend Server handles a lot of the base level things for you and can help you get up and running quickly. It includes things like detailed monitoring, error tracking, code tracing and a nice UI to for management and configuration of the server.

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Amazon Web Services Blog:
Version 2 of the AWS SDK for PHP (now with Guzzle)
November 15, 2012 @ 14:57:49

The Amazon Web Services group has recently released an updated version of their SDK for PHP and at it's heart is the open source project Guzzle (a HTTP client framework).

The new SDK is built on top of the Guzzle HTTP client framework, which provides increased performance and enables event-driven customization. Each AWS service client extends the Guzzle client and describes operations on the service using a service description file. The SDK now manages persistent connections for both serial and parallel requests. It detects transient network failures, with automatic retries using truncated exponential backoff. Support for event hooks (via the Symfony2 EventDispatcher) allows you to implement custom, event-driven behavior.

In the AWS post about the update, they give you a few code snippets showing this updated version in use. This completely reworked version of the SDK is not compatible with the previous version, so you'll need to consult their migration guide to bring things up to date.

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A Cloudy Place:
PHP and Git on AWS Elastic Beanstalk
March 28, 2012 @ 13:53:08

On the "A Cloudy Place" blog there's a recent post about the steps the author ( Shameer) to to get PHP and Git set up on the Elastic Beanstalk service from Amazon.

When Amazon announced Beanstalk's support for PHP I was curious to know what it would look like. So I decided to give it a try. I hadn't used my AWS account for a while, so I had to do some account setup tasks, configuring command line tools, etc. In this article I will explain how to set up a PHP application in Beanstalk from scratch.

He walks you through the entire process (complete with some screenshots) of getting the command line tools set up, creating your first PHP application and connecting it to your git repository. There's no database instructions included because the default EC2 instance doesn't include them. You'll need to refer to these instructions if you need that for your application.

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PHPMaster.com:
From Zero to Cloud Setting up an EC2 Sandbox, Part 3
September 22, 2011 @ 08:42:22

SitePoint's PHPMaster has a new post today, the third part of a series helping you get your application from "zero to cloud" on an Amazon EC2 setup. In this latest post they wrap things up by showing how to set up the full lamp stack on the remote server. Here's part one and two that lead up to this latest part.

This is the final article in a three part series focused on setting up EC2 as a sandbox for application developers. I assume you have an AWS account with Amazon; if you don't, please read Part 1 to learn how easy it is to sign up. I also assume you have configured your development environment and installed an AMI; if you haven't, please read Part 2. In this installment, we'll learn how to install Apache, MySQL and PHP in our running AMI, and then clone the AMI to make our own.

Included in the post are all the commands you'll need to get the packages installed for PHP, MySQL, Apache 2, PEAR and the PHP command line binary. With all of that installed, they show you how to create an AMI (Amazon Machine Image) to make it easier to scale in the future.

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NetTuts.com:
Deploy your WordPress Blog to the Cloud
May 17, 2011 @ 10:50:08

On NetTuts.com there's a new tutorial showing you how to deploy your WordPress blog to the cloud, more specifically to the cloud services Amazon offers.

For the last decade, hosting a large scale web application has been a daunting task, reserved only for experts. Not anymore; when Amazon opened its server architecture, everything changed. Computer hardware moved to the cloud, and became available to any and all developers. In this tutorial, we will install WordPress in the cloud.

They walk you through all the steps you'll need - from setting up an AWS account, starting up your first instance and installing the needed server software. It comes complete with screenshots. They also show you how to set up the database and how to pull down the latest WordPress and configure it for use.

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Christoph Dorn's Blog:
Zend Server + FirePHP on AWS
January 06, 2011 @ 09:43:01

Christoph Dorn has a new post today showing how to get the FirePHP tool to work together with Zend Server on an AWS instance to help make your debugging even simpler.

FirePHP can nicely complement the built-in tools available when using Zend Server and can be easily made available to all provisioned sites. This tutorial illustrates how to setup FirePHP 1.0 for all virtual hosts on a Zend Server AMI on Amazon EC2.

He steps you through the process of getting FirePHP installed and working in your browser as well as pulling the "firephp.phar" file in on the Zend Server side. Configuration is pretty simple - the lines for the Apache config are included and the JSON needed to make the credentials for FirePHP are too. A simple test script is created and an auth key is set and you should be up and running.

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Kevin Schroeder's Blog:
Amazon SQS and Zend Framework
November 25, 2010 @ 08:30:42

On his blog today Kevin Schroeder has a quick post about an issue with the queue name when working with the Amazon SQS service.

I'm doing some work for a webinar and I figured out that if you want use AWS SQS in your app you need to specify not just the queue name, but the full URL. What is the full URL? It is what createQueue() returns.

His code example shows a "before" and "after" of using the createQueue method to make the correct queue name. You can find out more about the Amazon Simple Queue Service on the Amazon website. Additionally there's a PHP library to interface with it posted on the Amazon Web Services site.

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