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TutsPlus.com:
Building Your Startup: Approaching Major Feature Enhancements
May 30, 2017 @ 11:57:50

The TutsPlus.com site has continued their series covering the use of PHP and the Yii2 framework to build an application from the ground up (a "startup"). In this latest post the author covers some major feature enhancements, how to handle them and the code to add in the one he chose - an "Activity Planning" feature.

These days I'm most often working to add small incremental improvements to Meeting Planner. The basics work pretty well, and I'm trying to gradually improve the application based on my vision and people's feedback. Sometimes, my vision is for a bigger change, and that can be harder now that the codebase has grown so much.

In today's tutorial, I'm going to talk about ways to think about making bigger changes to an existing codebase. Specifically, I'll walk you through the impacts of adding the ability for meeting participants to collaboratively brainstorm and decide on activities, i.e. what we should do when we meet up.

His intent is to expand the scheduling support for the product to add the idea of "activities" to the invitations. These are suggestions of things to do during the time specified (if there's not only one option). He starts off by scoping out the changes that will be required including both the customer and code facing impacts. The tutorial then goes through some of the highlights of the code added to include this new feature. Finally he loops back around and reflects on the changes made during this latest addition and how his expectations measured up against the reality of the work done.

tagged: startup build tutorial series yii2 major feature enhancement

Link: https://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/building-your-startup-approaching-major-feature-enhancements--cms-27850

Building Your Startup:
Securing an API
May 22, 2017 @ 13:16:19

The TutsPlus.com site has continued their "Building Your Startup" tutorial series with a new post about APIs and security. In this series, they've been using the Yii2 framework to create a calendaring "startup" site. Now they're to the point of adding a "RESTful" API to the system and want to be sure it's secure.

Recently, I introduced you to Yii's simple REST API generation and Meeting Planner's new "RESTful" service API. At that time, I mentioned that these APIs were only loosely secured. Sure, there was a shared secret between the client and the server, but there were a couple of problems.

First, the secret key and user tokens were repeatedly transmitted in query parameters of SSL calls. And there was no other authenticity check for the data, allowing a middle-person attack. In today's episode, I'll guide you through how I secured the API against these weaknesses for a more robust API.

They start off looking at the API security that was previously put in place using an "app ID" and "app secret" values to identify the user. To improve on this, the system is updated to use the "app secret" value to sign the outgoing data via a HMAC hash that is sent along with the request.

tagged: api security tutorial yii2 build startup series hmac rest

Link: https://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/building-your-startup-securing-an-api--cms-27867

DotDev.co:
Using Laravel Mix for Your WordPress Theme
May 12, 2017 @ 10:16:05

On the DotDev.co blog there's a recent tutorial posted from Eric Barnes showing you how to combine Laravel Mix and WordPress to make it easier to manage webpack dependencies.

Laravel Mix is a fluent wrapper around the webpack module bundler, and it provides common tools that help you compile CSS and JavaScript. It’s easy to work with, and although it comes baked into the Laravel framework, you can use it anywhere.

This site is using WordPress, and when I created the theme I used Mix to handle the asset compiling; it was simple to setup. Here is a quick overview of how I did it in four steps. Please note, you will need to have a recent version of Node and npm installed on your machine before continuing.

He then walks you through a four step process to set up the integration between the two:

  • Step 1. Create the package.json File
  • Step 2. Webpack Mix
  • Step 3. Create Your style.scss File
  • Step 4. Create an app.js

He ends the post with some helpful commands you can use while you're in the development process including compiling for both dev and production environments. More information about Mix can be found in the Laravel documentation.

tagged: laravel mix wordpress tutorial npm node css javascript install build

Link: https://dotdev.co/laravel-mix-wordpress/

TutsPlus.com:
Building Your Startup: Using Routes for Schedule With Me
May 01, 2017 @ 12:15:16

On the TutsPlus.com site they've posted the latest tutorial of their "Building Your Startup" series. In this latest article author Jeff Reifman focuses on adding routes and handling for the "schedule with me" functionality.

For a long time since I began this project, I've wanted Meeting Planner and Simple Planner to have a publicly accessible page you can share with people to schedule a meeting with you. In other words, "Sure, let's meet, just visit my schedule with me page at Meeting Planner, I'm Bernie Sanders (no space)."

In today's tutorial, I'll show you I've done it using Yii's routing and some of the related issues that came up.

He starts with a screencast of the feature (the end result) showing how the UI functions and what features it includes. He then takes a step back and starts on the development process beginning with the planning quickly followed by the code. He shows the creation of the initial view, making the routing changes and how to handle signup and login for the "Schedule With Me" page.

tagged: build startup series meetingplanner meeting schedule tutorial

Link: https://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/building-your-startup-using-routes-for-schedule-with-me--cms-27796

TutsPlus.com:
Building Your Startup With PHP: Bootstrap Your Home Page
Apr 17, 2017 @ 18:30:58

The TutsPlus.com site has posted the latest article in their "Building Your Startup with PHP" tutorial series today. In this latest tutorial author Jeff Reifman shows how to improve the home page for the application to make it more visually appealing and well-structured.

A web service's home page has many roles. Functionally, it must make it easy for people to sign up and get started with the application. But it must also aesthetically touch visitors and give them a professional impression that your service delivers what the home page tells them it does.

Since I've been so focused to this point building the scheduling functionality for Meeting Planner, I haven't had time to focus on polishing the home page—and frankly it was falling short, leaving first-time visitors unimpressed.

He shows the updates he's made to the home page for the service, adding in some additional formatting with Bootstrap and CSS to replace the current bland look. He starts by laying out the improvements visually then moving over to the code to make it a reality. Code is included showing how to implement the changes and add in other features like a mobile-friendly version and embedded videos.

tagged: startup build tutorial series bootstrap design

Link: https://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/building-your-startup-with-php-bootstrap-your-home-page--cms-27565

TutsPlus.com:
Programming With Yii2: Building a RESTful API
Apr 06, 2017 @ 10:30:05

The TutsPlus.com site has posted the latest article in their "Programming with Yii2" series today, this time focusing on the creation of a RESTful API with the built-in framework support.

In this Programming With Yii2 series, I'm guiding readers in use of the Yii2 Framework for PHP. You may also be interested in my Introduction to the Yii Framework, which reviews the benefits of Yii and includes an overview of what's new in Yii 2.x.

In today's tutorial, I will review how to build a REST API in Yii to connect your application to the cloud, mobile apps, and other services. I'll guide you through Yii's REST API quick start guide and provide context and examples of common requests.

He starts off with some of the benefits of having a REST API for your Yii2 application and some of the functionality that comes included with the framework. He then starts in on building the base functionality of the API with a controller, a "tree" for the endpoints and configuration of the URL routing. The rest of the post is a set of example requests made to the API with the help of both cURL and the Postman app for Chrome.

tagged: yii2 framework series tutorial build rest api example

Link: https://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/programming-with-yii2-building-a-restful-api--cms-27513

TutsPlus.com:
Building Your Startup: Running Multiple Domains
Mar 17, 2017 @ 10:53:11

The TutsPlus.com site has posted their latest tutorial in their "Building Your Startup" series today. In this new article they show you how to update the application to support multiple domains in one Yii2 application.

The Yii2 advanced template allows you to run a number of sites in one code tree. I used its front-end tree to build Meeting Planner and its back-end tree to build the administrative suite of tools for the service. Today, however, I'll focus on launching another domain on top of the existing front-end tree—and all the small and large complexities that go along with this.

[...] I presumed it would be fairly simple (no pun intended) to launch Simple Planner, but it ended up taking a few days of work.

He points out that the work to get the frontend of the application working with a different domain name was relatively simple. It was the update to the email handling that took the most time (the application is very email-driven). He then shows the configuration changes required to add multiple domains, how to change the homepage for each domain and update images/links/etc to match the new domain. He then moves on to configuring the services used for each domain and, finally, the pieces that need to be updated to have the emails support the multiple domains.

tagged: startup build tutorial series yii2 multiple domain

Link: https://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/building-your-startup-running-multiple-domains--cms-27459

TutsPlus.com:
Building Your Startup: Requesting Scheduling Changes
Feb 07, 2017 @ 12:44:23

The TutsPlus.com site has continued their "Building Your Startup" series with this new article enhancing the application they've already created to send requests for scheduling changes.

As the Meeting Planner alpha testing phase began, the clearest feature gap was the inability to change a meeting after it had been scheduled. It's not an easy problem. Is it okay to just change a meeting without a participant's permission? Or should you ask? Or do either, depending on your role in organizing the meeting? What if you just want to ask if it's okay to meet 15 minutes later—that should be easy, right?

Solving all this required some reflecting on the social aspects of adjusting a meeting. Over time, I realized that the ability to adjust meetings easily after they've been scheduled could make or break the Meeting Planner brand.

He then starts out by describing the "tall mountain to climb" in the number of changes to backend, frontend and UX/UI functionality required to add the feature. He includes all of the code changes and additions that need to be made including:

  • migrations to add new tables
  • UI updates to add options for rescheduling requests
  • form changes
  • handling request submissions

Each point on the list includes code, screenshots and anything else that was required to make the update.

tagged: startup build scheduling change yii2 tutorial ui backend frontend

Link: https://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/building-your-startup-requesting-scheduling-changes--cms-27076

TutsPlus.com:
Building Your Startup: Preparing for Text Messaging
Jan 23, 2017 @ 09:44:52

The TutsPlus.com site has posted the latest in their (lengthy) series of tutorials showing how to use PHP to "build your startup". In this new tutorial they show how to integrate SMS functionality into the application. This is the first part covering this topic and mostly covers the setup and testing of the connection to send the necessary SMS messages.

In today's episode, I'm going to walk you through the first half of my SMS configuration for the Meeting Planner application. Basically, I'll cover choosing an SMS provider, setting up the account, building the initial application infrastructure, and trial texting.

In the next episode, I'll build specific texting scenarios into the Meeting Planner application and walk you through those decisions and the coding that followed.

He starts off talking about one of the main choices you'll have to make early on: which SMS provider you want to use to send your messages. While they list several, for the sake of the tutorial they move ahead with Twilio. He show you how to set up an account with the Twilio service and where to get the credentials to connect your application to their API. After talking a bit about things like SMS pricing and handling incoming messages he starts on the integration with Yii2 via this package. Once installed and configured he creates a simple class to send a message via Twilio and tries it out with a "First test" message.

tagged: startup build tutorial series yii2 framework twilio sms notification

Link: https://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/building-your-startup-preparing-for-text-messaging--cms-26912

Ben Ramsey:
Building PHP Projects on AWS CodeBuild
Dec 05, 2016 @ 10:54:48

Ben Ramsey has a post to his site sharing the process he's worked up to deploy PHP applications on AWS Codebuild, a new service from Amazon Web Services that fills the niche for an easy to spin up and use build server.

The main highlight of re:Invent is always the keynotes and the new services and features announcements they make during the keynotes. One of the new services caught my attention, and I decided to give it a try. That service is AWS CodeBuild.

CodeBuild is designed to be used as part of the AWS CodePipeline, but it may also be used by itself. [...] Out of the box, CodeBuild provides some managed images that you may use to build your projects. These include environments for Android, Java, Python, Ruby, Golang, and Node.js. PHP is missing from this list, but since you’re able to use other images, I decided to see how easy it is to get up and running on CodeBuild with a PHP project. I chose to try out my ramsey/uuid library for a simple test.

He walks you through the creation of a new CodeBuild instance (complete with screenshots of the UI) and how to configure your project, explaining each of the settings as he goes. He includes the full build command he's using for the library running tests, a lint check and codesniffer checks for formatting. He shows how to get the project to build and what the UI will show when the build is successful (all green).

tagged: project aws codebuild pipeline library tutorial setup build server amazon

Link: https://benramsey.com/blog/2016/12/aws-codebuild-php/