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Don't Hate WordPress: 5 Common Biases Debunked
Dec 29, 2016 @ 12:10:30

On the Toptal.com site author Donald Mudenge has written up a post that wants to help debunk the top 5 WordPress myths that are still floating around about this popular and common tool.

In the early days, people used WordPress only as a blogging tool. However, today WordPress covers more than 50 percent of the market share for CMSs, supporting nearly 60 million websites worldwide.

As a commonly used platform for building websites and other online applications, misconceptions have spread like a forest fire, keeping people away from WordPress. In this article, I outline and explain the five most common WordPress taboos and myths, clarify them and offer solutions on how to overcome them.

The five myths he tries to dispel are:

  • WordPress is significantly more likely to be hacked.
  • WordPress is just blogging software.
  • WordPress professionals are designers.
  • WordPress isn’t an enterprise solution.
  • One WordPress requires one database.

For each item on the list he includes a brief summary of what's usually said about the myth and corrects it with his own description and links to other resources helping to prove his point.

tagged: wordpress myths debunk top5 common hacked blog enterprise database

Link: https://www.toptal.com/wordpress/debunking-wordpress-myths

Laravel News:
Quickly Dumping Laravel Queries
Nov 28, 2016 @ 12:49:36

The Laravel News site has a quick post today with a helpful hint for those trying to track down exactly what queries their Laravel application is performing on database calls. In this post they show two ways to get this information - one using the Debugbar and the other with a quick script.

When you are building an application and utilizing Eloquent it’s very easy to hit the N+1 problem. This is where you select a model and then later use lazy loading to fetch child records.

They give an example of selecting a user, grabbing it's list of "posts" and then looping through them causing queries to fire for each post individually. A fix for it is using the "with" method to pre-load them but determining this could be tricky. Enter their two solutions: the Laravel Debugbar package and this quick script shared by magkopian that listens for a "kernel.handled" event and outputs the results of the "getQueryLog" method with the Laravel "dd" helper.

tagged: laravel dump queries debugbar debugging sql database tip

Link: https://laravel-news.com/2016/11/quickly-dumping-laravel-queries/

Building Your Startup: Preparing for Reminders
Nov 14, 2016 @ 11:57:06

The TutsPlus.com site has published the latest tutorial in their "Building Your Startup" series that walks you through the creation of an application (a meeting planner) using the Yii2 framework. In this latest post they start on the reminders integration used to notify attendees of upcoming meetings.

his tutorial is part of the Building Your Startup With PHP series on Envato Tuts+. In this series, I'm guiding you through launching a startup from concept to reality using my Meeting Planner app as a real-life example. Every step along the way, I'll release the Meeting Planner code as open-source examples you can learn from. I'll also address startup-related business issues as they arise.

In this two-part series, I'll describe how we built the infrastructure for reminders and their delivery. This episode will focus on the infrastructure and user experience behind configuring reminders.

They start off by talking about the goals for the reminders and how they'll integrate with the current Meeting Planner system. With that settled the article shows you how to:

  • set up the "reminders" table in the database
  • set up reminders for new and existing users
  • linking them to meetings
  • adding code to handle the creation of new reminders

This is all setting the application up for the next part in the series where they'll use this structure (and some additional functionality) to allow users to create the reminders via the UI.

tagged: startup series meeting planner reminders setup database tutorial

Link: https://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/building-your-startup-preparing-for-reminders--cms-26527

SitePoint PHP Blog:
A First Look at Atlas – the ORM That Delivers
Oct 17, 2016 @ 15:16:33

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted a new tutorial focusing on the Atlas ORM, a recent addition to the wide range of database ORMs in the PHP ecosystem, focusing on being a mapping of your persistence model.

By definition, a Data Mapper moves data between objects and a database and isolates them from one another. With a Data Mapper, the in memory objects don’t even need to know that a database exists. It does not need to know the SQL interface or database schema; it doesn’t even need the domain layer to know it exists!

This might lead us to thinking that, in Atlas, the persistence layer is totally disconnected from the database, but that is not quite what happens. [...] An Atlas Record is passive; not an active record. Unlike most ORMs, its objects represent the persistence model, not the domain model. Think of it as representing how the data is stored and not as real world representations.

The tutorial goes on to talk about some of the background behind the package being developed and some of its core principles. They then walk you through the installation of the package, doing a bit of related database setup and the code to perform some basic CRUD (create, read, update, delete) operations on the tables. This is followed by a few more practical examples and a few caveats for the library's use.

tagged: atlas orm database tutorial example crud operation

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/a-first-look-at-atlas-the-orm-that-delivers/

QaFoo Blog:
Database Tests With PHPUnit
Oct 05, 2016 @ 11:57:36

The QaFoo blog has a new tutorial posted showing you how to work with PHPUnit and database testing for acceptance testing of your application. Acceptance testing (or integration testing) generally exercises the tests with live data from a database rather that stubbed or mocked data in true unit testing.

Most of us do not use PHPUnit solely for Unit Tests but we also write Integration or Acceptance Tests with PHPUnit. One very common question then is how to interact with the database correctly in those tests. Let me show you the different options and their trade offs...

There are multiple aspects of database tests where our decision has impact on test atomicity and test runtime. All decisions boil down to: More test atomicity leads to longer test runs, and we can buy test speed by omitting test atomicity.

They talk more about the time added for testing with database functionality included and where running them might be most appropriate (local vs on the CI server). The article then talks about one of the main decisions around doing a full data/schema reset or just removing data when the tests start or end. They then get into this last point - where the reset should happen, before or after the tests are executed. They talk in detail about each option, breaking it down into a few options: before each test, before each test class or before the whole test run. The post ends with a section talking about "mocking the database away", a method usually used in traditional unit testing but points out that this can be highly prone to errors, especially if you attempt to replace one database system with another (like replacing MySQL with SQLite).

tagged: testing acceptance database phpunit integration reset location mock

Link: https://qafoo.com/blog/090_database_tests_with_phpunit.html

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Mail Logging in Laravel 5.3: Extending the Mail Driver
Sep 26, 2016 @ 11:54:40

On the SitePoint PHP blog there's a new tutorial posted by Younes Rafie looking at logging of mail handling in Laravel by extending the already included driver with your own updates.

One of the many goodies Laravel offers is mailing. You can easily configure and send emails through multiple popular services, and it even includes a logging helper for development.

[...] Laravel also provides a good starting point for sending mails during the development phase using the log driver, and in production using smtp, sparkpost, mailgun, etc. This seems fine in most cases, but it can’t cover all the available services! In this tutorial, we’re going to learn how to extend the existing mail driver system to add our own.

They start by helping you create the service provider used to log the mail information to a database table (the DBMailProvider). The extend the existing mail provider class and set it up to register the Swift Mailer provider if the configuration for the mailer is not set to "db". The the tutorial shows how to update the provider to override the swift.mailer instance in the application dependency injection container and include the code to override the "send" method. A migration is created to hold the mail data and a matching Emails model is used to save the mail results.

tagged: laravel email logging database tutorial driver swiftmailer configuration

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/mail-logging-in-laravel-5-3-extending-the-mail-driver/

Remi Collet:
Microsoft SQL Server from PHP
Sep 23, 2016 @ 11:57:34

In this recent post to his site Remi Collet shows you how to set up your PHP installation to allow it to work with a Microsoft SQL Server as it's data store.

Here is a small comparison of the various solutions to use a [Microsoft SQL Server](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_SQL_Server) database from PHP, on Linux. All the tests have be run on Fedora 23 but should work on RHEL or CentOS version 7.

Several different extensions were tested as a part of making the connection to the SQL server:

  • Using PDO, ODBC and FreeTDS
  • Using PDO, mssql and FreeTDS
  • Using PDO, ODBC and Microsoft® ODBC Driver
  • Using the Microsoft® Driver
  • Using PDO and the Microsoft® Driver

Each item comes with a list of the requirements involved (other modules/extensions), examples of the configuration changes you'll need to make and some sample code to create the connection.

tagged: tutorial microsoft sql sqlserver database connection example testing

Link: http://blog.remirepo.net/post/2016/09/20/Microsoft-SQL-Server-from-PHP

Laravel News:
Improved model generation with Laracademy Generators
Sep 08, 2016 @ 11:18:24

The Laravel News site has a quick tutorial posted showing you how using smarter generators to make model classes can help reduce your development time in Laravel applications (using a package to help adds the "smarts" needed).

Laravel provides the Artisan command line tool that allows you to save time by including several generators. Some examples include make:controller, make:model, and make:migration.

Building on top of this idea is a third party package named Laracademy Generators that will automatically generate your models based on your database structure.

They show first the normal process for creating a model and matching migration with the "artisan" command. Once this migration is run and the table is created, they can show how to automagically enhance the model with the generators package, using it to read from the table in the database and update the model with "fillable", "casts" and "dates" properties filled in.

tagged: model generator laracademy package improved database migration

Link: https://laravel-news.com/2016/09/improved-model-generation-with-laracademy-generators/

Johannes Schlüter:
Types in PHP and MySQL
Sep 05, 2016 @ 13:38:21

Johannes Schlüter has a post to his site detailing the handling of types in PHP and MySQL and how they might act differently than expected in some situations.

Since PHP 7.0 has been released there's more attention on scalar types. Keeping types for data from within your application is relatively simple. But when talking to external systems, like a database things aren't always as one eventually might initially expect.

He talks about MySQL types and how they relate to the "network protocol" being used, converting everything to strings. He includes a few examples of hinting on the results, one where an integer is expected/string provided and another where a string was type hinted but an integer was returned. He points out that sometimes this is a limitation of what PHP can handle, not always what MySQL returns. He also includes other examples of returning decimals - sometimes as a number value and others as a string.

This leaves the question whether you should disable the emulation in order to get the correct types. Doing this has some impact on performance characteristics: With native prepared statements there will be a client-server round-trip during the prepare and another round-trip for the execute.
tagged: types typehinting mysql database string integer decimal preparedstatement pdo

Link: http://schlueters.de/blog/archives/182-Types-in-PHP-and-MySQL.html

IBM Developer Blog:
Get Started With CouchDB Using PHP and Guzzle
Jul 28, 2016 @ 13:07:48

On the IBM Developer Blog they've posted a new article from Lorna Mitchell helping you get started with CouchDB and Guzzle, making use of this popular HTTP client package to interface with CouchDB's HTTP interface quickly and easily.

In today’s post, we’ll look at how we can use CouchDB in our PHP applications, using the excellent PHP HTTP library Guzzle. Guzzle is a modern, PSR-7 compliant object-oriented PHP library that handles all aspects of HTTP in a correct and — importantly, a scalable — way. So it’s a great way to add any HTTP-interfaced services into your application (PHP 5.5 and later, does support PHP 7).

She then starts off with the installation of Guzzle via Composer and some sample code to make the initial connection to the CouchDB server (either local or remote). With the connection up and working and a "welcome" banner returned, she shows some simple operations like:

  • getting a list of all databases
  • creating a new database
  • inserting and selecting data
  • updating and deleting data

Code is provided for each of these and, thankfully, Guzzle makes it a pretty simple process and handles most of the heavy lifting on the HTTP requests for you.

tagged: couchdb guzzle introduction database http install connect crud

Link: https://developer.ibm.com/clouddataservices/2016/07/27/get-started-with-couchdb-php-guzzle/