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SitePoint PHP Blog:
7 CRM Options Compatible with Drupal
December 11, 2014 @ 09:14:14

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted a list of seven customer relationship management tools (CRM) that play nice with Drupal, a popular PHP-driven content management system.

Whether you want to call Drupal a CMS (Content Management System), a CMF (Content Management Framework) or a CMSomething, the 'C' always stands for Content. Content is where Drupal shines and is what it's designed for. [...] When an organisation is at a stage and mindset that they also want to manage their contacts and interactions effectively they will often need tools designed specifically for that function. These are generally referred to as a CRM, which stands for Client Relationship Manager or Constituent Relationship Manager, depending on the sector (For-Profit or Not-for-Profit respectively)

[...] What has a CRM got to do with Drupal? Nothing directly, but indirectly if you're looking to streamline your business operations and automate the ways people can interact with you, your CRM will need to work well with your website. [...] In this article, we will look at several of the big players in the CRM space that work well with Drupal, how they integrate or how developers can get them to integrate.

They start with a list of five of the seven options:

  • Roll it yourself
  • RedHen
  • CiviCRM
  • Salesforce
  • Sugar CRM

They also provide a few other options combining a few technologies: Microsoft Dynamics and BlackBaud or Nation Builder and Salsa. Links and a brief summary of the project are included for each item in the list. He ends with a few tips about the actual integration, including the use of the CRM tool's API or using the Migrate Drupal module.

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crm customer relation management tool integrate drupal content

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/7-crm-options-compatible-drupal/

Bernhard Schussek:
Puli Powerful Resource Management for PHP
December 04, 2014 @ 11:53:22

Bernhard Schussek has announced a tool for handling resources in a more Composer-inspired way: Puli. Puli is described as a tool that "manages files, directories and other resources in a filesystem-like repository".

Unfortunately, sharing your work gets a lot harder when you leave PHP code and enter the land of configuration files, images, CSS files, translation catalogs - in short, any file that is not PHP. For brevity, I'll call these files resources here. Using resources located in Composer packages is quite tedious: You need to know exactly where the package is installed and where the resource is located in the package. That's a lot of juggling with absolute and relative file system paths and prone to error.

[...] One and a half years ago I talked about this problem with PHP-FIG. I wrote a blog post about The Power of Uniform Resource Location in PHP. Many people joined the discussion. The understanding of the problem and its solution got riper as we spoke. Today, I am glad to present to you the first (and probably last) alpha version of Puli, a framework-agnostic resource manager for PHP.

He walks through the basics of the tool - how it manages the various resources, what the configuration looks like and how it can directly be integrated with Composer. He also points to a Twig extension that allows for Puli integration via paths in your templates. There's also a Symfony bridge that lets you use it in your YAML configuration files.

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resource management puli tool composer twig symfony integration

Link: http://webmozarts.com/2014/12/03/puli-powerful-resource-management-for-php/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Introducing OctoberCMS - a Laravel-based CMS
November 19, 2014 @ 09:22:00

On the SitePoint PHP blog there's a recent post taking a closer look at the OctoberCMS, a content management system based on the Laravel framework. In this new post they walk you through what the CMS is, the features it has to offer and help you understand (and add to) the different kinds of elements.

October CMS is a lightweight, back to basics content management system built on Laravel, and on a mission to make your web development workflow easy again. It boasts a very simple and fast learning curve, with a guarantee that you'll be off the ground and up and running in no time at all. It's scalable and extensible through the plugin system, is easily maintainable through its file-based system, and allows for the effortless creation of administrative back-end interfaces. Before we dig a bit deeper into this promising CMS, let's look at the foundation a bit.

They walk you through the install (from their GitHub repository) to get a sample site up and running. The tutorial then goes through each of the basic sections, explaining what they are and providing example code where appropriate:

  • Themes & Templates
  • Pages
  • Partials
  • Layouts
  • Content Blocks
  • the AJAX Module

They also talk about extensibility via plugins and components and link to more information for those looking for more detail.

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octobercms laravel introduction cms content management system

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/introducing-octobercms-laravel-based-cms/

NetTuts.com:
Integrating Zendesk With WordPress
November 14, 2014 @ 11:31:41

The NetTuts.com site has a new tutorial posted today showing how to integrate Zenddesk with WordPress, making it easier to handle customer relationships directly from your WordPress applications.

Timely and efficient customer service is one of the core components of any successful business. With multiple customer touch points and interaction platforms like blogs, social networks, email etc., keeping track of what your customers are saying about your services is becoming harder by the day. For this reason, managing all your customer communication from a centralised platform has become a mandatory business requirement. Zendesk is one of the leading web based customer support and relationship management services with more than 40,000 companies as registered clients, including Shopify and Groupon.

They start with some of the benefits about using Zenddesk for those not familiar with the software (including email management, blog integration and live chat). From there they walk you through a few steps to get the integration up and running using the Zendesk WordPress plugin. They include screenshots of the setup and some of the configuration options you can use to customize the install.

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zendesk wordpress integration customer management tutorial plugin

Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/integrating-zendesk-with-wordpress--cms-21411

NetTuts.com:
Building a Customer Management App Using AngularJS and Laravel
October 01, 2014 @ 11:52:09

The NetTuts site has posted the first part of a tutorial series showing you how to create an application with Laravel and AngularJS to do some customer management. The application lets you track customers and transactions related to them.

When creating a single-page app we should use some kind of framework to do some of the job for us so we can focus on the actual functionality. AngularJS fits here perfectly, because features like dynamic dependency injection and bi-directional data binding are just great. Sometimes we also require some kind of server. If you've chosen PHP then Laravel may be your best option, as it's easy to work with and pretty powerful. In this part of the tutorial, we will build the front-end of our application using AngularJS.

He starts with some of the "preparation work" that has to be put into the main template for Angular to even work, including the loading of the Angular files themselves. He sets up a basic route and, some initial styling (CSS) and talks about the overall structure of the application. He includes the code to create the customer controller and transactions handling (via controllers) and how to do the usual CRUD (create, read, update, delete) operations for each. HTML output templates are also included to handle the forms and other tabluar output needed to display customer details.

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angularjs laravel framework singlepage customer management tutorial

Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/building-a-customer-management-app-using-angularjs-and-laravel--cms-22234

Loosely Coupled Podcast:
Episode 9 Career Development
August 07, 2014 @ 13:45:44

The Loosely Coupled podcast has release their latest episode (#9) discussion some suggestions around career development. Join hosts Jeff Carouth and Matt Frost as they talk about the management and development of your life as a developer (and maybe even beyond).

This was the first ever live recording of an episode, broadcast over Google Hangouts on Air. With the help of the kind folks in the IRC channel (#looselycoupled on Freenode) this episode covers topics such as salary negotiation, when to ask for a raise or promotion, how to plan a career plan, how to deal with co-workers in difficult situations, and a few other pieces of advice about successfully navigating a career as a developer.

You can listen to this latest episode either through the in-page audio player or by downloading the mp3 for listening offline. If you like the show and want more, be sure to subscribe to their feed and get the latest as they're released.

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Link: http://looselycoupled.info/blog/2014/08/05/episode-9-career-development/

Jordi Boggiano:
Authentication management in Composer
May 28, 2014 @ 11:07:35

Jordi Boggiano has posted about a new feature in Composer, the popular dependency manager for PHP, around the handling of authentication information.

Up until today if you run a home-grown package repository serving private packages it was quite a pain to use with Composer. You did not have efficient way to password-protect the repository except by inlining the password in the composer.json or by typing the username/password every single time. With the merge of PR#1862 and some further improvements you can now remove credentials from your composer.json!

The new functionality allows for the external storage of the credentials in a file, either globally of in one relative to the repository. He also includes the command you can use to configure and set these username/password combinations and have them stored in the "auth.json" file.

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Link: http://seld.be/notes/authentication-management-in-composer

Clear Code Blog:
How to Manage Your Application Setup with Composer
May 27, 2014 @ 11:50:55

On the Clear Code blog today there's an article posted showing you how to manage your application with Composer, the PHP dependency manager that's taken the PHP community by storm.

Composer is a dependency management tool for PHP based projects. It allows you to declare, install, and then manage all of your dependencies in your project. Right, so you can manage the libraries that your project requires in order to work. But is that all you can really do with Composer? Definitely not! In fact, I believe this is a very small part of Composer and its possibilities. In this article, I'll try to show you how Composer can be used for performing more complex tasks in PHP based projects.

He shows how to set up a system where even the base parts of the applications become dependencies and can be built up as a part of the Composer install. He includes an example of pulling from a private version control source and the matching "composer.json" file the repository will need. He also includes the composer commands to get the install up and running as well as a warning about handling credentials as a part of the execution.

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tutorial application dependency management composer

Link: http://clearcode.cc/2014/05/manage-application-setup-composer/

Jurian Sluiman:
SoflomoCache manage your ZF2 cache services
May 09, 2014 @ 09:53:32

Jurian Sluiman has posted about the release of a tool that aims to help you with cache handling in your Zend Framework 2 applications, the SoflomoCache component.

aching is an essential part in scaling your application, but Zend Framework 2 was missing a utility to manage your caches. Until now! During deployments we usually flushed the cache in a tedious and cumbersome way by directly accessing the apc_* functions in a custom script. This could certainly be improved and so we wrote a command line utility to manage all our cache services.

He includes a few snippets of code showing how to implement the component in your configuration and use it via ZF2's dependency injection handling. He also includes a list of the commands that can be used along with it to flush the cache, either all simultaneously or a single one (defined as a CLI option). It can also flush by namespace and handle the refresh of your combined configuration and module map.

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zendframework2 cache management component project service

Link: https://juriansluiman.nl/article/134/soflomo-cache-manage-your-zf2-cache-services

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Introduction to Kirby CMS
April 28, 2014 @ 13:48:31

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted a new article introducing you to Kirby, a database-less content management system that's all file based.

Kirby is a lightweight CMS that probably fits somewhere between feature-rich platforms such as Drupal, and static site generators such as Jekyll. What makes Kirby quite different to most CMS's - and closer to Jekyll in the process - is that it has no database. Instead, everything is stored as files; some for configuration, some for content - all in addition to the usual template files, partials and plugins. In this article I'm going to take a look at Kirby, demonstrate how to use it, and assess some of its strengths and weaknesses.

He walks you through the download and installation process and provides a general overview of the structure of the application and how it works. He gets into the specifics of theming the site to match your own look and feel, shows you how to use "kirbytext", a custom extension of Markdown. He also briefly covers plugins, the main panel and some of the pros and cons of using the system.

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kirby cms content management system file

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/introduction-kirby-cms/


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