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Chris Jones:
Tracing Silex from PHP to the OS with DTrace
November 06, 2013 @ 12:31:23

Continuing on with his look at using DTrace in with PHP, Chris Jones has a new post in the series showing how to add traces to Silex-based applications, including sample output.

In this blog post I show the full stack tracing of Brendan Gregg's php_syscolors.d script in the DTrace Toolkit. The Toolkit contains a dozen very useful PHP DTrace scripts and many more scripts for other languages and the OS. For this example, I'll trace the PHP micro framework Silex, which was the topic of the second of two talks by Dustin Whittle at a recent SF PHP Meetup. His slides are at Silex: From Micro to Full Stack.

He includes a brief guide to getting the DTrace support up and running based on instructions in a previous post based on some pre-build Oracle linux packages. He links to the latest DTrace Toolkit and the downloads page to get the latest version of Silex. He sets up a super-basic Silex application (one route, "hello") and shows how to run the DTrace against it. His sample output shows both the PHP files being called and the functions/methods called inside them resulting in an output over a thousand lines long.

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Link: https://blogs.oracle.com/opal/entry/tracing_silex_from_php_to

Chris Jones:
DTrace PHP Using Oracle Linux 'playground' Pre-Built Packages
October 03, 2013 @ 09:12:07

Related to some of his other posts about using DTrace with PHP, Chris Jones has a new post about using pre-built packages to make using it even easier.

We've released DTrace-enabled PHP 5.5.4 RPMs to make testing DTrace on Oracle Linux easier. As a result, the manual PHP install steps listed in Using PHP DTrace on Oracle Linux can be skipped. There are updated Betas of the "UEK3" Linux Kernel 3.8.13-16 and the dtrace-utils tools available too. With these, you now can DTrace PHP applications under Apache or with php-fpm, as well as command line PHP scripts.

He includes the full instructions on how to install the Oracle Linux distribution and grab the Oracle Instant Client libraries used for the "playground" packages. Next up is the PHP install - a quick call to yum - and a simple script showing how to set DTrace probe. Some sample output of the trace is shown and an slight modification to the probe showing how to find only calls from a certain source.

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Link: https://blogs.oracle.com/opal/entry/dtrace_php_using_oracle_linux

Chris Jones:
DTrace with PHP Update
September 05, 2013 @ 09:06:16

Chris Jones has posted an update to his previous article about DTrace and PHP (found here) and some of the updates Oracle has made to introduce things like "user-level statistically defined tracing" (USDT).

At the end of last year, I blogged about Adding DTrace Probes to PHP Extensions and how Linux's SystemTap could be used to trace the DTrace probe points. Since then, Oracle's Linux's DTrace project has been making great strides. The latest Oracle Linux UEK3 Beta kernel was just released. It comes with DTrace 0.4 and also supports "User-Level Statically Defined Tracing" (USDT) for the first time. This motivated me to make sure PHP DTrace worked well with "real" DTrace, not just with SystemTap's wrappers.

He also includes a list of the other updates in this version like:

  • DTrace build script changes from PHP 5.5 were merged back to PHP 5.4
  • A 'make install' recursive dependency issue that caused Zend/zend_dtrace.d to be deleted was fixed.
  • PHP DTrace configuration now uses the correct PIC or non-PIC objects. This also fixed building PHP when any extensions were built 'shared'.
  • PHP's OCI8 2.0 extension now builds correctly with "real" DTrace.

He finishes off the post with the list of steps you'll need to follow to get this latest version up and running.

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Link: https://blogs.oracle.com/opal/entry/dtrace_with_php_update

Chris Jones:
Using PHP and Oracle Database 12c Implicit Result Sets
July 26, 2013 @ 09:12:40

Chris Jones has a new post to his site showing you how to use Oracle 12c's implicit result sets in your code. Note: this functionality is still in development, so the naming/exact functionality might change.

The new Oracle Database 12c "Implicit Result Sets" (IRS) feature allows query results to be returned from a stored PL/SQL procedure (or a PL/SQL anonymous block) without requiring special PHP code. Support for IRS is available in PHP OCI8 2.0.0-devel extension when it is compiled and used with Oracle Database 12c. (OCI8 2.0 can be compiled and used with other versions of Oracle Database but the available feature set is reduced).

He shows a normal fetch loop that calls the oci_* functions and grabs each row with a oci_fetch_row call. He updates this to use an anonymous PL/SQL block (a string) instead that allows for more flexibility. He includes examples that fetch from one table, multiple tables and returns multiple result sets (that can be fetched one at a time) from the same single call.

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Link: https://blogs.oracle.com/opal/entry/using_php_oci8_2_0

Chris Jones:
Offline Processing in PHP with Advanced Queuing
May 17, 2013 @ 09:49:26

Chris Jones has a new post today showing you how to use Oracle and PHP together to process data offline via the Oracle Streams Advanced Queuing feature.

Offloading slow batch tasks to an external process is a common method of improving website responsiveness. One great way to initiate such background tasks in PHP is to use Oracle Streams Advanced Queuing in a producer-consumer message passing fashion. [...] The following example simulates an application user registration system where the PHP application queues each new user's street address. An external system monitoring the queue can then fetch and process that address. In real life the external system might initiate a snail-mail welcome letter, or do further, slower automated validation on the address.

He includes the SQL needed to create the database and configure the queue system as well as start it up and get it ready for requests. He shows how to push an address into the queue for processing and how to get the results once it has completed in both the SQL and from the oci_* functions in PHP.

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Link: https://blogs.oracle.com/opal/entry/offline_processing_in_php_with

Chris Jones:
Getting Started with PHP Zend Framework 2 for Oracle DB
May 15, 2013 @ 10:55:41

In his latest post to his site Chris Jones shows you how to update the Zend Framework 2 tutorial app (quickstart) to make it work with an Oracle database instead.

This post shows the changes to the ZF2 tutorial application to allow it to run with Oracle Database 11gR2. [...] The instructions for creating the sample ZF2 application are here. Follow those steps as written, making the substitutions shown [in the rest of the post].

The full schema definition is included in the post, complete with the same sample data as the tutorial. He includes the updates you'll need to make to the database configuration for the OCI8 connection and changes to the code to accommodate the Oracle data format (mostly uppercasing everything).

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Link: https://blogs.oracle.com/opal/entry/getting_started_with_php_zend

Chris Jones:
Excitement! Updated Underground PHP and Oracle Manual is Available for Download
December 12, 2012 @ 10:27:31

As Chris Jones has posted on his Oracle blog, there's been a recent update to the Underground PHP and Oracle Manual with a complete refresh of content from more recent versions of the powerful database.

The Underground PHP and Oracle Manual is designed to bridge the gap between the many PHP scripting language and the many Oracle Database books available. It contains unique material about PHP's OCI8 extension for Oracle Database, and about other components in the PHP-Oracle ecosystem. It shows PHP developers how to use PHP and Oracle together, efficiently and easily.

Updates include new content related to the Oracle XE 11g release and the latest updates to their OCI8 extension for PHP. Other updates include information about using PHP with Oracle TimesTen, NetBeans and Oracle Tuxedo as well as getting PHP installed on the Oracle Solaris operating system.

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Oracle.com:
Oracle Invests in Leading Platform-as-a-Service Company Engine Yard
November 14, 2012 @ 12:19:35

According to a new press release on the Oracle.com site today, they've announced the company's investment in the popular PaaS provider (and big sponsor of several PHP conferences, events and the community) Engine Yard. From the official press release:

Oracle announced today that it has made a strategic minority investment in Engine Yard, a leading cloud development platform that supports Ruby, PHP and Node.js, popular web development languages. [...] In conjunction with this investment, Oracle and Engine Yard expect to work closely together to provide cloud application developers with a greater choice of development and deployment options. The two companies are expected to connect their respective PaaS offerings to enable more rapid development of applications in a secure, reliable and scalable environment.

No word yet on how this will integrate with Oracle's own cloud solutions but it should be interesting to see what comes out of it. Congratulations to the Engine Yard folks on the investment!

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Oracle Technology Network:
New Features in PHP 5.4
April 12, 2012 @ 09:54:39

On the Oracle Technology Network today there's a new article from Rasmus Lerdorf about the current release of the language (PHP 5.4) and what he sees as the future for PHP.

Almost exactly eight years ago I wrote an article for the Oracle Technology Network called, "Do You PHP?". In that article, I talked about PHP's stubborn, function-over-form approach to solving the "Web problem" and the fight to keep things simple. We were getting close to releasing PHP 5.0 at the time. Now here we are almost a decade later with a shiny new PHP 5.4.0 release, and while much has happened during that time, there are also many things that haven't changed at all.

The first talks about what's the same - the ecosystem surrounding the language and the strength of the LAMP stack that PHP helped to "found". He mentions some of the up-and-comers that are alternatives to this traditional setup and some of the extensions that have been added to improve PHP's functionality (DateTime, PDO, JSON support). He talks about other improvements in the language including:

  • Better memory management
  • Traits
  • Short Array Syntax
  • Closure binding
  • Built-in webserver
  • Native session handler interface
  • Removal of register_globals, magic_quotes and safe_mode

He briefly looks ahead at "what's next" for the language and points to the "internals" mailing list and the PHP wiki

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Ibuildings techPortal:
DPC Radio Developing and Deploying High Performance PHP Applications
November 10, 2011 @ 10:01:06

On the Ibuildings techPortal today, they've posted the latest in their DPC Radio series of podcasts - recordings from this year's Dutch PHP Conference. In this latest episode, they share Christopher Jones' talk "Developing and Deploying High Performance PHP Applications".

This session starts with a brief but important overview about the growing Oracle technology eco-system. It shows what Oracle's direction means for PHP application development and deployment. The majority of the talk then highlights techniques on building high performance PHP applications with the very widely used Oracle Database.

Technologies mentioned include connection pooling, monitoring, caching and suspending/resuming transactions for stateful web applications. You can listen to this latest episode either using the in-page player, by downloading the mp3 or subscribing to their feed. You can find his slides over on the Oracle Technology Network.

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