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Cal Evans:
Mautic Step 1 – Configuring an Email Service Provider
Jun 26, 2017 @ 10:30:17

Cal Evans has continued his series covering Mautic, the PHP based self-hosted marketing automation platform. This is step one in the process with his previous post in the series introducing Mautic and why he's trying it out.

This is the second post in a series titled “My Journey into Mautic”. If you are starting here, you might get an incomplete picture, you may want to check out the previous articles.

There are two things that really confuse me about Mautic, properly configuring an Email Service Provider (ESP), and segmenting & tagging. We’ll tackle the latter one in a later post, but the former is an important topic. It is also one that I do not fully understand. What is presented here is what I have learned through trial and error. it my be partially or wholly incorrect. If you find something that I’ve gotten wrong, please, by all means, correct me in the comments.

He starts by defining what an ESP service is and what it's useful for. While he had done the self-hosted email server in the past, he recommends paying for a service these days, deciding for his needs on Mailgun. He covers the difference between transactional and broadcast emails followed by the setup process he followed to get Mailgun up and working with his Mautic install.

tagged: series mautic marketing automation selfhosted platform tutorial email service provider

Link: https://blog.calevans.com/2017/06/25/mautic-step-1-configuring-an-email-service-provider/

Cal Evans:
My Journey Into Mautic
Jun 07, 2017 @ 09:09:32

Cal Evans, in a search to help make the marketing efforts for some of his products easier, has kicked off a series showing how to install and configure the PHP-based Mautic marketing automation platform.

Those that know me know that I have an obsession with marketing. I mean I’m no good at it, but the topic fascinates me. Almost all of the podcasts I listen to on a regular basis are marketing related. One topic in particular that interests me is “Marketing Automation”. Marketing Automation covers a huge swath of topics and since I am not an expert at the, I won’t attempt to explain them.

[...] Because I am interested in Marketing Automation and want to start applying the techniques in the projects I run. I started looking around for vendors who could provide these services. What I found is that most SaaS vendors assume that everybody who wants to use their software has deep pockets.

Without these "deep pockets" (pricey services) at his disposal, Cal looked for other options and found the self-hosted Mautic instead. He starts with a definition of his requirements including that it should be Open Source, that it should integrate with WordPress and he can contribute back to the project. He ends the post by outlining his planned platform using Mautic, WordPress, Mailgun, Mailchimp and Ditigal Ocean.

tagged: mautic marketing platform opensource series part1 automation

Link: https://blog.calevans.com/2017/06/03/my-journey-into-mautic/

Raphael Stolt:
Keeping your CLI integration tests green on Windows
Mar 27, 2017 @ 10:55:08

Raphael Stolt has a new post to his site for the PHP on Windows users out there helping you to keep your integration tests green when little things (like line ending differences) can cause issues between the Windows and unix-based platforms.

Lately on a Windows system, some failing integration tests for CLI commands utilising the Symfony Console component caused me some blip headaches by PHPUnit insisting that two strings are not identical due to different line endings. The following post documents the small steps I took to overcome these headaches.

He starts with the error message that the failing test was giving, a slightly unhelpful response with the "actual" and "expected" values looking basically the same. He suspected it to be something different with the encoding or line endings (a common issue between Windows and Linux platforms). To confirm his suspicions he looked deeper into the Symfony Console code and, on locating the difference, extended the "CommandTester" class to automatically disable the "decorated" setting across all tests.

tagged: phpunit testing integration green windows platform decorate tutorial

Link: http://raphaelstolt.blogspot.com/2017/03/keeping-your-cli-integration-tests.html

Colin O'Dell:
Installing PHP 7.1 December 2nd, 2016
Dec 08, 2016 @ 10:54:42

With the recent release of PHP 7.1 you might be asking how you can quickly and easily update your current installation, regardless of the platform. Thankfully Colin O'Dell is here to help with this guide to upgrading to v7.1 on multiple Linux distributions, OSX and Windows.

PHP 7.1 has been released, bringing some great new features and enhancements to the language such as nullable types, the iterable pseudo-type, catching multiple exceptions, and much more.

Here's a brief guide on how to install PHP 7.1 on several different operating systems.

He includes instructions for Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS/RHEL, Mac OS 10.6+ and Windows. Complete commands and links to the downloads are also provided. You have no excuse now not to upgrade - get downloading!

tagged: install php71 multiple platform tutorial linux osx windows

Link: https://www.colinodell.com/blog/2016-12/installing-php-7-1

Community News:
Laravel Spark Site Launched (and Screencast Posted)
Apr 15, 2016 @ 10:12:25

A highly anticipated project in the Laravel community - Laravel Spark - has officially launched its site providing more information about the product and its upcoming release. Laravel News gives its own brief summary of Spark in a new post:

Spark is a complete scaffolding for building a SaaS app including authentication, password reset, billing plans, payment method updates, invoices, coupons, user impersonation, and more with support for Stripe and Braintree.

The official release date is April 19th, next Tuesday, and although no pricing is on the site the rumor is it’ll be less than $100. This will save you many hours from building it all yourself.

For those interested in finding out a bit more in-depth about the product, check out this recently released screencast over on the Laracasts site where Taylor Otwell shows the basic setup and features of the platform.

tagged: laravel spark platform screencast laracasts release website

Link: https://spark.laravel.com/

Liip Blog:
Magento 2.0 Release
Nov 19, 2015 @ 09:40:01

On the Liip blog there's a post about the release of Magento 2, the latest and hugely reworked version of the popular eCommerce platform. The post walks you through the installation of this latest update using a pre-configured Vagrant machine.

I’ve downloaded my M2 sample from the official Magento website, there I also found an archive with sample data. For a setup I used a pre-configured Vagrant machine according to the installation guide for Magento server. This installation guide offers two options: easy and advanced. Let’s try the easy way first ;) M2 has an installation wizard, so it is supposed that even a none technically prepared user can install it successfully. And indeed, it looks easy.

He walks through some of the issues he had importing the data during the installation, ultimately, falling back to a command line call to push the large sample data into the platform.

You can find out more about this release and get the latest version over on the Magento website with plenty of information about what's been improved, added and how to get started using this latest version.

tagged: magento2 release install import data ecommerce platform

Link: https://blog.liip.ch/archive/2015/11/18/magento-2-0-release.html

Andrew Embler:
Creating a Z-Ray Plugin for Zend Server 8.5
Jul 22, 2015 @ 11:37:45

In this post to his site Andrew Embler shows you how to create a custom Z-Ray plugin for the Zend Server (v8.5) to show some statistics about requests made to the application.

Zend just released version 8.5 of their Zend Server application server. A major part of this release is the plugin gallery, which provides an App store for Zend Server extensions. These extensions can add application-specific debugging features to the Z-Ray Debugger. We've built one such extension specifically for Concrete5. It didn't take long – just a day or two. That said, there were some bumps in the process, as you're working on a platform for which the documentation hasn't quite caught up yet. With that in mind, I'm going to share my process for building the Concrete5 Z-Ray plugin, in the hopes that it might help someone who is building their own Z-Ray plugin for Zend Server.

The post is pretty comprehensive, sharing all the code you'll need to implement the extension along the way. He's broken it up into sections to help make it a bit more manageable:

  • Create Your Directory
  • Place the deployment.json file in the directory
  • Add Additional Items specified by deployment.json
  • Add the Z-Ray specific Directory
  • Create the Z-Ray PHP Class
  • [Adding] The Logo
  • Basic Panel Details: The Pages Panel
  • Advanced Panel Details: The Blocks Panel

Screenshots also accompany some of the steps showing you what the page output should look like once the files and functionality are in place.

tagged: zray plugin zendserver tutorial application server platform

Link: http://andrewembler.com/2015/07/creating-z-ray-plugin-zend-server-85/

Community News:
Launching Today: The Code Climate Platform
Jun 22, 2015 @ 09:57:56

Code Climate, the popular static code analysis service, has made an announcement that will definitely help make checking your PHP application for quality and security issues easier - the release of the Code Climate Platform. This platform provides, among other things, a command line tool that you can use to run their analysis rules on your own systems.

Today, we’re thrilled to launch the Code Climate Platform − the first open, extensible platform for all types of static analysis. [...] What does this mean exactly? First, we’re open sourcing our analysis tools, including the engines and algorithms we use to evaluate code. We’re also enabling anyone to write static analysis engines that run on our servers by following a simple specification. [...] Finally, using our new Code Climate CLI, you can now run any Code Climate-compatible static analysis on your laptop – for free.

This is a great step forward to helping ensure the overall quality of your codebase and makes it even easier than having to rely on a fully external service for the results. Plus, with the specification you can write rules and customize the checks according to your application or framework of choice. They have a developer program you can register for to find out more information about that.

tagged: codeclimate static analysis tool commandline platform opensource specification developer program

Link: http://blog.codeclimate.com/blog/2015/06/19/code-climate-platform/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
First Look at Platform.sh – a Development and Deployment SaaS
Mar 23, 2015 @ 11:24:36

In this latest post to the SitePoint PHP blog Chris Ward takes a "first look" at the Platform.sh development and deployment service.

Not so long ago, many of us were satisfied handling deployment of our projects by uploading files via FTP to a web server. [...] The old methods for deploying became unstable, unreliable and (generally) untrusted. [...] So was born a new wave of tools, services and workflows designed to simplify the process of deploying complex web applications, along with a plethora of accompanying commercial services. Generally, they offer an integrated toolset for version control, hosting, performance and security at a competitive price. Platform.sh is a newer player on the market, built by the team at Commerce Guys, who are better known for their Drupal eCommerce solutions.

He talks about some of the requirements for using the service (including Drush, the Drupal command line tool) and how to get started with a new project. He shows how to get the codebase with their CLI tool, pushing SQL data up to the instance, and starting in on some development work. He shows how to configure the modules you want to use and adding some additional content to the data. He also covers some of the other features of Platform.sh including: performance and profiling tools and integration with Redis, Solr and the EntityCache/AuthCache tools.

tagged: platformsh drupal deployment development platform saas introduction

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/first-look-platform-sh-development-deployment-saas/

Lorna Mitchell:
5 Reasons to Consider Upgrading Your PHP Platform
Feb 06, 2015 @ 12:04:35

Lorna Mitchell has a new post today with five things that you could gain by upgrading your platform, mostly centered around the changes PHP has made recently.

In recent years, the release cycle of PHP has become much shorter. We now have a much more controlled and well-publicised process of releases, and moving between each version is no longer a leap of faith. The newer versions have HUGE performance improvements, great features, and better security, and the software is free to use. Yet we have a very, very long tail of PHP installations on older versions (around 75% on entirely unsupported versions at this point). Many of the companies I talk to think that upgrading will be pointless and painful, but that's not my experience of migrating PHP projects. Here are a few things you might like to think about or be aware of before you make the decisions that "not broken" is good enough for your applications.

She offers her list of five things, each with a bit of summary and a few links to more information on the topics:

  • Improved Performance
  • Security and Support
  • New Syntax
  • Traits
  • Built In Webserver

She also technically includes another in the list (#6 in the top 5, naturally) talking about the password hashing functionality that's been introduced in recent versions and how much simpler it can make your life.

tagged: upgrade reasons language platform suggestion feature

Link: http://www.lornajane.net/posts/2015/5-reasons-to-consider-upgrading-your-php-platform