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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

TutsPlus.com:
Building Your Startup: Ajax for Meeting Times and Places
Jan 02, 2017 @ 13:10:42

The TutsPlus.com site has posted the next in their "Building Your Startup" series of tutorials covering the use of Yii2 to create a calendaring application. In this new part of the series they continue migrating some functionality over to use an Ajax-powered system, reducing the need for page reloads.

Last week, I delved deeper into Ajax to transform the meeting scheduling experience into a fully ajaxified model and eliminated the need for page refreshes. I got about halfway, focusing mostly on the straightforward elements.

In today's tutorial, I'll guide you through the more complex content panels that required a lot more troubleshooting, research, debugging, brainstorming, and recoding. [...] I'm also going to show you how I used Google's Chrome browser developer console to help me identify the broken areas—which can be especially difficult when working with Ajax between PHP and JavaScript. It's like light at the end of the tunnel of darkness.

The tutorial then walks through the updates needed to move over various pieces of functionality to the Ajax-driven model:

  • adding meeting participants
  • adding dates and times
  • adding meeting places

There's also a few screenshots included of the Chrome developer console and what some of the example request/responses look like, helping you debug your own development work.

tagged: startup ajax meeting time place series refactor feature tutorial

Link: https://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/building-your-startup-ajax-for-meeting-times-and-places--cms-27327

TutsPlus.com:
Building Your Startup: Security Basics
Dec 20, 2016 @ 11:55:58

The TutsPlus.com site has continued their "Building Your Startup" tutorial series with this latest article covering the "security basics" you'll need to adequately protect your application. This tutorial touches on both the server-level and code-level security aspects.

In today's episode, we'll dive into the basics of web server security. I'll cover securing the Linux VPS running Meeting Planner and some basic Yii security. In the next episode, I'll dive more into programmatic Yii application security.

The article starts off with the server side of things, introducing hosting options, keeping the server updated, configuring SSH for logins, setting up a firewall and SSL. With that solid base in place, it then starts on the code side covering the built-in functionality used to secure the backend and frontend functionality.

tagged: tutorial series yii2 startup security basics server code

Link: https://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/building-your-startup-security-basics--cms-26702

TutsPlus.com:
Building Your Startup: Issue Tracking and Feature Planning
Dec 02, 2016 @ 12:56:23

TutsPlus.com has continued their "Building Your Startup with PHP" series today with this latest tutorial covering the creation of an issue tracking and feature planning process with the help of the Anana service.

Even for a one-person startup, it helps to have more than a spreadsheet (or paper) to track issues, ideas, and bugs. A few years ago, I'd used Lighthouse for my grant-funded NewsCloud Community Starter Project. Last year, I'd been introduced to Asana during a consulting gig.

[...] Eventually, I found my way and discovered the tool works well whether you're working with a variety of people or just solo. In today's episode, I'll walk you through how I began using Asana for Meeting Planner. I use Asana not only to track issues but to organize them and plan for the future. I also use it to track and process bugs.

He walks you through getting started with the service (they have a free tier) and how to set up your first project. He includes examples of task creation, tagging tasks and tracking bugs right inside the service. He then uses it to create a "release plan" for the next version of the Meeting Planner application. He wraps up the post talking about what's next on his side for the Planner application and its funding goals.

tagged: build startup series meetingplanner issue tracking feature planning tutorial

Link: https://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/building-your-startup-issue-tracking-and-feature-planning--cms-26722

TutsPlus.com:
Building Your Startup: The Dashboard Foundation
Nov 24, 2016 @ 16:28:49

NetTuts.com has continued their "Building Your Startup" series with this latest post focusing on the dashboard for the users of the meeting planner - a "quick look" into the current stats for their account.

For my initial statistics reporting, I focused on simple real-time data and detailed historical data. For example, real-time data would tell you the number of users and meetings built on the system to date and their status.

The historical data would tell you the number of users and meetings completed over time as well as other interesting data—especially growth curves that I and prospective investors may care about.

He then walks through the creation of the dashboard view, gathering together various pieces of real-time and historical data and displaying them in a simple table view. All code and SQL required is included as well as a few screenshots showing the results.

tagged: startup series meeting planner dashboard introduction

Link: https://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/building-your-startup-the-dashboard-foundation--cms-26682

TutsPlus.com:
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

TutsPlus.com:
Building Your Startup: Delivering Notifications
Nov 04, 2016 @ 10:54:14

TutsPlus.com has posted the latest part in their "Building Your Startup with PHP" series today with a focus on delivering notifications to your users when meeting information is updated.

This 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 the prior episode, I described building the infrastructure for tracking changes to meetings so we would know how to share updates with participants. In this episode, I'll cover monitoring the log and delivering email notifications of changes.

They start with a look at monitoring for updates to current meetings via a "actionFrequent" method and the code required to locate and notify the correct people of the updates. Next up is the logging of these changes to the audit log and pulling a history of the meeting to show what actually changed. Finally there's code to deliver the actual update email.

tagged: build startup series meetingplanner deliver notifications change meeting tutorial

Link: https://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/building-your-startup-delivering-notifications--cms-26595

TutsPlus.com:
Building Your Startup: Notifying People of Meeting Updates
Oct 24, 2016 @ 10:37:50

On TutsPlus.com they've continued their series showing the construction of a startup (a calendaring site) using PHP and the Yii2 framework. In this latest article they walk you through their construction of a notification system when others need to be informed/invited to meetings in the system.

This 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. [...] In this two-part series, I'll describe how we built the notifications infrastructure and their delivery. Today, I'm going to focus on the MeetingLog to track changes that help us determine when to send updates.

They start with their vision of how the notification system should work (starting at the UI level) and the types of responses an invited user could reply with. The article then gets into how the notifications will work and the creation of the first step: a log to track all actions taken around notifications. They include the model to work with the logging table, adding a new log message, defining the logging command and finding specific log messages. With that in place, the tutorial switches to the frontend, showing what the notifications should look like using flash messages and a few updates to the views in the application.

tagged: startup build tutorial series log message yii2 framework

Link: https://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/building-your-startup-notifying-people-of-meeting-updates--cms-26594

NetTuts.com:
Building Your Startup With PHP: Collecting and Managing User Reports and Feedback
Oct 11, 2016 @ 12:13:05

TutsPlus.com has posted the latest part of their "Building Your Startup with PHP" series following along with the creation of a "meeting planner" application based on the Yii2 framework. In this new article the focus is on collecting and managing user feedback and reports for a simple support system.

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 tutorial, I'm going to guide you through how I quickly and economically launched a support system and knowledge base for the application as well as some of the issues and alternatives I considered.

He starts with some of the third-party options he considered including Zendesk, Grove and Freshdesk. In the end he decided to go with the last option as it had the startup-friendly combination of a free account for small business and good functionality at that level. He covers their pricing levels, the signup process and the basic usage of the account and hooking it into Mailgun for sending/receiving emails. He also walks you through customizing the domain to match yours and updating the code to make the "Support" URLs match the new Freshdesk setup.

tagged: collect manage user feedback report startup tutorial series

Link: https://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/building-your-startup-with-php-collecting-and-managing-user-reports-and-feedback--cms-23356

TutsPlus.com:
Building Your Startup With PHP: Choosing and Configuring Production Hosting
Oct 03, 2016 @ 10:47:19

The TutsPlus.com site continues their "Build Your Startup with PHP" series of tutorials with the latest part of the series. In this most recent article they move into the hosting world and offer some tips and setup options for your production hosting.

In this tutorial, I'll explore choosing an ideal hosting platform for Meeting Planner and the initial configuration of our server. I'll be guiding you through the process as I migrate the pre-launch website to a better production environment for our upcoming alpha launch.

[...] As a reminder, all of the code for Meeting Planner is written in the Yii2 Framework for PHP. If you'd like to learn more about Yii2, check out our parallel series Programming With Yii2.

They start by looking at how to choose the right hosting company for your application and abilities. For their particular needs, they opted for managed hosting (like Rackspace or Digital Ocean). For the remainder of the tutorial, they show the setup with Digital Ocean and a simple "droplet" (virtual machine instance). They walk you through the setup of the droplet, the server configuration for hosting the application and packages to install. Then they check out and set up the code for the "Meeting Planner" application and, finally, update the DNS to point to the new server.

tagged: startup hosting application production digitalocean

Link: https://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/building-your-startup-with-php-choosing-and-configuring-production-hosting--cms-23359