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AWS PHP Development:
Testing Webhooks Locally for Amazon SNS
April 08, 2014 @ 11:33:07

In a previous post the AWS for PHP blog showed how to set up webhooks for handling the callbacks from their SNS messaging service. In this next part of the series they continue the process, showing how you can test these hooks locally without needing to actually send the messages. This eliminates the need to deploy to a public-facing server just to test the hooks every time you need an update.

In a recent post, I talked about Receiving Amazon SNS Messages in PHP. I showed you how to use the SNS Message and MessageValidator classes in the AWS SDK for PHP to handle incoming SNS messages. The PHP code for the webhook is easy to write, but can be difficult to test properly, since it must be deployed to a server in order to be accessible to Amazon SNS. I'll show you how you can actually test your code locally with the help of a few simple tools.

Using PHP's own built-in webserver and a tool called ngrok to tunnel from the public internet to a local server. He includes the commands to set up the PHP script directory, the code to intercept the POSTed data from the request, validate it and send the subscription confirmation request. He helps you create an SNS "topic" through the management console and walks you through a sample test request while tailing the logs.

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aws amazon sns webhook testing local server ngrok tutorial

Link: http://blogs.aws.amazon.com/php/post/Tx2CO24DVG9CAK0/Testing-Webhooks-Locally-for-Amazon-SNS

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Piping Emails to a Laravel Application
February 17, 2014 @ 09:13:48

On the SitePoint PHP blog there's a new tutorial posted about piping emails to Laravel (well, a Laravel-based application). He shows how to have your application take data in from the current input, parse it and insert the data into a database.

In project management or support management tools, you will see this a lot: you can reply to an email message and it is automatically visible in a web application. Somehow, these tools were able to get those email messages right into their system. In this article, we are going to have a look at how we can pipe emails to our Laravel 4 application.

He walks you through the creation of an Artisan command, "email.parse", and using the PHP MIME Mail Parser library to extract data. He gets the to, from, title and message contents from the email and shows how to work with attachments too. Finally, he shows how to set up the mail server to pipe the incoming email though the PHP script for parsing.

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email parse message laravel tutorial mail server

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/piping-emails-laravel-application/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
The Pros and Cons of Zend Certification
February 10, 2014 @ 11:35:49

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new post that weighs the pros and cons of getting the Zend PHP Certification. The Zend Certified PHP Engineer is described as "a measure of distinction that employers use to evaluate prospective employees".

As a PHP developer, you may have been asking yourself how to improve your skills, gain reputation or become more professional in your work. One of the ways of doing so is to get through a certification programme. The only one that covers PHP itself (not a particular framework or software solution) is being delivered by the Zend company. In the remainder of the article I will focus on this particular certificate and describe its advantages and disadvantages. At the end I will also mention some other certification programs that may be valuable to a PHP developer.

He starts with a bit of general information about the certification including some of the categories it covers. He then gets into the pros and cons, listing two items for each. He suggests that it's a good way to measure your knowledge but there is a question of how much it really proves to get a passing score.

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zend certification opinion pro con developer

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/pros-cons-zend-certification/

PHPClasses.org:
Lately in PHP Podcast #43 - "Is Facebook HHVM going to Replace Zend Engine in PHP6"
January 20, 2014 @ 11:36:41

On the PHPClasses.org site today they've published the latest episode in their "Lately in PHP" podcast series, Episode #43 - "Is Facebook HHVM going to Replace Zend Engine in PHP 6".

The Facebook HipHop Virtual Machine, HHVM, has been evolving a lot, so PHP developers are considering it as a possible replacement for Zend Engine in PHP 6. This was one of the main topics discussed by Manuel Lemos and César Rodas in the episode 43 of the Lately in PHP podcast. They also discussed other topics like FastCGI support in HHVM, having PHP function naming consistency plans for PHP 6, TLS peer verification for secure connections, and using Composer to install JavaScript, CSS and images for PHP projects.

You can listen to this latest episode either through the in-page player, by downloading the mp3 or watching the live video recording from the Google Hangout.

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hhvm zend engine php6 podcast latelyinphp episode

Link: http://www.phpclasses.org/blog/post/225-Is-Facebook-HHVM-going-to-Replace-Zend-Engine-in-PHP-6--Lately-in-PHP-podcast-episode-43.html

Lorna Mitchell:
Zend Certified PHP Developer 5.5
January 08, 2014 @ 09:23:45

If you're thinking about taking the Zend Certified PHP Developer (5.5) test but aren't sure exactly where to start, Lorna Mitchell has provided a list of some good resources to help you out.

Yesterday I updated my previous ZCE certificate to the Zend Certified PHP Developer qualification (the new ZCE for PHP 5.5 also got a new name). Since the ZCE 5.3 exam is no longer available and I work with various clients to prepare their teams for these certifications, it was important to me that I keep my own certification up to date. Now I've done that, I'd like to share some resources for others doing the same thing.

She points to a few things that could help you make the grade:

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zend certified developer test certification resource list

Link: http://www.lornajane.net/posts/2014/zend-certified-php-developer-5-5

Inviqa techPortal:
Create a RESTful API with Apigility
December 04, 2013 @ 09:29:15

On the Inviqa techPortal they've posted a new tutorial from Rob Allen introducing Apigility, the recently announced API management and creation tool from Zend. He uses his usual album/music illustration to show how to create a simple API inside the tool.

On the 7th October 2013, Zend introduced Apigility to the world. Once you get beyond the name, you see a very interesting project that allows you to easily create a web service without having to worry about the nitty-gritty details. Which details? Well, Apigility will handle content negotiation, error handling and versioning for you, allowing you to concentrate on your application. In the recently tagged 0.7 release, Apigility also supports both HTTP and OAuth2 authentication. In this tutorial we will create a simple REST API that allows us to view a list of music albums, showing how to start using Apigility and how to publish an API using this tool.

He walks you through all the steps you'll need to create the basic API, more specifically around the "Albums" data and functionality:

  • Creating a new project with Composer
  • Using the Admin dashboard to create a new API
  • Making a new REST endpoint (albums)
  • Building an Album collection endpoint (with Collection, Entity and Resource)
  • Making the data model, including the table SQL

He includes all the code you'll need for these last few items and shows the curl calls to make for grabbing a single and multiple album listings. There's also a brief discussion in there about how Apigility handles API versioning with some internal handling.

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apigility zend rest api tutorial introduction

Link: http://techportal.inviqa.com/2013/12/03/create-a-restful-api-with-apigility/

Gonzalo Ayuso:
How to run a Web Server from a PHP application
November 11, 2013 @ 11:53:06

Gonzalo Ayuso has put together a post showing how (by implementing the Reactor design pattern) he created a simple web server inside a PHP application. It combines a few Symfony2 components and the React library to build a simple server in a bit more programatic way.

Normally we deploy our PHP applications in a webserver (such as apache, nginx, ). I used to have one apache webserver in my personal computer to play with my applications, but from time to now I prefer to use PHP's built-in webserver for my experiments. It's really simple. [...] With PHP we cannot do it. Sure? That assertion isn't really true. We can do it. I've just create one small library to do it in two different ways. First running the built-in web server and also running one React web server.

The idea is that all that would be needed is a stand-alone PHP script that could be run anywhere and start up its own web server, no other software required. He includes a simplified version of the example, showing how to make servers with both React and PHP's own server. He also includes an example of a basic Silex application that uses it as well as some benchmarks (with Apache ab) for each of the implementations and their request/response times on average for simple and Silex requests.

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builtin webserver server example react silex

Link: http://gonzalo123.com/2013/11/11/how-to-run-a-web-server-from-a-php-application/

Zend:
Apigility Progress report zf-mvc-auth, packagist, and PHP's built-in web server
November 01, 2013 @ 15:52:11

In a new post to the Apigility forums today Matthew Weier O'Phinney has announced the release of an authentication/authorization component for the recently announced project from Zend. Apigility is a Zend Framework-based tool for easily constructing and managing an API.

We've been working hard on Apigility since ZendCon, and have released some more code into the wild. zf-mvc-auth exists to provide both authentication and authorization for your APIs; in fact, it's a bit of a general-purpose library for ZF2 MVC apps! Right now, we support HTTP basic and digest authentication out of the box, and will be working next on OAuth support. Authorization is done by default via ZendPermissionsAcl, as we discovered a problem with using RBAC: RBAC is deny-by-default, which does not work when you want an open-by-default schema. You may opt-in to deny-by-default, as well as mark individual services as requiring permission by default. Finally, you have the option of denying/allowing per HTTP method of a service as well.

You can find out more details about this functionality in this quick screencast. The zf-apgility module depends on this new zf-mvc-auth module, so it will be included and available by default in your APIs. In that same post Matthew also talks about the listing of the Apigility packages on Packagist service and a note for those wanting to use the built-in HTTP server to run the tool (a PHP version dependency).

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apigility progress zendframework mvc authentication authorization packagist http server

Link: https://groups.google.com/a/zend.com/forum/#!topic/apigility-users/_mOPkxxmGYI

Gonzalo Ayuso:
Playing with event dispatcher and Silex. Sending logs to a remote server.
October 22, 2013 @ 09:44:57

Gonzalo Ayuso as a new post today showing the results of some of his testing with the event dispatcher and Silex to send logs to a remote server.

Today I continue playing with event dispatcher and Silex. Now I want to send a detailed log of our Kernel events to a remote server. We can do it something similar with Monolog, but I want to implement one working example hacking a little bit the event dispatcher. Basically we're going to create one Logger class (implementing PSR-3 of course).

He includes the sample code defining a "Logger" class that takes whatever message sent to it and pushes it into a given socket resource. He also creates a provider for the logger to implement it in the example and registers it with the event dispatcher. He hooks it into the request, get controller, terminate and exception events. On the other side he uses React to make a basic server to listen on port 4000 for the incoming log data.

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silex event dispatcher remote server log logger psr3

Link: http://gonzalo123.com/2013/10/21/playing-with-event-dispatcher-and-silex-sending-logs-to-a-remote-server/

Zend Blog:
Rise of the Native Cloud Developer - ZendCon Keynote
October 11, 2013 @ 12:54:22

If you weren't able to make it to this year's ZendCon conference that just happened in Santa Clara, you can get at least a little piece of it from this new post to the Zend blog. It's a video from a keynote session from Peter Magnusson titled "Rise of the Native Cloud Developer."

At his keynote session at ZendCon, he shared some of the important and sometimes unexpected lessons Google learned while building for the cloud - such as the importance of lightweight execution containers, relying on failure, and how to overcome the speed of light when building distributed systems.

And then he went ahead to discuss about the rise of the "Cloud Native" developer - how engineers and organisations large and small now using these principles to build truly robust and scalable services, and businesses.

You can watch it embedded in the post or full size on Youtube.

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zend zendcon13 cloud native developer keynote video

Link: http://blog.zend.com/2013/10/10/rise-native-cloud-developer/


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