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Zend Developer Zone:
Developing a Z-Ray Plugin 101
Nov 04, 2015 @ 10:44:13

The Zend Developer Zone has posted a tutorial showing you the basics of creating a plugin for Z-Ray, the tool from Zend that provides details and metrics around the execution of your application.

One of the great things about Z-Ray is the ability to extend it to display any info you want about your app. This is done by creating plugins. In this tutorial I’m going to describe how to create a new Z-Ray plugin. I’ll be supplying code snippets to insert in the various plugin files but of course feel free to replace it with your own code when possible.

They start by describing how Z-Ray shows its data and offering two options - the default panel or a custom panel. They choose the custom panel and show you how to:

  • create the template for the panel
  • make the module directory and zray.php
  • and Modules.php file to define the plugin

There's also a section on how the Z-Ray plugin traces through the execution of your application, illustrating with a DummyClass. They include the code to set up the Trace and define which methods and actions to watch. Finally they relay this information back out to the custom panel view via Javascript collection and the code to show the results.

tagged: zray plugin custom performance dummyclass execution tracer tutorial

Link: http://devzone.zend.com/6826/developing-a-z-ray-plugin-101/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Debugging WordPress on Azure with Z-Ray
Oct 13, 2015 @ 11:23:55

On the SitePoint PHP blog there's a tutorial showing you how to integrate the Z-Ray tool into WordPress to make debugging it on an Azure instance simpler. The steps make major use of the Azure control panel handling, so it's not quite as useful as a cross-platform guide but at least it gives you an idea of what you could expect from the Z-Ray+WordPress integration.

We all know that WordPress is an amazingly rich, extendable and simple platform. That’s probably one of the reasons it powers so much of the web today. But in some cases this richness can be the downfall of your site. [...] This means you need an easy, safe and reliable way to profile your WordPress app that will help you identify the bottlenecks slowing it down.

This article demonstrates a simple way to do just this. It describes how to debug a WordPress application deployed on Microsoft Azure’s web app service, using Z-Ray for Azure – a new technology that was announced a few months ago and is now in preview mode.

He walks you through the entire process (assuming you already have an account on Azure:

  • Creating the sample WordPress application on Azure
  • Enabling Z-Ray
  • Developing WordPress with Z-Ray

In that last step he includes some screenshots of the kinds of results you can expect from the plugin including details about cache objects, plugin statistics, hooks being executed and WP Query use. He ends the post looking at using Z-Ray for mobile debugging and how to use it in "secured mode" in a production environment.

tagged: tutorial wordpress azure microsoft zray debugging installation configuration

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/debugging-wordpress-on-azure-with-z-ray/

Rob Allen:
Simple Ansible file for Z-Ray preview
Sep 15, 2015 @ 10:12:07

For those wanting to check out the latest preview of the Zend Z-Ray stand-alone version, Rob Allen has posted a full Ansible script to help building the environment much easier.

Recently, Zend made available a Z-Ray Technology Preview which takes the Z-Ray feature of Zend Server and makes it stand-alone. This is very interesting as it means that I can run it with the PHP 5.6 on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Vagrant set up that I prefer. I decided to create an Ansible playbook to install Z-Ray into my VM. The Z-Ray instructions are clear enough, so it was simply a case of converting them to a set of YAML steps as who wants to do manual installation nowadays?!

The configuration is set up to run on a Ubuntu machine with PHP 5.6 installed. It will download the Z-Ray plugin, extract it and copy over all necessary configuration files to get it up and running. This stand-alone version can help to make debugging your applications simpler with real-time information right in your browser.

tagged: zray preview standalone version ansible configuration ubuntu php56

Link: http://akrabat.com/simple-ansible-file-for-z-ray-preview/

Laravel News:
Installing Zend Z-Ray on Homestead
Aug 25, 2015 @ 10:45:01

On the Laravel News site there's a tutorial posted showing you how to Install the Zend Z-Ray tool on Homestead, the popular Laravel-related virtual machine environment. This tool helps with debugging applications by giving you an inside look (a sort of "x-ray") into its inner workings as it executes.

For the past week or so I have been running Zend Z-Ray in Laravel Homestead. Every time using it, new features come to light that are fantastic for debugging your apps in development! What follows is a quick preview of Z-Ray, along with all the steps necessary to install it on Laravel Homestead.

He talks some about the Z-Ray tool and the features it has to offer as well as some of the technologies it supports. He also covers some of the Laravel specific features included like project information, route inspection and current user information. He then gets into the Administration panel, what kinds of information it provides and, finally, how to get it all installed and working. It's not a super simple process but all the commands you'll need are included in the post.

tagged: install zray zend tool plugin laravel tutorial inspect

Link: https://laravel-news.com/2015/08/installing-zend-z-ray-on-homestead/

Debugging WordPress with Zend Server and Z-Ray on AWS
Aug 05, 2015 @ 11:57:02

The Zend.com blog has a post showing you how to debug WordPress running on Zend Server with the help of the Z-Ray plugin. In their example they're hosting it on an AWS instance, but the same technique can apply on any other hosted version as well.

More and more PHP development is being done in the cloud and on virtual platforms nowadays. The workflow detailed in this brief tutorial is just one way to develop PHP in these environments, but it illustrates just how easy and productive this type of development can be. More specifically, it demonstrates how to launch the newly available Zend Server 8.5 instance on AWS with a WordPress application already deployed, and then use Z-Ray to introspect and debug the code.

The tutorial walks you through the setup and configuration of a new AWS instance with Zend Server and WordPress installed (you can skip to the end if you already have this). They show you how to:

  • Launch the Zend Server AWS instance
  • Configure the instance to install WordPress as a part of the setup process
  • Access the Zend Server control panel
  • Accessing the WordPress application deployed on the instance

Once the WordPress application is accessed, the Z-Ray inspection bar will appear at the bottom giving you insight into various configuration options, performance metrics and server information. They also link to a video with more information about the WordPress plugin.

tagged: zendserver wordpress aws amazon instance zray debug tutorial install configure

Link: http://blog.zend.com/2015/08/04/debugging-wordpress-with-zend-server-and-z-ray-on-aws

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/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Top 10 Z-Ray Features to Check Out
Mar 26, 2015 @ 09:50:23

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new post today from Daniel Berman (of Zend) with the top 10 features of Z-Ray to be sure to check out. Disclaimer: Z-Ray is a tool provided by Zend, a part of their Zend Server product.

Necessity is the mother of invention goes the famous saying. For PHP developers, there is no greater need than visibility. But developers today have a tough choice to make as they develop and debug their apps. Either use crude methods such as printing, debugging information, or storing it in a log file, or – use multiple debugging/profiling tools that are awkward and require a lot of work from the developer’s side. [...] This article introduces the top 10 features of Z-Ray – an innovative new technology from Zend that makes PHP development a whole lot quicker and easier by giving developers unprecedented insight into their code – and the visibility they need to develop top-notch apps.

Among the items on their Top 10 list are things like:

  • Viewing information about page requests
  • Execution time and memory consumption
  • Showing errors and warnings
  • Viewing functions called during execution
  • Debugging features for mobile apps and APIs

Check out the full post for a list of more features and screenshots/detail on each one.

tagged: zend zray zendserver top10 list features screenshot

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/top-10-z-ray-features-check/

Zend Blog:
Developing a Z-Ray Extension
Feb 25, 2015 @ 11:54:41

Zend recently introduced their Z-Ray inspection tool that allows you to see inside your application and know what's happening in your code, your database and has support for major PHP projects. In this new post to their blog they show you how to develop a custom extension for the Z-Ray system.

One of the coolest features in Z-Ray is the ability to plug in your own extensions. Meaning, you can customize existing Z-Ray panels or add your own personalized Z-Ray panel for displaying information you think is important for developing your specific application. This short tutorial will describe how to write a basic extension for Z-Ray. More specifically, we’ll be writing a Z-Ray extension for WordPress that extracts and displays a list of loaded WordPress plugins.

They give you a list of things you'll need to set up before you can get started including a simple WordPress installation on a Zend Server instance. With these in place they help you create the "zray.php" file to define the extension, how to enable it and setting up a "trace" on a function to hook it into the execution. They then dump the WP plugin information and reformat it a bit to show only the list of names and versions in the output panel. As a last touch, they add a logo to the panel to show in the bottom menubar with the WordPress logo.

tagged: zray zend extension custom wordpress tutorial plugin

Link: http://blog.zend.com/2015/02/25/developing-z-ray-extension

Rob Allen:
Z-Ray for Zend Server 7
Jul 02, 2014 @ 12:56:59

In his latest post Rob Allen gives a "first look" at a new feature in the Zend Server (v7) product from Zend - Z-Ray. The z-Ray feature gives you a complete "under the covers" look at what your code is doing including resource use, database connections and processing time.

I’ve been running the beta for all my development work for a while now and the main reason is the new Z-Ray feature. Z-Ray is a bar that is injected into the bottom of your page showing lots of useful information.

His post shares some of the results he found with his development version of Joind.in and screenshots of the results. He shows the levels of detail available at each level, all directly in the browser. It even includes functionality to track all variables being created or used in the current execution.

tagged: zray zendserver7 introduction joindin example screenshot

Link: http://akrabat.com/software/z-ray-for-zend-server-7/