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AWS Development Blog:
DynamoDB JSON and Array Marshaling for PHP
February 04, 2015 @ 10:51:30

In the latest post to the AWS PHP Development blog Jeremy Lindblom looks at a new feature of their PHP SDK that allows for more flexibility (and easier handling) when using DynamoDB for document storage in storing more complex data.

Back in October of 2014, Amazon DynamoDB added support for new data types, including the map (M) and list (L) types. These new types, along with some API updates, make it possible to store more complex, multilevel data, and use DynamoDB for document storage.

He talks about a new class thats been added to help work with the DynamoDB storage, the DynamoDb Marshaler (in version >= 2.2.7) that handles the push and pull of the JSON document data directly from the storage, reducing the need to perform the operation manually. He includes code examples of its use and JSON examples of what results are returned on a get request. He also shows how to use it with a native PHP array, translating it with help from the Marshaler and the "marshalItem" method.

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Link: http://blogs.aws.amazon.com/php/post/Tx3QE1CEXG8QG1Z/DynamoDB-JSON-and-Array-Marshaling-for-PHP

AWS Development Blog:
Preview the AWS Resource APIs for PHP
January 06, 2015 @ 10:32:37

On the AWS development blog Jeremy Lindblom has a recent post with a preview of the AWS resource APIs for PHP and the AWS SDK for PHP.

This year is just about over, but we are too excited to wait until the new year to share with you a feature we are developing for the AWS SDK for PHP. We are calling it the AWS Resource APIs for PHP. This feature is maintained as a separate package, but it acts as an extension to Version 3 of the AWS SDK for PHP.

He talks about the new resource objects that contain information to identify what it represented (like a S3 bucket or SQS queue) and includes an example object structure. He shows how to perform actions on the objects and working with collections. He also includes a helpful hint about using the "respondsTo" method on the object to get the methods the object can use.

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Link: http://blogs.aws.amazon.com/php/post/Tx3K1TS5GUKJR85/Preview-the-AWS-Resource-APIs-for-PHP

Amazon Web Services Blog:
End of Life of PEAR Channel
August 20, 2014 @ 11:14:18

If you're a user of the Amazon AWS Web Services SDK software and are using the PEAR channel for installing the tool, you'll need to check out this new post to the AWS blog about its retirement.

There's been a noticeable wave of popular PHP projects recently announcing that they will no longer support PEAR as an installation method. Because the AWS SDK for PHP provides a PEAR channel, we've been very interested in the discussion in the community on PEAR channel support. PEAR has been one of the many ways to install the AWS SDK for PHP since 2010. While it's served us well, better alternatives for installing PHP packages are now available (i.e., Composer) and literally all of the PEAR dependencies of the AWS SDK for PHP are no longer providing updates to their PEAR channels.

He goes through several of the major dependencies the AWS SDK has (like Phirum, PHPUnit and Guzzle) and how they've announced the retirement of their own PEAR channels. Updates to the AWS SDK PEAR channel will cease on September 15th, 2014 but will still be available for downloads of older versions of the library. He also links to the location of the latest Phar and Zip archives if you'd like to use those.

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Link: http://blogs.aws.amazon.com/php/post/TxFFMBZ80DA1OJ/End-of-Life-of-PEAR-Channel

Ben Ramsey:
Setting Up Jenkins on Amazon Linux for PHP Testing
August 08, 2014 @ 09:36:33

Ben Ramsey has posted a complete walk-through of setting up and configuring Jenkins on an AWS instance for testing your PHP applications.

One of my first tasks at ShootProof was to set up a Jenkins server for continuous integration and get it ready to run unit tests for PHP and JavaScript code. There are plenty of tutorials around the web to help you do just that. This is yet another one, but it's primarily my cleaned-up notes -and less of a tutorial - placed here for my future self to find and provided publicly for all to benefit. These instructions are specifically tailored for setting up Jenkins on an Amazon Linux EC2 instance.

While he doesn't call it a "tutorial" it's still a great step-by-step guide to the things you'll need and the process to follow including commands, installing and starting Jenkins and configuring the environment to execute your tests. The main goal was to set it up for PHP-based applications, but he also throws in the setup of some Javascript testing via Node.js and the PhantomJS/CasperJS combo.

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Link: http://benramsey.com/blog/2014/08/setting-up-jenkins-on-amazon-linux-for-php-testing/

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

AWS PHP Development:
Receiving Amazon SNS Messages in PHP
April 01, 2014 @ 10:53:14

The Amazon Web Services PHP Development blog has a new post from Jeremy Lindblom showing you how you can receive inbound SNS messages via a webhook on your application.

Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS) is a fast, fully-managed, push messaging service. Amazon SNS can deliver messages to email, mobile devices, Amazon SQS queues, and HTTP/HTTPS endpoints. [...] Though you can certainly subscribe your email address to receive SNS messages from service events like these, your inbox would fill up rather quickly. There is great power, however, in being able to subscribe an HTTP/HTTPS endpoint to receive the messages. This allows you to program webhooks for your applications to easily respond to various events.

Using the AWS SDK for PHP you can set up a listening script that can receive the message and handle subscription confirmations, message signature validation and handling the notifications.

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Link: http://blogs.aws.amazon.com/php/post/Tx2G9D94IE6KPAY/Receiving-Amazon-SNS-Messages-in-PHP

Till Klampaeckel:
Speeding up composer on AWS OpsWorks
October 09, 2013 @ 12:10:25

Till Klampaeckel has a new post today showing how to get your Composer installation (and package install) to work a bit faster on the Amazon AWS OpsWorks management system.

At EasyBib, we're heavy users of composer and AWS OpsWorks. Since we recently moved a lot of our applications to a continuous deployment model, the benefits of speeding up the deployment process (~4-5 minutes) became more obvious.

He talks some about the current needs of their deployment process and how one option - symlinking the "vendors" directory just wouldn't work. Instead, they make use of Ruby and Chef to work with the OpsWorks hook system that fire on deployment. He includes the example Ruby scripts they put in place to handle "before migrate", "before symlink", "before restart" and "after restart" events. This new setup saved them about two to three minutes on their total deployment time and resulted in a much more stable environment.

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Link: http://till.klampaeckel.de/blog/archives/202-Speeding-up-composer-on-AWS-OpsWorks.html

Andi Gutmans:
Zend Server 6 is launched and available on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Marketplace
February 21, 2013 @ 10:40:26

Andi Gutmans has a new post to his site about a recent update to the offerings on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) - it now offers Zend Server 6 as an installable option.

Zend Server 6 is the ideal application platform for mobile and web applications, and this version brings a new level of enterprise capabilities. [...] Today, I'm also pleased to share that this newest version of Zend Server is now available on the Amazon Web Services Marketplace. Now, for one combined fee with Amazon Web Services, you can run your applications on a fully supported PHP application platform with Zend Server 6 running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux or Ubuntu Linux.

If you're interested in what Zend Server has to offer, check out the product page on the Zend website. Zend Server handles a lot of the base level things for you and can help you get up and running quickly. It includes things like detailed monitoring, error tracking, code tracing and a nice UI to for management and configuration of the server.

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Amazon Web Services Blog:
Version 2 of the AWS SDK for PHP (now with Guzzle)
November 15, 2012 @ 14:57:49

The Amazon Web Services group has recently released an updated version of their SDK for PHP and at it's heart is the open source project Guzzle (a HTTP client framework).

The new SDK is built on top of the Guzzle HTTP client framework, which provides increased performance and enables event-driven customization. Each AWS service client extends the Guzzle client and describes operations on the service using a service description file. The SDK now manages persistent connections for both serial and parallel requests. It detects transient network failures, with automatic retries using truncated exponential backoff. Support for event hooks (via the Symfony2 EventDispatcher) allows you to implement custom, event-driven behavior.

In the AWS post about the update, they give you a few code snippets showing this updated version in use. This completely reworked version of the SDK is not compatible with the previous version, so you'll need to consult their migration guide to bring things up to date.

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A Cloudy Place:
PHP and Git on AWS Elastic Beanstalk
March 28, 2012 @ 13:53:08

On the "A Cloudy Place" blog there's a recent post about the steps the author ( Shameer) to to get PHP and Git set up on the Elastic Beanstalk service from Amazon.

When Amazon announced Beanstalk's support for PHP I was curious to know what it would look like. So I decided to give it a try. I hadn't used my AWS account for a while, so I had to do some account setup tasks, configuring command line tools, etc. In this article I will explain how to set up a PHP application in Beanstalk from scratch.

He walks you through the entire process (complete with some screenshots) of getting the command line tools set up, creating your first PHP application and connecting it to your git repository. There's no database instructions included because the default EC2 instance doesn't include them. You'll need to refer to these instructions if you need that for your application.

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