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Philip Brown:
Dealing with Exceptions in a Laravel API application
Aug 10, 2015 @ 11:57:43

In a post to his site Philip Brown shows a helpful way to manage API exceptions in a Laravel-based API application. In an API, exceptions are particularly important as they can be a hint to what the problem is and make it easier to return the correct error code to the client.

Exceptions are a very important method for controlling the execution flow of an application. When an application request diverges from the happy path, it’s often important that you halt execution immediately and take another course of action.

In today’s tutorial I’m going to show you how I structure my Laravel API applications to use Exceptions. This structure will make it very easy to return detailed and descriptive error responses from your API, as well as make testing your code a lot easier.

He starts with a brief introduction to HTTP status codes and their role in the interaction between client and server. He then gets into the "exception foundation" and how it will work, providing some basic common functionality (like throwing a 404 when a record isn't found, regardless of the type). He creates a configuration file to define the default error messages, an abstract Exception the custom instances can extend. He creates several of these as an example, such as a "UserNotFound" exception that extends the base "NotFound" exception class. He works with Laravel's own exception handlers and includes the code to catch a few different types inside.

tagged: exception laravel api application custom base handler tutorial

Link: http://culttt.com/2015/08/10/dealing-with-exceptions-in-a-laravel-api-application/

Coding.bmail.net Blog:
Advanced logging system in PHP for careful developers
Aug 05, 2015 @ 12:19:51

On the Coding.bmail.net blog they've posted a guide to what they've called an advanced logging system in PHP for careful developers - essentially a logging system that's as "error proof" as possible and that works with as little user exposure as possible.

Being aware of all the activity and problems under the hood is essential when running big websites with lots of users, many features and, as it is usual in such cases, weak spots that must not be left untracked.

In order to be the first in knowing when errors or other events of interest happen we need a well designed logs manager. My code will provide such a feature, for PHP based websites.

They briefly outline how the complete setup will work, failing back to email if the database connection isn' available and logging based on environment. It also includes error levels and, on development only, a method for showing the errors being logged. While a good bit of this functionality could be handled by something like Monolog they do include some additional features like the email fallback, output of the errors in development mode and custom error/exception handlers.

tagged: logging advanced system custom database email environment tutorial

Link: http://coding.bmain.net/tutorials/php/advanced_logging_system_in_php_for_careful_developers

Alejandro Celaya:
Working with custom column types in Doctrine. Enums.
Jul 30, 2015 @ 08:37:45

Alejandro Celaya has a post to his site showing you how to work with custom types in Doctrine, more specifically with the "enum" type.

Doctrine is currently the most used ORM in PHP. It makes it very easy to work with databases in an object oriented way. It comes with a set of built-in column types that map database types with PHP types. For example, the datetime column type, persists the value of an entity column as a datetime in the database and handles it as a DateTime object when the entity is hydrated.

Type conversions work both ways, so column types take care of casting database to PHP types and vice versa. In this article I'm going to explain how to define custom column types so that we can persist our own objects into the database and hydrate them back.

He points out that, while PHP itself lacks the "enum" data type, you can simulate it with a library like this. He uses this library to create a custom Doctrine object type that mimic enums in the getting and setting of a value to one of a few options. In this case it's values representing the CRUD methods. He shows the code to link the Type back to the Action which then gives it understanding of what the valid enum values can be. He also points out another package that he published recently that takes some of the work out of creating the boilerplate code for the enum.

tagged: package action tutorial enum type doctrine custom library

Link: http://blog.alejandrocelaya.com/2015/07/28/working-with-custom-column-types-in-doctrine-enums/

NetTuts.com:
Understand Overriding in Magento: Controllers
Jul 24, 2015 @ 11:19:45

The NetTuts.com site has posted a tutorial (the third and last in their series) showing how to override controller handling in Magento. In the previous posts they showed how to override functionality related to the models and blocks (frontend layout elements).

In Magento, the controller is responsible for handling incoming requests, and it's a backbone of the Magento routing implementation. [...] As I said in the previous tutorial, it's never recommended to change core files directly, as it makes upgrading Magento really difficult. To avoid this, we should follow the standard way of making desired changes to core files: we should either use event observers or override core files with our custom module files. We'll discuss the overriding feature today.

You'll need to be familiar with custom module creation to be able to follow along (see here if not) but other than that they provide everything you'll need. They start by creating the files and folders needed for the custom module including:

  • Module XML definition (Envato_All.xml)
  • Module XML configuration
  • the Envato_Catalog_ProductController controller file (PHP)

The controller extends the pre-existing Product controller but the configuration definitions tell it ti use the "Envato" version instead.

tagged: magento overriding controller tutorial custom xml module

Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/understand-overriding-in-magento-controllers--cms-23386

Rob Allen:
Custom OAuth2 authentication in Apiiglity
Jul 21, 2015 @ 09:05:49

In an article posted to his site Rob Allen shows you how to hook in the OAuth2 authentication for an Apigility-based application with a pre-existing database table structure that may not match the defaults Apigility is looking for.

I have a client that's writing an Apigility API that needs to talk to a database that's already in place. This also includes the users table that is to be used with Apigility's OAuth2 authentication. Getting Apigility's OAuth2 integration to talk to a specific table name is quite easy. [...] However, if you want to use different column names, that's a bit trickier as they are hardcoded in the OAuth2StoragePdo class. To get Apigility's OAuth2 components to look at the correct columns, you create your own OAuth2 Adapter. I chose to extend ZFOAuth2AdapterPdoAdapter which extends OAuth2StoragePdo and go from there.

He includes the code for this extension of the PdoAdapter (a "OAuth2Adapter" class) in the post showing the definitions of the get user, set user and check password methods the OAuth2 flow needs to match users to OAuth sessions. He also includes the code for the "OAuth2AdapterFactory" class that's used to pull the custom PDO adapter class into Apigility and, along with some configuration changes, make it available for use. Then it's just a simple matter of changing the authentication type in the Apigility UI.

tagged: apigility oauth2 authentication custom factory pdo adapter oauth tutorial

Link: http://akrabat.com/custom-oauth2-authentication-in-apiiglity/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Validating your data with Respect Validation
Jul 20, 2015 @ 10:49:26

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted a tutorial showing you how to validate your data with Respect (well, their validation library) and ensure the data you're getting is exactly what you're expecting.

Validation is an important aspect of every application’s interaction with data. Instead of reinventing the wheel every time, the community collaborated on some useful packages like Symfony, Laravel, Zend, etc. In this article, we’re going to introduce a lesser known package called Respect Validation, which provides some nice new features.

He starts by mentioning some of the other popular validation packages used widely in the PHP community including the Symfony Validator and Laravel's Illuminate package. For each of these he shows code validating an email address, each with their own slight differences. Using this same example he shows how to implement it in the Respect library, first making use of their custom "email" validator class then via custom chained rules. He also shows how to set custom error messages and provides a more "real world" example with a simple Laravel application. His application takes in user data including username, password and credit card information and uses Respect's library to validate it via a full set of rules. He ends the post with a quick look at creating your own custom rule classes and how to "cross pollinate" them with Zend or Symfony validators.

tagged: respect validation library tutorial laravel example custom errormessage

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/validating-your-data-with-respect-validation/

NetTuts.com:
Create a Custom API in Magento: Part Two
Jul 03, 2015 @ 10:54:02

NetTuts.com has posted the second part of their series showing how to create a custom API in Magento. In part one of the series they focused on creating a custom module that worked with the core APIs and system. In this new post they approach it from the other side and show how to use those APIs created in part one.

In this series, we're discussing custom APIs in Magento. In the first part, we created a full-fledged custom module to implement the custom API, in which we created the required files to plug in the custom APIs provided by our module. In this second and last part, we'll go through the back-­end section to demonstrate how to consume the APIs.

They start with a quick recap of the things created in the first part of the series and how to ensure it's set up correctly to be accessed as an API endpoint. Next they set up the user and role configurations that you'll need to access the new API through the administration panel. Finally, they show you how to use the API through a simple SoapClient request.

tagged: magento custom api series tutorial part2 usage

Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/create-a-custom-api-in-magento-part-two--cms-23821

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Building a Custom Twig Filter the TDD Way
Jun 08, 2015 @ 13:40:18

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new tutorial posted showing you how to create your own Twig template following a TDD (test-driven development) mentality.

Twig is a powerful, yet easy to master template engine. It is also my personal favorite as all my web development is based on either Symfony or Silex. Apart from its core syntax ({{ ... }} and {% ... %}), Twig has built-in support for various filters. A filter is like a “converter”. It receives certain original data (a string, a number, a date, etc) and by applying a conversion, outputs the data in a new form (as a string, a number, a date, etc).

He starts with a brief introduction to what filters in Twig are and some simple ways to use them. From there he gets into building a custom filter, starting with the tests first (hence the test-driven design). He walks you through the creation of a filter that turns times into relative strings, like "Just now" or "Within an hour". He shows how to make the extension classes and integrate it into a Symfony application.

tagged: twig filter tutorial custom timediff extension tdd testdriven development

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/building-custom-twig-filter-tdd-way/

Binary Studio Blog:
Definitive Guide On Creating Custom Providers For Laravel OAuth2 Authorization
May 26, 2015 @ 12:45:12

A new guide has been posted showing you how to create custom OAuth2 providers for your Laravel application. In this case they wanted to hook the application in via Socialite to the VK social network but needed a custom connector to make it happen.

First of all let’s say that social authorization is very popular and frankly speaking it’s really handy tool. Surfing internet we can see a lot of sites and services which offer login with Facebook, Twitter, Google and other social networks. [...] If you’re building your website in PHP using Laravel, probably you’ve noticed Socialite which provides OAuth / OAuth 2 authentication with Facebook, Twitter, Google, and GitHub. The most famous social network which provides OAuth2 authentication in Russian segment of the internet is vk. But there is a lack of such connector (provider) in Socialite library. Actually it’s not a hard problem, so let’s build new VkProvider on top of Socialite’s components.

He starts with a brief look at the typical OAuth2 authentication flow between the social network and your application. From there it gets more vk.com specific. He shows how to set up the custom application on their side, updating your configuration with the credentials and installing Socialite. He then implements a "VkProvider" defining the required methods based on the interface. He then registers it as a "SocialiteServiceProvider" and uses it in a "login" request route.

tagged: oauth2 guide custom provider laravel socialite tutorial vkcom russian

Link: http://binary-studio.com/2015/05/25/laravel-oauth2/

Fred Muya:
Configuring Custom Logging in Laravel 5
May 20, 2015 @ 08:22:36

Fred Muya has posted a guide to his site today showing you how to configure custom logging in your Laravel 5 application. He replaces the default logging methods with an injected Monolog instance.

I recently started working on a Laravel 5 project, and I’d like to share how I set up my custom file logging. I pooled the information below from several sources (acknowledged at the bottom of the article).

He walks through each step you'll need to configure the logging:

  • Overriding the bootstrap ConfigureLogging class (including the code needed)
  • Updating your composer.json to change up the PSR-4 autoloading
  • Modifying the Kernel.php file to update the constructor for the bootstrap (both HTTP and Console)

With these changes in place you can then use the normal "Log" handling Laravel provides and the magic will all happen behind the scenes. He includes two examples of this, one with a simple log string and another with something a bit more complex (and the resulting log output).

tagged: custom logging monolog laravel5 tutorial bootstrap configure

Link: https://blog.muya.co.ke/configure-custom-logging-in-laravel-5/