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Remi Collet:
Microsoft SQL Server from PHP
Sep 23, 2016 @ 11:57:34

In this recent post to his site Remi Collet shows you how to set up your PHP installation to allow it to work with a Microsoft SQL Server as it's data store.

Here is a small comparison of the various solutions to use a [Microsoft SQL Server](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_SQL_Server) database from PHP, on Linux. All the tests have be run on Fedora 23 but should work on RHEL or CentOS version 7.

Several different extensions were tested as a part of making the connection to the SQL server:

  • Using PDO, ODBC and FreeTDS
  • Using PDO, mssql and FreeTDS
  • Using PDO, ODBC and Microsoft® ODBC Driver
  • Using the Microsoft® Driver
  • Using PDO and the Microsoft® Driver

Each item comes with a list of the requirements involved (other modules/extensions), examples of the configuration changes you'll need to make and some sample code to create the connection.

tagged: tutorial microsoft sql sqlserver database connection example testing

Link: http://blog.remirepo.net/post/2016/09/20/Microsoft-SQL-Server-from-PHP

Freek Van der Herten:
Simplifying presenters in Laravel
Sep 20, 2016 @ 09:32:17

Freek Van der Herten has a quick post to his site with a tip about simplifying presenters in your Laravel based application. The "presenters" here are in relation to this package and how it helps with the output of the application.

In the Laravel template that we use to kickstart all our client projects at Spatie, I recently changed the way we handle presenters. Instead of using Jeffrey Way’s popular presenter package we now use simple traits. In this post I want to give some background on that change.

He gives a quick "crash course" on presenters for those not familiar with the concept and how it helps to keep view logic out of places like models and controllers. He briefly describes a presenter class that would return the "first name + last name" combination and what the code could look like. Then it's just a matter of using that trait (the class mentioned just before this) and a new magic property is defined to use in the view.

tagged: laravel presenter view logic property example user name

Link: https://murze.be/2016/09/simplifying-presenters-laravel/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
RESTful Remote Object Proxies with ProxyManager
Sep 13, 2016 @ 11:03:15

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted a tutorial introducing the use of ProxyManager in RESTful APIs to help interface your API endpoints directly with backend objects for the typical CRUD (create, read, update, delete) handling a REST API provides. ProxyManager is a tool created by Marco Pivetta to creating various kinds of proxies through a set of factory classes.

The proxy pattern is another cool design pattern in software development. A proxy is a class working as an interface to another class or web service. For the sake of simplicity, we’ll refer to proxied classes as subjects throughout the rest of the article. A proxy usually implements the same interface as the subject, so it looks like we’re calling the methods directly on the subject.

They start with a brief overview of proxies and the proxy design pattern for those not familiar then "cut to the chase" and show how to hook in ProxyManager via a custom adapter for the REST endpoints. They help you get all dependencies needed installed (via Composer) and the creation of a simple API using Silex and it's provider handling. They then create the application, set up the front controller and configure the relation between endpoint and proxy. Code is then included to create the required factories, interfaces and mappings. The tutorial wraps up with an example of using the API you've just created.

tagged: rest api tutorial proxymanager example factory classes

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/restful-remote-object-proxies-with-proxymanager/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Static analysis with PHPSA: PHP Smart Analyzer
Sep 08, 2016 @ 09:25:33

On the SitePoint PHP blog there's a post from Claudio Ribeiro introducing you to a new static analysis tool to help improve the quality of your code - PHP Static Analyzer, or "PHPSA" for short.

One requirement that never changes whether you are working on your projects alone or in a team, on small projects or big, is Code Quality. The bigger the project and the team, the harder it gets to maintain it.

A good way of slowing this increase in difficulty down is to use static analysis tools. Static analysis is the process of analyzing software without actually executing the program – a sort of automatic code review. Static analysis tools will detect common errors, enforce coding standards, and even clean up code blocks. The days of php -l filename are not over, but we now have a number of great tools that go the extra mile in helping us create and maintain high quality code.

They start with an example of using the tried and true "php -l" to lint an example PHP file but note that the yes/no answer it provides doesn't help give much feedback on the quality of the code, just its syntax. Enter PHPSA, a Composer-installable tool that does much more than lint checking. It also provides information about things like missing docblocks, function alias use and undefined property usage. they show an example of it in use on the command line, the results it provides and the changes made to the example class to fix the issues it found.

tagged: phpsa smart analyzer static analysis tool tutorial example

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/static-analysis-with-phpsa-php-smart-analyzer/

QaFoo Blog:
Introduction To Page Objects
Sep 06, 2016 @ 11:03:17

The QaFoo blog has a post to their blog introducing page objects and how they're useful in functional testing to help provide a "decoupling" from the actual frontend.

A while ago we wrote about writing acceptance tests (end-to-end tests) with Mink and PHPUnit. While this is a great set of tools for various applications such tests tend be susceptible to changes in the frontend. And the way they break is often hard to debug, too. Today I will introduce you to Page Objects which can solve some of these problems.

The basic idea behind a Page Object is that you get an object oriented representation of your website. The Page Objects maps the HTML (or JSON) to an object oriented structure you can interact with and assert on. This is more initial work then than writing tests with PHPUnit and Mink directly, but it can be worth the effort.

They use the Mnk testing tool to simulate a browser and some previously shared functionality to lay the foundation. From there they write up a first test using a "Login" page object and processing the username/password handling of the page. They show how to implement a custom page object with a bit of additional logic and put it to use in processing the request. They also include an update when, for example, a site is switched from Twig templates to a React.js component and how the Page object would need to be refactored for the update.

tagged: page object functional test mink behat example tutorial

Link: https://qafoo.com/blog/089_introduction_to_page_objects.html

Laravel News:
Building a Search Engine Friendly Sitemap XML with Laravel
Sep 06, 2016 @ 10:51:05

On the Laravel News site today there's a post showing you how to create a basic sitemap for your Laravel-based application. This method uses straight up Laravel functionality (not the method previously mentioned in another post).

A few years ago search engines recommended submitted sitemaps to help with indexing your website and now the importance of this is debatable.

I’m of the mindset creating and submitting can’t hurt, so I spent a little time putting one together and wanted to share how easy this is in Laravel. [...] A sitemap is a file where you can list the web pages of your site to tell Google and other search engines about the organization of your site content. Search engine web crawlers like Googlebot read this file to more intelligently crawl your site. [...] On the official Sitemaps website it outlines all the information you will need for building your own sitemap.

He outlines some reasons why your site might need a sitemap before getting into examples and the code to create them. He starts with the controller and moves into making the index (with matching XML view) and the endpoints for the URLs referenced in the main sitemap. Finally a few routes are added for each endpoint and links to extending the contents and structure are included.

tagged: laravelnews laravel tutorial sitemap example xml

Link: https://laravel-news.com/2016/09/laravel-sitemap/

Freek Van der Herten:
Automatically generate a sitemap in Laravel
Sep 01, 2016 @ 10:51:31

Freek Van der Herten has a post to his site sharing a package and showing how to use it to generate a sitemap for your Laravel application automatically.

Today my company released a package called laravel-sitemap. There are already a lot of excellent sitemap packages out there. They all have in common that you have to manually add links that must appear in the sitemap. With our new package that isn’t required. It can automatically build up a sitemap by crawling a site. In this post I’d like to explain why we built it and how it works.

He starts off talking about why a sitemap might even be needed, mostly related to other automatic systems (like search engine spiders) that would use to reach even the far parts of your application. He then gets into the code, showing two examples of generating the XML document: one that's more manual and another using the "generator" to create based off of a base URL. He ends the post talking about some limitations of the package and includes a few links for further reading on the subject of sitemaps.

tagged: sitemap laravel application package example tutorial generate

Link: https://murze.be/2016/08/automatically-generate-a-sitemap-in-laravel/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Local Composer for Everyone! A Conference-Friendly Satis Setup
Aug 30, 2016 @ 11:13:30

On the SitePoint PHP blog editor Bruno Skvorc has posted a tutorial showing you how to set up the Packagist alternative, Satis, in a local network configuration instead of requiring users to still access the external web.

While preparing my technical materials for WebSummerCamp, I realized my workshop would rely on a fairly stable internet connection, as we’d have a lot of ground to cover and a lot of packages to install. Rather than rely on the gods of live demos, or pre-installing everything and ruining the experience, I picked another route.

In this post, I’ll show you how to set up a local Satis instance and have it host the packages over the network it’s currently on, so that everyone who’s also connected to it can put the address into composer.json as a custom repository source, and retrieve all packages from your machine locally – no internet connection required!

He then shows you how to set up the system on a Homestead Improved VM locally, cloning Satis inside of it. He includes an example of the configuration of his required packages and how to build the local repository using this setup. Then, using the built-in PHP web server, he shows the result of the setup and how to access it from other machines. Finally, a few updates are required to the user's composer.json to use the local versions instead of the normal remote connection for the package downloads.

tagged: composer satis local network tutorial setup configuration example

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/local-composer-for-everyone-a-conference-friendly-satis-setup/

Alex Bowers:
Writing a Hello World PHP 7 Extension
Aug 25, 2016 @ 12:25:47

In a recent post to his site Alex Bowers shows you the steps involved in creating a "Hello World" PHP 7 extension with some basic output functionality - basically just echoing out a message.

He jumps right into the code and shows you how to:

  • set up the directory and initial files for the extension
  • write the test case first (a simple PHP file checking if it's loaded and can be used)
  • updating the config.m4 to allow for enabling the extension
  • the code for src/hello.h to define the function

The final piece is the code in the src/hello.c - the C code to define some structure for the PHP interpreter to understand and be able to execute the PHP_FUNCTION(hello_world). Finally he shows how to make the extension to install it, add it to your php.ini file as a shared module and re-run the test.

tagged: helloworld extension tutorial example simple php7

Link: https://zando.io/writing-a-hello-world-php-7-extension/

Master Zend Framework:
How To Simplify Zend Expressive Configuration with ConfigProviders
Aug 15, 2016 @ 12:42:19

The Master Zend Framework site has a new tutorial posted helping you simplify the configuration on your Zend Expressive application with the help of ConfigProviders, a handy feature that lets you split up the configuration into logical "chunks" as PHP classes.

Given Zend Framework’s design (and accompanying flexible nature), this [configuration complexity] can easily be the case if we’re not careful. [...] Specifically, we’ll likely end up with a config/autoload directory polluted with a plethora of configuration, including for dependencies, routing, and middleware.

[...] As it turns out, this was something which was already identified by other developers, including the Zend Framework contributors. [...] In there, he mentioned ConfigProvider classes as a simple way of enabling ZendForm ViewHelpers, which aren’t enabled by default in Zend Expressive. As I looked at the composition of the file, I realized that this was the answer I needed to solve the configuration issue I created for myself.

A screencast is included in the post showing off the solution but the code an explanation are below that as well for those more interested in reading than watching a video. He walks you through the creation of the configuration provider including setting up the dependency configuration, updating the route handling and, finally, actually using the provider in your global configuration.

tagged: zendexpressive configuration provider configprovider tutorial screencast example

Link: http://www.masterzendframework.com/configproviders-classes/