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Junior Grossi:
Querying and Eager Loading complex relations in Laravel
May 15, 2018 @ 10:15:05

Junior Grossi has a tutorial posted to his site for the Laravel (well, Eloquent) users out there showing how to work with querying and eager loading complex relationships to access the data from your database.

Laravel is a PHP framework that uses Eloquent, a powerful and amazing ORM that allows you to do complex SQL queries in a very easy way. But sometimes you need more, and here I’m gonna give you an interesting tip that can bring you a lot of flexibility.

He sets up the situation where, as an application grows its needs for interaction with the data evolves and becomes more complex. Laravel (Eloquent) comes equipped with some tools that can help with this. To illustrate, he outlines a basic "blog" application with Post and Comment types and their relations. While it's simple to get the comments for a post, querying them can get a little more complex. He provides some examples using whereHas/orWhereHas but points out an issue with the results (all comments are returned, not just the ones matching the queried posts).

The solution he proposes is to eager load them instead. His example code still uses the whereHas but adds the comments to a temporary variable which is then filtered via a with on the query.

tagged: laravel complex relationship query filter tutorial

Link: https://blog.jgrossi.com/2018/querying-and-eager-loading-complex-relations-in-laravel/

Amazon AWS:
PHP application logging with Amazon CloudWatch Logs and Monolog
May 07, 2018 @ 09:13:46

The Amazon AWS blog has posted a tutorial helping you get started using Amazon CloudWatch logging from PHP. CloudWatch is a logging service offered by Amazon that comes with features making it easier to track metrics, set alarms and monitor log files.

Logging and information debugging can be approached from a multitude of different angles. Whether you use an application framework or coding from scratch it’s always comforting to have familiar components and tools across different projects. In our examples today, I am going to enable Amazon CloudWatch Logs logging with a PHP application. To accomplish this, I wanted to use an existing solution that is both already popular and well used, and that is standards compliant. For these reasons, we are going to use the open source log library, PHP Monolog.

They start the tutorial with a brief overview of both Monolog and the CloudWatch logging service. From there they help you get the AWS PHP SDK and Monolog installed and an add-on that lets Monolog talk to CouldWatch. The post then provides some example code showing how to set up the PHP-to-CloudWatch connection and what the logging result looks like. They also include instructions on setting up logging filters/metrics and, as a bonus, how to use CloudWatch logging in a Laravel application.

tagged: cloudwatch logging tutorial setup configure monolog addon filter matric

Link: https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/developer/php-application-logging-with-amazon-cloudwatch-logs-and-monolog/

Junior Grossi:
QueryFilter: A Model Filtering Concept
Apr 24, 2018 @ 12:46:55

Junior Grossi has posted a tutorial that covers the idea of data filtering with Eloquent models. In this case, the filtering is based on user input from a URL with parameters matching the properties on the model.

Filtering models was, for a very long time, a hard task for me. I admit that I could not think in some easy way to do that. I tried, refactored some code, created custom classes for that, but I never thought how this could be easily implemented.

Watching a Laracast’s video from 2016 about the Laravel’s Eloquent ORM I faced of with a bunch of classes and a trait that removed a lot of trash from my controller actions. That was called by Jeffrey Way the QueryFilter.

He then gets into some of the goals behind the filtering and the expected input method (URL parameters). He then creates a simple Laravel application making use of Corcel to integrate with his current WordPress backend database. He includes code examples showing the creation of a Post model and controller and returning only the desired fields using a JSON response and a toArray method. He then moves on to the filtering, starting with a more hard-coded version of the search: adding a where statement to the query manually before the get.

To replace this with something more flexible, he implements the QueryFilter class that can be extended to match the requirements for the model type. He then implements the PostFilter class, adding methods for "status" and "title" fields. Finally he adds in a scopeFilter method that makes it simpler to call the filtering directly from the model instance.

tagged: eloquent model filter queryfilter url parameter tutorial

Link: https://blog.jgrossi.com/2018/queryfilter-a-model-filtering-concept/

Sameer Borate:
Creating custom stream filters in PHP
Apr 11, 2018 @ 09:45:43

Sameer Borate has a new post to his site showing you how to create custom stream filters for use with the streams functionality already included in the PHP language. The streams handling provides a resource instance (filesystem, network connection, etc) that can be interacted with in a more standardized way.

In this post we will see how to create a custom stream filter. Streams, first introduced in PHP 4.3, provide an abstraction layer for file access. A number of different resources besides files – like network connections, compression protocols etc. can be regarded as “streams” of data which can be serially read and written to.

He shows how to get the current list of streams available and includes an example of one in use, the "string.strip_tags" filter. From there he shows the creation of a custom filter, one that replaces any URLs detected in a string with a string of [--URL--]. He includes the code for the filter and shows how to register it using the stream_filter_register function. He also includes an example of it in use, grabbing the contents of the BBC site and having the filter automatically applied.

tagged: custom filter tutorial beginner strip url

Link: https://www.codediesel.com/php/creating-custom-stream-filters/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
How to Read Big Files with PHP (Without Killing Your Server)
Nov 21, 2017 @ 13:19:27

On the SitePoint PHP blog, there's a tutorial posted showing you how to deal with large files without "killing your server". In this case, it's not about the upload process but about the handling of large files on the server side.

It’s not often that we, as PHP developers, need to worry about memory management. The PHP engine does a stellar job of cleaning up after us, and the web server model of short-lived execution contexts means even the sloppiest code has no long-lasting effects.

There are rare times when we may need to step outside of this comfortable boundary — like when we’re trying to run Composer for a large project on the smallest VPS we can create, or when we need to read large files on an equally small server. It’s the latter problem we’ll look at in this tutorial.

They start off by describing how they plan to measure the success of the improved file handling, mostly around the memory usage required to work with the file. It then gets into some of the options available including:

  • reading files line by line
  • piping between files
  • using filters

The last option, the filters, seems to be the best one. He uses this one and customizes the handling with different configurations and custom protocols. All related code is included in the post and is avaialble on GitHub.

tagged: read big file memory consumption filter stream tutorial

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/performant-reading-big-files-php/

Zend Framework:
Convert objects to arrays and back with zend-hydrator
Jun 21, 2017 @ 11:32:01

The Zend Framework blog has posted another in their series of component spotlights, focusing in on a single component of the framework and its use. In this latest article they cover the zend-hydrator component, useful for converting objects to arrays and back.

APIs are all the rage these days, and a tremendous number of them are being written in PHP. When APIs were first gaining popularity, this seemed like a match made in heaven: query the database, pass the results to json_encode(), and voilà! API payload! In reverse, it's json_decode(), pass the data to the database, and done!

Modern day professional PHP, however, is skewing towards usage of value objects and entities, but we're still creating APIs. [...] Zend Framework's answer to that question is zend-hydrator. Hydrators can extract an associative array of data from an object, and hydrate an object from an associative array of data.

They start with the command to get the zend-hydrator package installed (and a dependency they'll need for their examples, zend-filter). A code example is included that shows how to convert a "book" object to an array using the ReflectionHydrator. Next is an example of switching it back, changing the array of data back into a book object. Next comes the integration with zend-filter, showing how to filter values out of objects/arrays you might not want in the end result by adding the filter to the hydrator. Also included are examples of modifying data (strategies), filtering on property names, delegation of the translation based on object type and a few other features included in the component that could be helpful.

tagged: zendframework component zendhydrator tutorial introduction filter translate

Link: https://framework.zend.com/blog/2017-06-21-zend-hydrator.html

Rob Allen:
Simple way to add a filter to Zend-InputFilter
Jun 21, 2017 @ 09:16:29

Rob Allen has a quick new post to his site sharing a simple way to add a filter to the Zend-InputFilter component when it's in use on your site.

Using Zend-InputFilter is remarkably easy to use. [...] How do you add your filter to it though?

He starts with an example of putting the component to use in requiring and filtering the value in "my_field" for the data provided. He then shows how to add his "simple filter that does absolutely nothing", the MyFilter, to the current set. He also shows the creation of a "filter factory" class that registers the custom filter into the chain with an alias of "MyFIlter". You can then use it just like you would any other filter and define it in your rules specification.

tagged: zendframework zendinputfilter component custom filter tutorial factory

Link: https://akrabat.com/simple-way-to-add-a-filter-to-zend-inputfilter/

Zend Framework Blog:
Validate data using zend-inputfilter
Jun 16, 2017 @ 09:22:37

Matthew Weier O'Phinney is back on the Zend Framework blog today with a spotlight on another component of the Zend Framework. This time he features zend-inputfilter, a useful component for filtering the data coming into your application from your users.

In our previous two posts, we covered zend-filter and zend-validator. With these two components, you now have the tools necessary to ensure any given user input is valid, fulfilling the first half of the "filter input, escape output" mantra.

[...] To solve [the single shot validation] problem, Zend Framework provides zend-inputfilter. An input filter aggregates one or more inputs, any one of which may also be another input filter, allowing you to validate complex, multi-set, and nested set values.

As in the other tutorials in the series, Matthew walks you through the installation of the component via Composer and briefly describes how it operates. He then includes a code example of creating a new InputFilter instance, making inputs, attaching validators to them and then ensuring everything validates in the chain with an isValid call. He then covers input specifications - configurations based on array values - to define validators on the input elements. He ends the post looking at input filters, how to manage them and defining them by specification. He also mentions a few other pieces fo functionality the component includes but he didn't cover here.

tagged: zendinputfilter component zendframework series input filter chain

Link: https://framework.zend.com/blog/2017-06-15-zend-inputfilter.html

Amazon Web Services:
PHP application logging with Amazon CloudWatch Logs and Monolog
Apr 24, 2017 @ 09:46:47

On the Amazon Web Services blog there's a new post showing you how to use the Monolog logging library and a custom AWS extension to ship your logs to Amazon CloudWatch quickly and easily.

Logging and information debugging can be approached from a multitude of different angles. Whether you use an application framework or coding from scratch it’s always comforting to have familiar components and tools across different projects. In our examples today, I am going to enable Amazon CloudWatch Logs logging with a PHP application. To accomplish this, I wanted to use an existing solution that is both already popular and well used, and that is standards compliant. For these reasons, we are going to use the open source log library, PHP Monolog (https://github.com/Seldaek/monolog).

They start by introducing the Monolog library for those not familiar with it and how it relates to the PSR-3 standard. The ultimate goal with their implementation is to allow for the logs to be shipped to CloudWatch and implement some alerting around them. The tutorial then kicks in and they show you how to use Composer to install Monolog and an add-on to interface with CloudWatch. Code is provided to set up the initial logger and how to have it to log messages to different places. They then move over to CloudWatch and define a filter for the JSON data to find successful logins to your application. They also show how to use this same functionality in a Laravel application, contained in a test route.

tagged: aws amazon logging cloudwatch monolog tutorial install usage filter

Link: https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/developer/php-application-logging-with-amazon-cloudwatch-logs-and-monolog/

Fabian Schmengler:
Collection Pipelines in PHP
Dec 28, 2016 @ 12:24:24

In a new post to his site Fabian Schmengler has written up an introduction to collection pipelines and how it could be applied to a Magento-based environment.

If you read the book “Refactoring to Collections” or saw screencasts and talks by Adam Wathan about collection pipelines, but do not work with Laravel, you might have asked yourself how to apply these techniques to other PHP applications, for example Magento.

[...] This is very similar to Unix pipes, where the individual commands are the operations, and the lines passed through input and output stream, the collection.

He starts by illustrating the idea in Bash and Ruby, showing the three main types of collection operations: map, filter and reduce. He talks about the advantages these methods have over traditional looping and what kind of value they can provide in both Laravel and plain old PHP. He illustrates the PHP-only versions using the array_filter, array_map and array_reduce functions and some thoughts on when it's good to use them over normal looping (and when it's not). He then gets into the Magento-specific handling and making use of a package to handle collections: Knapsack. He shows how to use the library to work with collections and, as another option, a "home-grown" version that lives in a single class. The post wraps up with the Magento integration of this functionality, a brief mention of functional programming and "the hard part" of issues with debugging.

tagged: collection pipeline package knapsack magento integration tutorial introduction map reduce filter

Link: https://www.schmengler-se.de/en/2016/12/collection-pipelines-in-magento/