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Derick Rethans:
Questions from the Field Should I Escape My Input, And If So, How?
January 27, 2015 @ 09:22:04

In his latest post Derick Rethans shares his answer to a question he was asked at a recent PHP conference regarding the escaping of input before use in a MongoDB query.

At last weekend's PHP Benelux I gave a tutorial titled "From SQL to NoSQL". Large parts of the tutorial covered using MongoDB-how to use it from PHP, schema design, etc. I ran a little short of time, and since then I've been getting some questions. One of them being: "Should I escape my input, and if so, how?". Instead of trying to cram my answer in 140 characters on Twitter, I thought it'd be wise to reply with this blog post. The short answer is: yes, you do need to escape.

He uses the rest of the post to get into the longer answer, a bit more detail about why you should escape and what kinds of things can be done. He points out that, because of how MongoDB queries are created, SQL injection is much more difficult. He does remind you that superglobals can also be used to send arrays too which could lead to unexpected data input. He gives an example of how this would work and why it would be a problem.

So although MongoDB's query language does not require you to build strings, and hence "escape" input, it is required that you either make sure that the data is of the correct data type.
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Link: http://derickrethans.nl/escape-input.html

Lorna Mitchell:
XHGui on VM, Storage on Host
January 05, 2015 @ 12:09:08

Lorna Mitchell has a new post today showing you how you can use XHGui in a virtual machine, sorting the resulting performance data on the VM rather than your local machine.

I'm doing some performance tuning on a project at the moment and my favourite tool is still XHGui - but it's designed to run on the same machine as its victim and since this is a vagrant VM, the chances of me destroying the machine and therefore the data are pretty high! Instead, I set it up to store the data onto the host and I thought I'd share how I did that. All these instructions for Ubuntu on both host and guest, and I've tried not to be specific about the vagrant elements in order to focus on how the pieces fit together rather than what you should type.

She walks you through all the steps you'll need to get the software up and running as well as configuring the actual guest VM to direct the data to the right place. She sets up the data source to push the results into (a MongoDB) and configures the PHP installation with an "auto prepend" of the XHGui header file. Finally, she includes the commands you'll need to view the data on the VM itself, running the built-in PHP web server as an ad-hoc instance on the VM itself.

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Link: http://www.lornajane.net/posts/2015/xhgui-on-vm-storage-on-host

Derick Rethans:
Parallelizing document retrieval
December 09, 2014 @ 11:59:20

In his latest post Derick Rethans shows how to parallelize document retrieval from a MongoDB database via PHP. This makes it possible to speed up the read operation caused by reading each item one at a time.

MongoDB 2.6 has a new feature that allows you to read all the documents from one collection with multiple cursors in parallel. This is done through a database command called parallelCollectionScan. The idea behind it is that it is faster then reading all the documents in a collection sequentially.

He includes an example snippet that enables the "parallelCollectionScan" handling for a "cities" collection and the resulting output. He shows how to manually create MongoCommandCursors (or let the driver do it for you) and use PHP's own MultipleIterator to process all of the cursors at essentially the same time.

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Link: http://derickrethans.nl/parallelcollectionscan.html

DZone.com:
MongoDB Driver Tips & Tricks PHP
June 04, 2014 @ 10:10:49

On DZone.com there's a new post from Chris Chang that's the third part of the series looking at using various language drivers for working with MongoDB. In this latest article he focuses in on the PHP driver, giving a brief introduction and a few handy tips.

This blog post is the third of a series where we are covering each of the major MongoDB drivers in depth. The driver we'll be covering here is the PHP driver, developed and maintained by the MongoDB, Inc. team (primarily @derickr, @bjori and @jmikola).

He includes a link to some basic examples and shares a "production-ready connect string" with some MongoLab recommended settings. The tips include topics ranging from working with index builds, the lowering of is_master_interval and configuring the connectionTimeoutMS setting for optimum connection handling.

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Link: http://java.dzone.com/articles/mongodb-driver-tips-tricks-php

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Building a Simple Blog App with MongoDB and PHP
March 14, 2014 @ 09:19:36

On PHPMaster.com there's a recent tutorial posted showing you the creation of a simple blog application with MongoDB + PHP. It's a basic overview, so it's mostly about creates and reads, but it does help get things working.

If you want to create a blog using MongoDB and PHP, this article will teach you. [...] The reason I chose to build a blog application is because it is a basic CRUD application and it is very suitable for easing into PHP and MongoDB web development. We will build a plain user interface using Bootstrap with simple textboxes and buttons. A MongoDB database will store all the content.

He starts off by introducing MongoDB and some of the basic concepts around databases, collections and documents as they relate to it. He then moves into the installation process, getting and configuring a simple MongoDB instance running on localhost. He helps you get the MongoDB PECL driver installed for PHP and includes a bit of code to test the connection. Finally, he gets into the blog example itself and includes the full code to get it up and running.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/building-simple-blog-app-mongodb-php/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Social Network Style Posting with PHP, MongoDB and jQuery - part 2
November 19, 2013 @ 13:55:17

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted the second part of their series about the creation of a simple comment posting social site based on PHP, MongoDB and jQuery. In this second part they build on the structure from part one and add in posting and "liking".

In the previous part of the series, we explained the database architecture, post stream design and application flow required for developing our post mechanism wherein the user will be able to post a status, like/unlike other people's statuses and comment on them. This part of the series will drive you through the coding required to implement these functionalities. We will use the application flow and database structure as discussed in the last article. Don't forget to download the code from the github repo if you'd like to follow along.

First he shows you how to get new posts added to the database, POSTed to the backend PHP script. He also shows how to insert the contents back into the page and pull out the latest posts. Next up is the like/unlike-ing of the posts, handled by a simple submission to another backend script.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/social-network-style-posting-php-mongodb-jquery-part-2/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Social Network Style Posting with PHP, MongoDB and jQuery - part 1
November 15, 2013 @ 09:09:43

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new tutorial posted today kicking off a series about creating a "social network style posting" application that combines PHP, MongoDB and jQuery that feels similar to a nested commenting system you'd see on most social sites.

Post mechanisms similar to Facebook are nowadays very common within any application. The concept of Post-Like-Comment is familiar to everyone who ever used a social network. In this article, we will learn how to create a similar working model wherein the user will be able to post his status, like posts and comment on them. What's more interesting is that after learning things from this article, going forward you will be able to implement a lot of other features on your own.

In this first part of the series they start you off with the base code and introduce you to how the data is stored. They also walk you through how the "stream" part of the code works and the tracking of the current user. From there, there's a brief look at how to pull out the comments and display them to the page.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/social-network-style-posting-php-mongodb-jquery-part-1/

OpenShift Blog:
Open Source Mapping with PHP and MongoDB
November 06, 2013 @ 13:47:38

On the OpenShift blog Ryan Jarvinen has a new tutorial showing you how to use MongoDB and Silex to create a basic mapping service. It takes advantage of the MongoDB spatial data and query functionality to help locate and map items from the dataset.

Whether your goals are civic-minded or otherwise, PHP can help you craft solutions that are every bit as simple and elegant as what you might expect to see from modern Python, Ruby, or JavaScript frameworks. This particular example is intended to serve as a reusable template for folks who are interested in producing their own mapping applications - substituting in their own collection of map points or other spatial data.

He starts with a look at the datastore - the MongoDB - and the kind of data it will contain. He's shared the dataset (and complete example code too) over on Github and includes the command to import it. He then starts in on the PHP side of things, showing you how to get Silex installed and add in some basic routes and CSS. He then uses the Leaflet.js library to import the data and drop it into an Openstreetmap-based map. The full code and data can be found in this repository over on Github.

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Link: https://www.openshift.com/blogs/open-source-mapping-with-php-and-mongodb

Hannes Magnusson:
Query logging and profiling in MongoDB
September 18, 2013 @ 10:25:49

in a previous post Hannes Magnusson introduced the new stream handling notification feature in the MongoDB PHP extension. In his most recent post he elaborates on a subject mentioned in the previous post - query logging and profiling.

In my previous blog post I mentioned that the 1.5.0 release of the MongoDB driver for PHP has improved notification support using the PHP Notification API, and showed off a fairly useless (but fun) progress bar. Now its time for a little bit more practical examples using this system: Query logging and profiling.

He talks about some of the features in his pull request, including the new constants added to help make working with the logging on streams easier. He includes some sample code that handles the logging via an "update" callback function, parsing the log message type and save the related data to a class variable. An instance of this class is then assigned to the "notification" stream and passed in as an additional option when creating the MongoClient connection. He includes an example of querying a basic collection and how to extract the request information from the logging object instance.

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Link: http://bjori.blogspot.com/2013/09/query-logging-and-profiling-in-mongodb.html

Hannes Magnusson:
PHP Stream Notifications <3 MongoDB
September 17, 2013 @ 09:02:54

In this latest post to his site, Hannes Magnusson looks briefly at an interesting use for PHP's streams functionality - reading data from a MongoDB connection as a streaming resource.

PHP Streams have several pretty nifty features that most people don't really know about; Filters, Wrappers, Context, and Notifications. Documenting these is a bit difficult, and getting the user to discover these features is even more problematic, as these things usually live outside of the normal path (function reference). Maybe I'll blog about these things in the future, but for now I want to talk about the Stream (context) Notifications - or more specifically; Stream Notifications in the MongoDB extension for PHP.

He talks some about what stream notifications are on a basic level and some general use cases for them. From there he moves into the MongoDB world and some changes in the mongodb 1.4 extension over to using streams. He also talks about some of the things coming in the 1.5 version including progress reporting for read/write actions.

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Link: http://bjori.blogspot.com/2013/09/php-stream-notifications-mongodb.html


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