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SitePoint PHP Blog:
8 Heroku Add-ons for Production Ready PHP Apps
July 14, 2014 @ 12:56:50

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new post from editor Bruno Skvorc with a list of eight Heroku add-ons for PHP applications. These add-ons (they call them "dynos") he lists help with things like logging, monitoring, working with CDNs and adding deploy hooks.

Heroku uses "dynos" as units of computing power which spin up your slugs. Dynos are lightweight, isolated containers for your apps which can execute any process type and can run and scale independently. There are two types of dyno - a web dyno, which handles web requests letting you serve more users as you increase your web dyno power, and worker dynos, which handle everything else like running your code and processing background tasks.

Bruno walks you through getting a sample Laravel-based application up and running on Heroku's PHP functionality and provides a list of add-ons from the Marketplace to get you started. His list includes:

These add-ons and more all come with descriptions, configuration settings/commands to enable them and some with screenshots showing the results.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/8-heroku-addons-production-ready-apps/

Community News:
[php]architect to Produce Orange elePHPants
January 17, 2014 @ 10:28:22

If you've been around the PHP community for any length of time, there's a pretty good chance you've seen the language's "mascot" floating around - the elePHPant. This mascot has even been made into a stuffed toy in various colors - blue, red, yellow and now thanks to [php]architect, orange.

Ready to add, or start, your collection of elePHPants? We started a KickStarter campaign to produce a run of Orange elephants. [...] There's much more information over at our Kickstarter project. The campaign is set to a short timeframe and ends on February 3rd as we need to get our production order placed as soon as possible. So get over there and claim your orange elePHPant before time runs out!

The Kickstarter campaign, originally fully funded at $1,000 USD has now reached an amazing $16,000+ USD. There are still plenty of spots left open if you want to pledge and get in on this purchase. Options range from a simple $1 USD for support all the way out to a $250 USD option that gets you a "zoo" (ten small elePHPants and one large elePHPant).

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orange elephpant toy stuffed kickstarter production

Link: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/eliw/php-architect-orange-elephpant

Jordi Boggiano:
Composer Installing require-dev by default
July 16, 2013 @ 13:34:56

In this latest post to his site Jordi Boggiano talks about the change in Composer a few months back that made it install development resources by default. This was recently argued against by Jeremy Kendall so Jordi wanted to clear the air a bit on the subject.

A couple months ago when releasing alpha7 I took care to note in the changelog that the install command would also start installing dev requirements by default in the next release. I did that change some weeks ago and now people started to notice. The rationale behind the change is fairly simple, it's about consistency and ease of use. Consistency between the various commands which now all default to have require-dev enabled. Ease of use because in 99% of the cases, when you type a composer command by hand you should be doing so on a dev machine where it makes sense to have dev requirements enabled.

He points out that, when deploying to production, it's usually an automated process and adding the "no-dev" flag to the script is pretty simple. He notes that "install" is not only meant for production package management and, while it's used less in development it's not targeted towards one particular environment.

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requiredev composer install production development environment

Link: http://seld.be/notes/composer-installing-require-dev-by-default

Rob Allen:
Caching your ZF2 merged configuration
June 19, 2013 @ 09:43:28

Rob Allen has a a new post to his site today showing how you can cache the merged settings from all of your configuration files combined in a Zend Framework v2 application.

Zend Framework 2's ModuleManager has the ability to cache the merged configuration information for your application. This is very useful as it allows you to separate out your configuration within the config/autoload directory into logical files without worrying about the performance implications of lots of files.

There's some ZF2 configuration options that tell it to cache this data once it's loaded the first time, but he notes one issue with this - caching in development. It can be annoying when you make a change and nothing happens because it's cached. To prevent this he shows you how to only cache if the application is marked as in production (based on the "APPLICATION_ENV"). Separate main configuration files are made for each environment, one that caches and one (for dev) that doesn't.

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cache merged configuration zendframework2 tutorial production development

Link: http://akrabat.com/zend-framework-2/caching-your-zf2-merged-configuration

Kevin Schroeder:
Why you should not use .htaccess (AllowOverride All) in production
February 25, 2013 @ 10:31:09

Kevin Schroeder has posted the results of some research he did around using the "AllowOverride" setting in Apache. He found some interesting differences when it was set to "all".

Commonly known as .htaccess, AllowOverride is a neat little feature that allows you to tweak the server's behavior without modifying the configuration file or restarting the server. [...] Beyond the obvious security problems of allowing configuration modifications in a public document root there is also a performance impact. What happens with AllowOverride is that Apache will do an open() call on each parent directory from the requested file onward.

He includes the output from a strace call in the post - first showing the function calls with it set to "none" then the same request with the setting on "all". More "open" calls are being made in the second run, increasing the execution time by a decent amount.

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apache allowoverride all htaccess production setting performance


Harrie Verveer's Blog:
Benchmarking Xdebug
February 01, 2011 @ 08:08:07

Harrie Verveer has a new post to his blog today looking at some benchmarking numbers he's run on the performance difference Xdebug (the popular PHP debugger) would have on a production system.

Normally this tool would be used on your development environment, or in rare occasions on some remote environment that is similar to the production environment. [...] Since you are adding extra overhead it is very likely things will run slower. But how significant is this difference. Would it be something worth considering?

To lay the ground work, he describes the hardware he's running the tests on and the software he used - PHP 5.2.6 (Suhosin) on Debian with Xdebug 2.1.0 - and the script he used to run the tests. Several tests were run multiple times (3) showing quite a difference in performance when using the debugger versus not. He also suggests a more practical testing scenario with WordPress and ApacheBench. The numbers still support the other results.

In a side note, the Twitter account for Xdebug has mentioned some updates that have been made to the version currently on their SVN server that can help with some of these performance issues.

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xdebug performance benchmark production testing


Kevin Shroeder's Blog:
Zend_Log with multiple writers
September 14, 2010 @ 10:39:34

Kevin Schroeder has a recent post to his blog about a handy trick Zend Framework developers can use to have Zend_Log write out to multiple sources at once pretty easily.

If you were not aware, Zend_Log provides facilities for writing to multiple logs through the same log instance. Additionally, you can do this via configuration options when using a Zend_Application resource plugin. Together those make for very powerful logging mechanisms. "How?" you ask? It's really easy.

The trick lies in the application.ini file configuration. He includes an example of how you can set this up showing how to make two different environments log differently - development writes to log/firebug and production just writes to the log. He includes some sample code for a basic controller showing you how to use it.

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zendlog zendframework tutorial multiple write development production


Kyle Brandt's Blog:
Should Developers have Access to Production?
August 06, 2010 @ 13:56:39

In an interesting post to his blog Kyle Brandt asks a question universally debated by system administrators everywhere - should developers have access to production?

A question that comes up again and again in web development companies is: 'Should the developers have access to the production environment, and if they do, to what extent?' My view on this is that as a whole they should have limited access to production. A little disclaimer before I attempt to justify this view is that this standpoint is in no way based on the perceived quality or attitude of the developers '" so please don't take it this way.

He talks about common excuses from developers like "we've had access before" and "we need access to troubleshoot" as well as some of the process restricting the access could create. He touches on a few other issues including developer concerns vs those of the sysadmin, change control issues and the responsibilities of the sysadmin administrators if they want to allow the developers to poke around their servers.

Be sure to check out some of the other great suggestions in the comments too!

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developer access production sysadmin system administrator opinion


Godaddyhostingreview Blog:
How to move Magento from Production to Live Server
July 05, 2010 @ 10:47:26

Setting up and using the Magento e-commerce application can be a difficult process in itself, but when you start moving things around from server to server, things can get even more complex. In this new post from the Godaddyhostingreview blog they talk about moving a Magento instance from your local install out to a live site.

This is the method I used to move my local copy of magento store from WAMP on windows to a shared hosting account. In my case am using magento1.3.x.

The instructions are detailed right down to which configuration values to change, how to update your database for the move, what will need to be removed before you and push everything over. There's even a bit of instruction on what to change if your database structure is slightly different.

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magento move tutorial production live server


php|architect Blog:
Professional Programming DTAP - Part 1 What is DTAP?
July 06, 2009 @ 20:23:54

Cal Evans has posted the first part of his look at DTAP - development, testing, acceptance and production - and how it applies to PHP development.

There are four primary systems that need to be set up and isolated. And they are described by the acronym DTAP-Development, Testing, Acceptance, and Production. One thing that has changed recently, though, is that these systems no longer have to mean separate hardware.

He gives an overview of each, setting out definitions to be used for the rest of the series with the next part discussing some of the "smaller moving pieces" of the process.

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