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AWS PHP Development:
Testing Webhooks Locally for Amazon SNS
April 08, 2014 @ 11:33:07

In a previous post the AWS for PHP blog showed how to set up webhooks for handling the callbacks from their SNS messaging service. In this next part of the series they continue the process, showing how you can test these hooks locally without needing to actually send the messages. This eliminates the need to deploy to a public-facing server just to test the hooks every time you need an update.

In a recent post, I talked about Receiving Amazon SNS Messages in PHP. I showed you how to use the SNS Message and MessageValidator classes in the AWS SDK for PHP to handle incoming SNS messages. The PHP code for the webhook is easy to write, but can be difficult to test properly, since it must be deployed to a server in order to be accessible to Amazon SNS. I'll show you how you can actually test your code locally with the help of a few simple tools.

Using PHP's own built-in webserver and a tool called ngrok to tunnel from the public internet to a local server. He includes the commands to set up the PHP script directory, the code to intercept the POSTed data from the request, validate it and send the subscription confirmation request. He helps you create an SNS "topic" through the management console and walks you through a sample test request while tailing the logs.

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aws amazon sns webhook testing local server ngrok tutorial

Link: http://blogs.aws.amazon.com/php/post/Tx2CO24DVG9CAK0/Testing-Webhooks-Locally-for-Amazon-SNS

PHPBuilder.com:
Processing JSON in PHP
April 04, 2014 @ 10:40:39

PHPBuilder.com has posted a new tutorial today showing you how to work with JSON in PHP including serialization and database interaction.

This article explains how to use the JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) extension in PHP, going step by step through a series of essential operations. JSON is an object string notation, it is defined as a subset of JavaScript's syntax and its general-purpose is to interchange data format. As you probably know, JSON was first made to be used with JavaScript for accessing remote data, but now it is used by many other languages because JSON data is platform independent data format. JSON can be used natively in JavaScript, but you can also use it in a server-client application logic.

They start with an introduction to the JSON structure and how to both create and encode data using PHP's own json_encode and json_decode. The examples start out using arrays for the data but then move into something slightly more complex - objects. The article talks about JsonSerializable and show how to automatically hook the data into a table and store the content based on the column name/property name match.

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Link: http://www.phpbuilder.com/articles/application-architecture/object-oriented/processing-json-in-php.html

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Composer Cheatsheet
April 01, 2014 @ 11:22:35

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new post from Matthew Setter today sharing a Composer cheatsheet he recently discovered with an example of the common commands and "composer.json" file structure.

Unless you've been living under a rock, today's PHP isn't your grandmother's PHP; it's an entirely different, much more elegant and mature language with countless improvements and additions. One of the key additions is Composer, the de facto standard for managing PHP project dependencies which, by default, gives you access to hundreds of ready-made libraries, via Packagist.org.

He goes through the parts of the guide, introducing some of the commands and covering the details of the full "composer.json" JSON structure. There's also a video introduction if you'd like the more visual version.

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composer cheatsheet introduction commands json structure

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/composer-cheatsheet

HHVM Blog:
Tracking Parity
March 04, 2014 @ 10:43:13

On the HHVM blog today there's a new post shows how far along they are with parity with the PHP language based on the tests from a sampling of several large PHP-based projects.

HHVM has a large suite of unit tests that must pass in several build configurations before a commit reaches master. Unfortunately, this test suite passing doesn't tell you if HHVM can be used for anything useful - so we periodically run the test suites for popular, open source frameworks. [...] The frameworks test page is now public, as is the JSON data backing it (which you're welcome to use).

They look briefly at what exactly is tested (latest stable version, with exceptions) and how it all works. The tests are run once an hour and are based on a completely clean build of HHVM in "csv" mode. The results of the tests are automatically pushed into the MySQL+Memcached system reporting system, accessible via the JSON API.

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Link: http://www.hhvm.com/blog/3611/tracking-parity

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Piping Emails to a Laravel Application
February 17, 2014 @ 09:13:48

On the SitePoint PHP blog there's a new tutorial posted about piping emails to Laravel (well, a Laravel-based application). He shows how to have your application take data in from the current input, parse it and insert the data into a database.

In project management or support management tools, you will see this a lot: you can reply to an email message and it is automatically visible in a web application. Somehow, these tools were able to get those email messages right into their system. In this article, we are going to have a look at how we can pipe emails to our Laravel 4 application.

He walks you through the creation of an Artisan command, "email.parse", and using the PHP MIME Mail Parser library to extract data. He gets the to, from, title and message contents from the email and shows how to work with attachments too. Finally, he shows how to set up the mail server to pipe the incoming email though the PHP script for parsing.

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email parse message laravel tutorial mail server

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/piping-emails-laravel-application/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
The Pros and Cons of Zend Certification
February 10, 2014 @ 11:35:49

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new post that weighs the pros and cons of getting the Zend PHP Certification. The Zend Certified PHP Engineer is described as "a measure of distinction that employers use to evaluate prospective employees".

As a PHP developer, you may have been asking yourself how to improve your skills, gain reputation or become more professional in your work. One of the ways of doing so is to get through a certification programme. The only one that covers PHP itself (not a particular framework or software solution) is being delivered by the Zend company. In the remainder of the article I will focus on this particular certificate and describe its advantages and disadvantages. At the end I will also mention some other certification programs that may be valuable to a PHP developer.

He starts with a bit of general information about the certification including some of the categories it covers. He then gets into the pros and cons, listing two items for each. He suggests that it's a good way to measure your knowledge but there is a question of how much it really proves to get a passing score.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/pros-cons-zend-certification/

Evert Pot:
jCard is now a thing
January 21, 2014 @ 11:04:18

In his most recent post Evert Pot talks about jCard, a JSON-based format that was recently approved to serve up VCard personal information data in an easier-to-parse format.

I'm a big fan of this format. vCards have been around since 1995, and even though we've had a pretty significant update in 2011 in the form of vCard 4.0, the format is still complicated to parse, has a number of problems that go all the way back to the early days. [...] The biggest problem with vCards, is that upon a first glance, the format seems extremely easy to parse and generate with just a couple of string manipulation functions. When you dig deeper into the specifications though, you'll notice that it's actually really complex and hosts a ton of edge cases.

He includes an example of how to generate the jCard format using the Sabre/Object and the resulting output, both in the traditional vCard format and the new jCard structure.

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vcard jcard json format sabre object parse output

Link: http://evertpot.com/jcard-completed

PHPClasses.org:
Lately in PHP Podcast #43 - "Is Facebook HHVM going to Replace Zend Engine in PHP6"
January 20, 2014 @ 11:36:41

On the PHPClasses.org site today they've published the latest episode in their "Lately in PHP" podcast series, Episode #43 - "Is Facebook HHVM going to Replace Zend Engine in PHP 6".

The Facebook HipHop Virtual Machine, HHVM, has been evolving a lot, so PHP developers are considering it as a possible replacement for Zend Engine in PHP 6. This was one of the main topics discussed by Manuel Lemos and César Rodas in the episode 43 of the Lately in PHP podcast. They also discussed other topics like FastCGI support in HHVM, having PHP function naming consistency plans for PHP 6, TLS peer verification for secure connections, and using Composer to install JavaScript, CSS and images for PHP projects.

You can listen to this latest episode either through the in-page player, by downloading the mp3 or watching the live video recording from the Google Hangout.

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hhvm zend engine php6 podcast latelyinphp episode

Link: http://www.phpclasses.org/blog/post/225-Is-Facebook-HHVM-going-to-Replace-Zend-Engine-in-PHP-6--Lately-in-PHP-podcast-episode-43.html

Lorna Mitchell:
Zend Certified PHP Developer 5.5
January 08, 2014 @ 09:23:45

If you're thinking about taking the Zend Certified PHP Developer (5.5) test but aren't sure exactly where to start, Lorna Mitchell has provided a list of some good resources to help you out.

Yesterday I updated my previous ZCE certificate to the Zend Certified PHP Developer qualification (the new ZCE for PHP 5.5 also got a new name). Since the ZCE 5.3 exam is no longer available and I work with various clients to prepare their teams for these certifications, it was important to me that I keep my own certification up to date. Now I've done that, I'd like to share some resources for others doing the same thing.

She points to a few things that could help you make the grade:

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zend certified developer test certification resource list

Link: http://www.lornajane.net/posts/2014/zend-certified-php-developer-5-5

Inviqa techPortal:
Create a RESTful API with Apigility
December 04, 2013 @ 09:29:15

On the Inviqa techPortal they've posted a new tutorial from Rob Allen introducing Apigility, the recently announced API management and creation tool from Zend. He uses his usual album/music illustration to show how to create a simple API inside the tool.

On the 7th October 2013, Zend introduced Apigility to the world. Once you get beyond the name, you see a very interesting project that allows you to easily create a web service without having to worry about the nitty-gritty details. Which details? Well, Apigility will handle content negotiation, error handling and versioning for you, allowing you to concentrate on your application. In the recently tagged 0.7 release, Apigility also supports both HTTP and OAuth2 authentication. In this tutorial we will create a simple REST API that allows us to view a list of music albums, showing how to start using Apigility and how to publish an API using this tool.

He walks you through all the steps you'll need to create the basic API, more specifically around the "Albums" data and functionality:

  • Creating a new project with Composer
  • Using the Admin dashboard to create a new API
  • Making a new REST endpoint (albums)
  • Building an Album collection endpoint (with Collection, Entity and Resource)
  • Making the data model, including the table SQL

He includes all the code you'll need for these last few items and shows the curl calls to make for grabbing a single and multiple album listings. There's also a brief discussion in there about how Apigility handles API versioning with some internal handling.

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apigility zend rest api tutorial introduction

Link: http://techportal.inviqa.com/2013/12/03/create-a-restful-api-with-apigility/


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