Ivo Jansch’s “Guide to Enterprise PHP Development”

I’ve been working through this book for the past few days and let me just say from the get-go, this book would be any asset to pretty much anyone on the PHP development food chain. It’s not a book for programmers telling you how to survive in an enterprise environment (there’s some of that, but that’s not the focus). The book gives the reader one of the most valuable things anyone in a corporate environment can have – how it all works. It might not be 100% the same as things around your office, but Ivo does a great job of giving everyone involved in the development of web apps (and it doesn’t have to be PHP!) a better idea of how all the pieces fit together.

The flow of the book follows a typical project flow with topics like:

  • Gathering requirements
  • the Planning stages
  • which of your Building Blocks you’ll need to get the job done
  • Developing the application
  • Pushing it out to the public and keeping it maintained for its users

For each, there’s lots of great tips crammed in with suggestions and recommendations based on some of his previous experiences.

There’s little to no code in the book, so don’t buy it expecting tutorials on writing code in an enterprise environment. What you will find here, though, is a better idea of where that code you’re writing will fit in the bigger picture.

Let me also reinforce that this book is not just for developers. Honestly, anyone involved with the creation of web-based applications can benefit from it. Managers, developers and testers will all find bits in here that they can pick up and hang on to for current and future projects.

I also like that he included the part there at the end about the different development methodologies. It’s a nice addition that can help open up the reader/developer’s eyes to new ways of doing things (Agile is especially fun).

I’d definitely recommend that you pick up this book if you’re going to be doing development in anything more than a one man shop. Actually, strike that – I’d recommend it for anyone that wants to get more familiar with the management side of development and how their code works in.

More information: php|architect’s Guide to Enterprise PHP Development

Subdomain Setup with Solar

So here was my situation – I wanted to have a subdomain off of my main site, but I didn’t want to have to create a whole new docroot with an entire new Solar framework application in it. Besides being “yet another install” of the same sort of thing, it would also be a pain to keep up more than one codebase that does a lot of the same things.

This got me to thinking that there had to be a way to convince Solar that it could use the same code with the subdomain without issue. Sure enough, it could – and it was actually really easy. Here’s my situation:

I wanted to have the main domain’s stuff still work (www.mydomain.com) just like it always has but I wanted the subdomain to point to one controller out of the main application (in this case, the Solar_App_Foo controller) when the subdomain was called (foo.mydomain.com). Solar makes it dead simple – it’s just a change in your config file.

Since it’s PHP driven, you can do fun things like checking to see what the value of $_SERVER[‘HTTP_HOST’] is right there in the definition:

[code]
$act=($_SERVER[‘HTTP_HOST’]==’foo.mydomain.com’) ? ‘foo’ : ‘index';
$config[‘Solar_Controller_Front’][‘default’]=$act
[/code]

That’s all there is to it – the ternary check looks for the subdomain and sets the default controller to our Solar_App_Foo instead of the Index the rest of the site calls. And, since it’s just part of the same site, all of the links and other functionality work just fine. Plus no extra code to maintain!

Hope this helps to anyone else out there trying to work with subdomains with Solar. Thanks to the crew in #solarphp on Freenode for the help!

Enterprise PHP (the Magazine)

Opening my mailbox yesterday welcomed me with a brown paper envelope addresses to “Herr Cornutt” and postmarked. I was confused since I wasn’t expecting any bit of German to be coming my way. I was happily surprised, though, when I opened it to find the free issue of Enterprise PHP, one of the newest offerings into the PHP magazine category.

The publication is from the IT Republik folks and is a nice looking magazine. It comes in at about 50 pages but it has a good ad to story ratio so you don’t feel slighted. Stories include:

  • Test ‘em all! (by Sebastian Bergmann)
  • Worlds apart… (by Patrick Lobacher covering PHP intagration and SAP systems)
  • an interview with Jens Paul Berndt about decisions regarding PHP
  • a case study of the Fiat Group SpA’s use of PHP in their systems
  • and the cover story, “Java is not PHP”

The quality of the articles if good – it’s interesting to see their use of so much clip art as illustrations. I suppose its due to the different audience than some of the other magazines. It’s less about the development and more about the high-level thoughts and processes behind PHP in business – how it can function in their corporation (or small business!) and what sorts of considerations need to be made. The articles are good quality and keep consistent with the tone of the magazine. The quality of the printing is nice too (always a plus) and the thicker pages make the “enterpriseness” of it all feel even better.

Oh, and let’s not forget about two articles by Cal Evans of the Zend Developer Zone! One covers several of the popular PHP frameworks and the other about how PHP security has advanced in the past few years.

If you get a chance and want to check out something a bit different in PHP Magazines, head over and grab a trial issue of this newest addition to the PHP publication world. Here’s hoping we’ll see great things from them!