SitePoint PHPHow to Deploy Symfony Apps with Capifony (19.9.2014, 16:00 UTC)

Say you have a Symfony application. At some point, you would like to deploy it to your server and show it to the world. Of course, you can do it all manually, but these days you can also choose to use a tool like Capifony.

If you have developed Ruby applications in the past, you are perhaps familiar with Capistrano. Capistrano is a tool to deploy your Ruby application to your server. Capifony has been created on top op Capistrano is basically a collection of deployment recipes.

In this article, we are going to deploy a Symfony application to a server with Capifony.

How does Capifony work?

Before we start, it’s important to understand how Capifony works. By running the deploy command, Capifony runs certain commands performing different tasks. For example, it will download composer, install the dependencies and clear the cache.

The directory structure is very important. Capifony needs two directories and one symlink. The first directory it needs is called releases. Every time you deploy, a new directory is created within this directory. Capifony pulls in your git repository and runs all commands on this newly created directory.

The second directory is named shared. You can imagine that some directories are shared between releases. For instance, if you allow people to upload images, you want to make sure that these files are shared between releases. These directories and files are typically stored in the shared directory.

Next to these two directories, we have a symlink called current. This symlink points to the latest successful release. So, when you deploy a new version, a new directory will be created within the releases directory. If all tasks succeed on this directory, the current symlink will point to this new version.
You should point your web server to read from this symlink so it always uses the correct, latest version.

Continue reading %How to Deploy Symfony Apps with Capifony%

SitePoint PHPPhpStorm 8 Released – See What’s New and Grab a Free License (19.9.2014, 16:00 UTC)

This week marks the release of PhpStorm 8. It’s no secret PhpStorm has been a long personal favorite of mine after having won me over from Zend Studio, Netbeans and Sublime Text, and we’ve covered the tool extensively before, most notably with the shortcuts guide by yours truly. By following the EAPs, we also taken a look at the new features in PhpStorm 8 before it even came out. Now that the day has finally come, let’s see what else is included, and finish up with a giveaway of free licenses.

Continue reading %PhpStorm 8 Released – See What’s New and Grab a Free License%

Nomad PHPDecember 2014 – US (19.9.2014, 00:01 UTC)

Tuning Nginx and PHP-FPM... The Right Way.

Presented By
Evan Coury
December 18, 2014 20:00 CST

The post December 2014 – US appeared first on Nomad PHP.

Nomad PHPDecember 2014 – EU (19.9.2014, 00:01 UTC)

Practical Message Queueing Using RabbitMQ

Presented By
James Titcumb
December 18, 2014 20:00 CET

The post December 2014 – EU appeared first on Nomad PHP.

SitePoint PHPArdent: Laravel Models on Steroids (18.9.2014, 16:00 UTC)

One of the (few) things I don’t like about Laravel is that you cannot move the validation code from your controller to your models easily. When I write software I like to apply the “fat models, skinny controllers” principle. So, for me, writing the validation code in the controller is not a good thing.

To solve this, I’d like to introduce Ardent, a great package for Laravel 4. To be more precise, Ardent presents itself as “Self-validating smart models for Laravel Framework 4’s Eloquent ORM.” In other words: exactly what we need!

As you can imagine, it’s an extension of the Eloquent Model class, basically. This package comes with some new functionality, utilities and methods dedicated to input validation and other little things.

Our Test Application

For a better understanding of the advantages you can enjoy while using Ardent, we will set up a little test application. Nothing complicated: a simple To-Do List app.

Of course, I’m not going to implement a complete application: I just want to explain some principles, so I will make some controllers and models - no views. After that, I will “translate” the code using Ardent.

Our To-Do List will count two different entities:

  • User

    • id
    • first_name
    • last_name
    • email
    • password
  • Task

    • id
    • name
    • status (done / not done)

A really basic project. However, if you don’t want to write code, don’t worry: I have already prepared a migration that you can use to generate the database. Use it!

Continue reading %Ardent: Laravel Models on Steroids%

labs @ Qandidate.comUsing HAProxy to offload SSL (18.9.2014, 14:01 UTC)

At we started to use Docker containers to run our apps and REST APIs. Some of them are publicly exposed and should communicate over a secure connection. Of course we can config nginx in our containers to accept secure connections, but I want to show you how easy it is to use HAProxy to do the SSL offloading.

∞ labs @ Permalink

Matthew Weier O'PhinneyDeployment with Zend Server (Part 1 of 8) (18.9.2014, 13:30 UTC)

I manage a number of websites running on Zend Server, Zend's PHP application platform. I've started accumulating a number of patterns and tricks that make the deployments more successful, and which also allow me to do more advanced things such as setting up recurring jobs for the application, clearing page caches, and more.

Yes, YOU can afford Zend Server

"But, wait, Zend Server is uber-expensive!" I hear some folks saying.

Well, yes and no.

With the release of Zend Server 7, Zend now offers a "Development Edition" that contains all the features I've covered here, and which runs $195. This makes it affordable for small shops and freelancers, but potentially out of the reach of individuals.

But there's another option, which I'm using, which is even more intriguing: Zend Server on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Marketplace. On AWS, you can try out Zend Server free for 30 days. After that, you get charged a fee on top of your normal AWS EC2 usage. Depending on the EC2 instance you choose, this can run as low as ~$24/month (this is on the t1.micro, and that's the total per month for both AWS and Zend Server usage). That's cheaper than most VPS hosting or PaaS providers, and gives you a full license for Zend Server.

Considering Zend Server is available on almost every PaaS and IaaS offering available, this is a great way to try it out, as well as to setup staging and testing servers cheaply; you can then choose the provider you want based on its other features. For those of you running low traffic or small, personal or hobbyist sites, it's an inexpensive alternative to VPS hosting.

So... onwards with my first tip.

Tip 1: zf-deploy

My first trick is to use zf-deploy. This is a tool Enrico and I wrote when prepping Apigility for its initial stable release. It allows you to create deployment packages from your application, including zip, tarball, and ZPKs (Zend Server deployment packages). We designed it to simplify packaging Zend Framework 2 and Apigility applications, but with a small amount of work, it could likely be used for a greater variety of PHP applications.

zf-deploy takes the current state of your working directory, and clones it to a working path. It then runs Composer (though you can disable this), and strips out anything configured in your .gitignore file (again, you can disable this). From there, it creates your package.

One optional piece is that, when creating a ZPK, you can tell it which deployment.xml you want to use and/or specify a directory containing the deployment.xml and any install scripts you want to include in the package. This latter is incredibly useful, as you can use this to shape your deployment.

As an example, on my own website, I have a CLI job that will fetch my latest GitHub activity. I can invoke that in my post_stage.php script:

if (! chdir(getenv('ZS_APPLICATION_BASE_DIR'))) {
  throw new Exception('Unable to change to application directory');

$php = '/usr/local/zend/bin/php';

$command = $php . ' public/index.php githubfeed fetch';
echo "\nExecuting `$command`\n";

One task I always do is make sure my application data directory is writable by the web server. This next line builds on the above, in that it assumes you've changed to your application directory first:

$command = 'chmod -R a+rwX ./data';
echo "\nExecuting `$command`\n";

Yes, PHP has a built-in for chmod, but it doesn't act recursively.

For ZF2 and Apigility applications, zf-deploy also allows you to specify a directory that contains the *local.php config scripts for your config/autoload/ directory, allowing you to merge in configuration specific for the deployment environment. This is a fantastic capability, as I can keep any private configuration separate from my main repository.

Deployment now becomes:

$ vendor/bin/zfdeploy.php --configs=../ --zpk=zpk

and I now have a ZPK ready to push to Zend Server.

In sum: zf-deploy simplifies ZPK creation, and allows

Truncated by Planet PHP, read more at the original (another 933 bytes)

Matthew Weier O'PhinneyDeployment with Zend Server (Part 2 of 8) (18.9.2014, 13:30 UTC)

This is the second in a series of eight posts detailing tips on deploying to Zend Server. The previous post in the series detailed getting started with Zend Server on the AWS marketplace and using zf-deploy to create ZPK packages to deploy to Zend Server.

Today, I'm looking at how to created scheduled/recurring jobs using Zend Server's Job Queue; think of this as application-level cronjobs.

Tip 2: Recurring Jobs

I needed to define a few recurring jobs on the server. In the past, I've used cron for this, but I've recently had a slight change of mind on this: if I use cron, I have to assume I'm running on a unix-like system, and have some sort of system access to the server. If I have multiple servers running, that means ensuring they're setup on each server. It seems better to be able to define these jobs at the applicaton level.

Since Zend Server comes with Job Queue, I decided to try it out for scheduling recurring jobs. This is not terribly intuitive, however. The UI allows you to define scheduled jobs... but only gives options for every minute, hour, day, week, and month, without allowing you to specify the exact interval (e.g., every day at 20:00).

The PHP API, however, makes this easy. I can create a job as follows:

$queue = new ZendJobQueue();
$queue->createHttpJob('/jobs/github-feed.php', [], [
  'name'       => 'github-feed',
  'persistent' => false,
  'schedule'   => '5,20,35,40 * * * *',

Essentially, you provide a URL to the script to execute (Job Queue "runs" a job by accessing a URL on the server), and provide a schedule in crontab format. I like to give my jobs names as well, as it allows me to search for them in the UI, and also enables linking between the rules and the logs in the UI. Marking them as not persistent ensures that if the job is successful, it will be removed from the events list.

The question is, where do you define this? I decided to do this in my post_activate.php deployment script. However, this raises two new problems:

  • Rules need not just a path to the script, but also the scheme and host. You _can_ omit those, but only if the script can resolve them via $_SERVER... which it cannot due during deployment.
  • Each deployment adds the jobs you define... but this does not overwrite or remove the jobs you added in previous deployments.

I solved these as follows:

$server = '';

// Remove previously scheduled jobs:
$queue = new ZendJobQueue();
foreach ($queue->getSchedulingRules() as $job) {
    if (0 !== strpos($job['script'], $server)) {
        // not one we're interested in

    // Remove previously scheduled job

$queue->createHttpJob($server . '/jobs/github-feed.php', [], [
  'name'       => 'github-feed',
  'persistent' => false,
  'schedule'   => '5,20,35,40 * * * *',

So, in summary:

  • Define your rules with names.
  • Define recurring rules using the schedule option.
  • Define recurring rules in your deployment script, during post_activate.
  • Remove previously defined rules in your deployment script, prior to defining them.

Next time...

The next tip in the series is a short one, perfect for following the US Labor Day weekend, and details something I learned the hard way from Tip 1 when setting up deployment tasks.

Other articles in the series

Matthew Weier O'PhinneyDeployment with Zend Server (Part 3 of 8) (18.9.2014, 13:30 UTC)

This is the third in a series of eight posts detailing tips on deploying to Zend Server. The previous post in the series detailed creating recurring jobs via Zend Job Queue, à la cronjobs.

Today, I'm sharing a very short deployment script tip learned by experience.

Tip 3: chmod

In the first tip, I detailed writing deployment scripts. One of the snippets I shared was a chmod routine:

$command = 'chmod -R a+rwX ./data';
echo "\nExecuting `$command`\n";

The code is fine; what I did not share is where in the deployment script you should invoke it. As I discovered from experience, this is key.

Zend Server's deployment scripts run as the zend user. If they are writing any data to the data directory, that data is owned by the zend user and group -- and often will not be writable by the web server user. If you have scheduled jobs that need to write to the same files, they will fail... unless you have done the chmod after your deployment tasks are done.

So, that's today's tip: if you need any directory in your application to be writable by scheduled jobs, which will run as the web server user, make sure you do your chmod as the last step of your deployment script.

Next time...

The next tip in the series is another short one, and will detail how to secure your Job Queue job scripts.

Other articles in the series

Matthew Weier O'PhinneyDeployment with Zend Server (Part 5 of 8) (18.9.2014, 13:30 UTC)

This is the fifth in a series of eight posts detailing tips on deploying to Zend Server. The previous post in the series detailed how to secure your Job Queue job scripts.

Today, I'm sharing some best practices around writing job scripts, particularly around how to indicate execution status.

Tip 5: Set your job status

You should always set your job script status, and exit with an appropriate return status. This ensures that Job Queue knows for sure if the job completed successfully, which can help you better identify failed jobs in the UI. I use the following:

// for failure:

// for success:

I also have started returning relevant messages. Since Job Queue aggregates these in the UI panel, that allows you to examine the output, which often helps in debugging.

exec($command, $output, $return);
header('Content-Type: text/plain');
if ($return != 0) {
    echo implode("\n", $output);

echo implode("\n", $output);

Here's sample output:

(The [0;34m]-style codes are colorization codes; terminals capable of color would display the output in color, but Zend Server, of course, is seeing plain text.)

In sum: return appropriate job status via the ZendJobQueue::setCurrentJobStatus() static method and the exit() code, and send output to help diagnose issues later.

Next time...

The next tip in the series discusses setting up page caching in Zend Server, as well as creating jobs to clear page caches.

Other articles in the series

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