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Web Application Development with Yii and PHP [Paperback]

Jeff Winesett

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Book Description

19 Nov 2012 1849518726 978-1849518727 2nd New edition

Learn the Yii application development framework by taking a step-by-step approach to building a Web-based project task tracking system from conception through production deployment

Overview

  • A step-by-step guide to creating a modern Web application using PHP, MySQL, and Yii
  • Build a real-world, user-based, database-driven project task management application using the Yii development framework.
  • Start with a general idea, and finish with deploying to production, learning everything about Yii inbetween, from "A"ctive record to "Z"ii component library.

In Detail

This book is a step by step tutorial in developing a real-world application using the incremental and iterative approach to software development. You learn about agile software development by leaning on the agile nature of the Yii application development framework. You touch on each aspect of the software development lifecycle by building a project task management application from concept through production deployment.

After a brief, general introduction to the Yii framework and outlining the software development approach taken throughout the book, the chapters break down in the same way as software development iterations do in real-world projects. After the 1st iteration, you will have a working and tested application with a valid, tested connection to a database.

In the 2nd and 3rd iterations, we flesh out our main database entities and domain object model and become familiar with Yii's object-relational-mapping (ORM) layer, Active Record. We also learn how to lean on Yii's auto-generation tools to automatically build our create/read/update/delete (CRUD) functionality against our newly created model. These iterations also focus on how Yii's form validation and submission model works. By the end of the third iteration you will have a working application that allows you to mange projects and issues (tasks) within those projects.

The 4th and 5th iterations are dedicated to user management. We learn about the built-in authentication model within Yii to assist in application login and logout functionality. We then dive into the authorization model, first taking advantage of a Yii's simple access control model, then implementing the more sophisticated role-based access control (RBAC) framework that Yii provides.

What you will learn from this book

  • Auto-generate skeleton web applications as well as CRUD scaffolding for the domain object model using the built-in command-line interface
  • Use Yii database migrations to version and manage your database changes
  • Create user-based applications with Yii's authentication model
  • Enhance your user-based application to control a user's access to feature functionality
  • Write an administrative console application to extend the features provided by Yii's powerful command-line tools
  • Integrate other frameworks and libraries into a Yii application to further extend its feature set
  • Spend less time managing application configuration by taking advantage of Yii's sensible defaults and conventions.
  • Learn how easy it is to implement a multi-user application by utilizing Yii's authentication and role-based authorization models
  • Update your code to properly manage the user's last login time and store it in the database

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Product details

  • Paperback: 332 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing; 2nd New edition edition (19 Nov 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849518726
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849518727
  • Product Dimensions: 1.7 x 18.8 x 23.1 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 463,022 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

About the Author

Jeffrey Winesett

Jeffrey Winesett has over ten years of experience building large-scale, web-based applications. He has been a strong proponent of using open source development frameworks when developing applications, and a champion of the Yii framework in particular since its initial alpha release. He frequently presents on, writes about, and develops with Yii as often as possible.


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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very persuasive, quite excellent resource 3 Dec 2012
By Arthur Mills - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
My intention here is to write a quick review six chapters in to this book to capture my appreciation for what I'm getting from it so others who are going through some of the same learning I have been can consider this as an option for themselves. I have been studying PHP for a few years. I'm a Windows Engineer, but I really enjoy the idea of building something myself and seeing what I could do with it. The reality of work often means I have some time between efforts to really improve my skills and put something up. But I have bought more than a dozen PHP guides over the years. Each I've found to lack something. One book may have a solid presentation and teach a lot, but uses MYSQL to bind rather than PDO or the MYSQLI. One book may give great initial examples, but never build on it so you have 5 or 6 little pieces of code but nothing resembling anything really useful without a great deal more effort the books may explain, but by using a different example, making it, for me, difficult.

I have debated dropping PHP altogether and working with Ruby on Rails. I have, until now, always believed -- and I don't know why -- that I must learn PHP, but I must NEVER build a procedural application, skipping by that straight to object-oriented, MVC coding. But I haven't really considered PHP coding with a framework as a backbone until very recently. Only after reading Larry Ullman's most recent advanced PHP book did I check out some things on his site and realize he has a YII book coming out. That led me to checking out YII. CakePhp. Zend. Symphony. I was torn about whether I'd be making a mistake bypassing real history and experience in self-building something by hand before going straight into a framework. But having compared the various PHP frameworks and realizing I've long been interested in the (now cooling) hype and general (still) happiness of developers using the Ruby on Rails framework, I figured I was potentially holding myself back NOT letting myself consider a framework for PHP.

Before buying this book, I ran the initial YII test app. I then used the GII tool to create code for an existing database structure I'd built for a project I want to build. As an operations guy I know how to normalize and build a strong database layer, so, I was really excited about seeing what I could do with it seconds after binding to it. I went ahead and bought this book. Six chapters in I can say that though somewhat flawed -- which I'll get into in a minute -- it is the best structured and conceived teaching guide I've encountered and does it EXACTLY the right way.

The good:

1. The book takes you through a sample application, six chapters in. EACH chapter builds on what you just built and learned. It answers the questions you have about getting from here to there by taking you there.

2. The book smartly knows what those questions are. The author has obviously built sites with the YII framework. He clearly takes you through the steps to make what GII gives you in seconds into what you really need. He has begun to answer questions I've had about my database and application I've had some trouble fully clarifying. I see this and realize all my torture was unnecessary as I can easy port the concepts he displays into my own ideas.

3. The application itself is USABLE, immediately, in my life. I'm a Windows admin. I have customers coming at me 500 different ways. The sample project/issue/to-do tracking application provided can easily be customized to fit my daily needs and give me a real ability to control my own work flows in a way that keeps them very orderly. Obviously there are a ton of apps that provide similar (and better given this is a sample app) ability out there, but here I can see how to make this EXACTLY my own, seen as my brain works, laid out with exactly the additions I need. Every other book seems to have apps that do almost nothing for me. I'm sure there are those of you out there who LOVE CMS apps and are happy there, but I am not one of them :).

The bad:

1. The book is not written THAT intuitively. Instead of saying, "Here, make your X file look like this," it says, "Find the highlighted code below and weave it in to your script." I happen to like it laid out better. Like Ullman does where everything is provided.

2. Yes, there is sample code you can download and use without having to worry about that, but, I've found that code to be incomplete. For example, in Chapter 5, I ported in everything the sample code provides and discovered at least two files that were not at all updated so it didn't work just taking the sample code until I made the changes that it missed.

So far this book has not only really pushed me to knowing I will use a framework, but has confirmed that YII will be the one I elect to work with. I have some concern given YII 2.0 is coming and will not be compatible with the current version, but having read that Ullman is going to time his YII book to come out with the release of 2.0, I am going to assume it will be a solid resource on porting between the two.

I'll update this review if it significantly changes for good or bad once I'm complete.

But so far, I'm very pleased with this.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's the "Ruby on Rails Tutorial" for Yii 9 May 2013
By Scott Gardner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Yii is a superb framework, well worth the effort to learn how it works and how to use it most effectively. When it comes to PHP, I was reluctant to learn a framework, vs. just writing object-oriented, MVC-structured PHP. This is in contrast with other environments that I've developed in, such as Objective-C/Cocoa Touch (iOS), and Ruby on Rails. I think it's because there are so many PHP frameworks out there, it is increasingly more difficult to choose the "right" one to commit to and gain proficiency in. Also I felt like I would be getting too far away from core PHP programming by using a framework--with all its possible idiosyncrasies--vs. in other environments (such as the two I mentioned), I wouldn't think of developing an app without the aid of the framework. After much research, I chose to learn Yii, and as part of that effort I read this book early on. I'm so glad I did! Yii is clean, well-organized, efficient, and explicit. Save the magic. I wanted a framework that would do much of the heavy lifting while not being obscure. Yii is it.

This book provides an easy-to-follow, linear learning path that broadly explores key features of the Yii framework in the context of building a real-world multi-feature app. I really appreciated how the authors would introduce a new feature followed by a hands-on example implementing that capability in our app. Stand out examples include excellent coverage of role-based access control (RBAC) and several caching techniques to maximize performance.

Web Application Development with Yii and PHP is very much the Ruby on Rails Tutorial: Learn Web Development with Rails (2nd Edition) (Addison-Wesley Professional Ruby Series) for Yii. One thing missing, though, is coverage of testing, e.g., test-driven development. Also, I would like to have seen more in-depth and practical coverage of the APC extension (which is directly responsible for the massive performance gains achievable with Yii, as shown on yiiframework.com/performance). Still, the breadth and depth of topics covered is exceptional, and I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in learning practical Yii. Ideally, the reader should be comfortable with PHP and also have some experience using other MVC object-oriented frameworks (in any language), as I think having that frame of reference will really help get the most out of this book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Resource for New Yii Developer 28 Jan 2013
By trench99 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Jeffrey Winesett `s second edition of his important first publication for the Yii Framework is a good addition to the growing library of Yii resources. Jeffery is the well-known author of the screencast tutorials on the framework's website and has been a champion of its' use since the alpha release. He knows the framework intimately and easily explains the conventions and approaches to Yii development.

This book takes the reader through a Yii framework overview that starts with initial installation and ends with a handful of optimizations. The basic concept of MVC architecture and Yii's MVC implementation are summarized before Jeff launches into building a common type of web application in the form of a simple software development lifecycle tool. Jeff teaches the framework in bite-sized chunks while describing the planning, development, testing, and optimization of the application. Most of the core features and tools of the framework are described and used in the project:

* Database configurations
* Command-line tools
* Testing framework
* CRUD automation - Gii Tool
* Active Records with relationships
* Filters
* User management and access control
* Widgets
* Integration with Zend and other libraries
* URL management
* Views and Themes
* Modules
* Production Preparation
* Caching
* Performance Tuning

There are a number of good tips and tricks embedded in the narrative. I definitely learned a few things and it is helpful to see a professional's approach to various elements of the application that have so many options for implementation. User management, access control, and caching are notable areas that are well explained. I greatly appreciate that this edition deviates from the testing focus of the first one.

The method of teaching a framework through narrative is a bit tedious for me. I am not interested in reading editorial comments about how great the framework functions. It is very difficult to quickly skip to areas that you want to learn and doesn't stop to explain all of the options very often. In many places I felt cheated that we hadn't stopped to explore the built-in class features in more detail. The book is not a full framework guide nor is it an efficient reference. There are hundreds of helper functions, classes, methods, and common extensions that are not covered or even mentioned in this narrative. As such, this is not a book for people that have built a number of Yii applications looking to stretch their knowledge.

In summary, this book is a good resource for a first time user of Yii who learns best by example in the context of a full application project and is not seeking mastery. The advanced Yii developer will want to look elsewhere.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Yii Framework and PHP 21 Feb 2013
By PJ McGhee - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I've been reading the book, working with the sample code and using Yii for a few weeks now and the book has been really helpful. The chapters navigate the development path of a real application. The book touches on every aspect that a real world development team will face in software production from user access control, issue management to production readiness. It also explores the Blueprint CSS framework, which allows the team to make the application look polished and refined.

The code examples are easy to use and well documented, allowing for a great learning experience even for a novice.
All in all, a great resource for those in software development for the web. Highly recommended.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Framework Tools Book - Not Really A Good Programming Book 14 Feb 2013
By theshowmecanuck - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've read through about a third of the book so far. So far it is nothing but a book on how to use the Gii tool that comes with the Yii framework. There is not nearly enough explanation on how, programatically the various components fit together. i.e what the major classes are that are commonly used, how they are used (e.g. controllers use actions and action classes, how are they related and invoked from each other and when to use an action class vs an action function); the structure of the various components and how the components are instantiated, etc; programming examples; etc etc. As a contrast, you can get a good overview of the JEE framework by reading the first 100 pages of EJB In Action (like the various types of classes and how they interact and how you can build them).

If you want a programming book to explain the Yii framework, don't buy this (in my opinion). The online tutorials are probably better.
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