Friday, April 30, 2010

Simple Web Application Part 1- Development Ecosystem

I haven’t had much time to blog lately due to i have been completely overwhelmed with some problems, but now I’m going to schedule in time with my blog at least one or two times a week. There are a lot of things here to talk about, So Let's move!

As the main goal of this post series are to guide you through the first steps of building a simple web application, we are going to start from the beggining: the tools, frameworks and resources.

Before setting up your Web Application, you are going to need a development ecosystem. So i will show you how to install a WAMP system following Windows 7 specific instructions, but any Windows, Mac or Linux equivelant using similar versions of Apache, MySQL and PHP would be equally usable.

Even if there are simple tools out there, like XAMPP or WAMP Server a Windows Web Development Environment that come with a compacted package of Apache, MySQL and PHP, thousand of IDEs open source and millons of code tracking systems, i am going to teach you how to install some enterprise products of Zend and Adobe; They integrated so well that you will not want to leave them never. Being concious of the purchase price for this products, we are going to use the free trial versions that will allow us to learn how to use this tools and test the way they make our work easier.

Installation of Zend Server

The Zend Server Community Edition (CE) is a free, simple PHP Web Application Server that you can use to run and manage PHP applications in development, test and production enviroments.

After downloading the Zend Server CE (PHP 5.3) package and execute the script, the installer will ask you step by step wich preferences you want to setup. There will be some things that we are not going to use for this series, but if you want to explore the package and do not have problems with the default directory structure, feel free to click next on every step.

After installing, a completion notification will appear, with a notice that the servers have started. To access the Administration Interface open your browser at https://localhost:10082/ZendServer (secure) or http://localhost:10081/ZendServer. Upon initial log in, you will be prompted to define your password. And that is All.

As you can see the package includes a Zend Framework version and a lot of other features, but later we are going to talk about it.

Installation of Zend Studio

Zend Studio is the professional IDE for PHP development, designed to maximize developers productivity by enabling you to develop and maintain code faster, solve application problems quickly and improve team collaboration. To download it, you will need to create a Zend Account here.

Then you will receive a message in your email inbox with a link to verify your identity. Once registered you will be able to download a trial version of the Zend Studio IDE.

The installer guide will ask you wich and where do you want to setup the features. Once installation has completed, the Installation Complete screen will apear and ask if you want to launch Zend Studio.

The Zend Studio IDE has many features that you will find very usefull at the moment of work. It has a Zend Framework integration as Zend Studio Community Edition, code refactoring, php code generator, php editor and file management, javascript support and so much more!

If you want to read more about this, go to the Zend Studio Features page or take your time to explore into the IDE.

Installation of Adobe Flash Builder

The Adobe Flash Builder is designed to help developers rapidly develop cross-platform rich Internet applications (RIAs) and content using the open source Flex Framework. To install it, you need to register and create an Adobe Account here.

Now you can download the trial version of the Adobe Flash Platform, As we have the eclipse package already installed with the Zend Studio IDE, all you need to download is the Eclipse Plugin for Windows.

Here you have to be carefully, the plugin should be linked to the ecplise package that is into your Zend Studio version directory, Read every screen and when it ask you for the eclipse package look for it into: C:\Program Files (x86)\Zend\Zend Studio (version) e.g.: Zend Studio - 7.1.2.

Follow the instructions and after finish the installation process launch Zend Studio. It is Done!

Adobe Flash Builder includes support for intelligent coding, debugging, and visual design and features powerful testing tools that speed up development and lead to higher performing applications.


Now that we have our development ecosystem will be easier to work on the simple web application. The next post serie will be about setting up the project structure and make it run in our local machine! Anyway thats all for now, you can follow my on twitter @gonzalobenitez, If you have any suggestion or doubt just let me know!

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