During the PHPTour of Lille (France) organized by AFUP, a particularly interesting session was the presentation (and demo) of PHPCloud by Zeev Suraski, no less! Could not be present on site in Lille, Zeev has honored us with his presence via video conference, from Israel. His lecture was divided into two parts: presentation of the business and demo live. I won’t focus on the business side, which was particularly long and boring it must be said. What interests us most is the concrete, the demo of the beast, which is behind PHP and cloud. You understood that’s Zend is behind it, which lends credibility to all over the solution because imagine all the tools that will be compatible “out of the box”. All this is only beta at the moment but it is very promising and we’ll see why later.
What is PHPCloud?
PHPCloud is simply a platform for hosting PHP applications … in the cloud. Basically, you open an account on http://phpcloud.com (through sponsorship) and you can create two containers each of which can host multiple applications (blog, shop, CMS, …). All these applications are hosted in different clouds such as Amazon and Rackspace. For now, we have no information on the limited disk space or not.
A container is used to group multiple PHP applications. It is manifested through the creation of a subdomain of the type <container_name>.my.phpcloud.com. In beta state, you can create up to two containers.
An application is simply a website. This may be a blog in WordPress, a shop in Magento or even a forum in phpBB. As seen above, applications are hosted in a container. So you access your site as follows: <container_name>.my.phpcloud.com/<app_name>/.
Deploy an application in 2 minutes
Par défaut, PHPCloud vous propose 8 applications déployables en 3 clics, et ça c’est génial ! Pas besoin de s’embêter à aller récupérer les sources de telle ou telle solution, d’envoyer sur le serveur, de dézipper et de lancer l’install, PHPCloud le fait pour nous. Pour le moment, on dispose de Magento, WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, phpBB, ZF1, ZF2 et une application PHP vide prête à l’emploi. On pourra regretter quelques écarts de versions sur certaines applications mais pour faire mumuse sur la version beta ce n’est pas gênant. Rien ne vaut quelques screenshots pour illustrer la facilité de création d’un site sur PHPCloud. C’est parti :
By default, PHPCloud offers eight applications deployable in 3 clicks and it’s great! No need to bother to go get the source of a particular solution, to send to the server, unzip and run the installation, PHPCloud does for us. For now, there is Magento, WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, phpBB, ZF1, ZF2 and a blank PHP application ready for use. We may regret some differences in versions of some applications but to test on the beta version it’s just fine. Nothing beats a few screenshots to illustrate the ease of creating a site on PHPCloud. Here we go:
Choose an application, Magento for example:
Deploy the application:
Après quelques dizaines de secondes de patience, Magento est installé et prêt à l’emploi. Pas mal non ?
A noter que les applications partagent toutes la même base de données, ce qui n’est pas idéal quand on sait que Magento créé à lui tout seul plusieurs centaines de tables. Heureusement chaque table est préfixée par l’id de l’application, mais bon…
After a few seconds of patience, Magento is installed and ready for use. Great!
Note that the applications all share the same database, which is not ideal when you know that Magento created by himself several hundred tables. Fortunately each table is prefixed with the id of the application.
Integration with Zend Studio 9
If, like me, Zend Studio is your IDE of choice, then you will see an advantage to quickly import the code of your application easily:
Creating a project in Zend Studio:
Creating a connection profile:
Configuring the connection to PHPCloud:
Once the profile is saved, you juste have to select the sources of the application from the PHPCloud tree and import it. The process can be lengthy if the application contains many files, such as Magento for example.
Thereafter, any change in your application code will be automatically pushed to the cloud, great again!
PHPCloud and Git
PHPCloud is modern (yes it is!), Zend has thought to integrate Git instead of the old SVN, and that’s a good news. To retrieve the URL, just go to the list of applications:
A git clone and here we go!
PHPCloud is very promising in beta and incorporates a host of convenient features. It remains to see if we can rely on this solution to a real professional website with any performance constraints, security and reliability.
For now, Zend invites us to test and have fun with the beta version. It is unclear when the final version will be launched and at what pricing. Zeev seemed to say one or two containers would be free and that anyway it would not be very expensive … wait & see but in the meantime, BRAVO!