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The essential guide to IT transformation

Hands on Ruby on Rails has become a popular framework for developing database-based web applications using the Model-View-Controller (MVC) pattern.

Before Ruby on Rails, though, PHP was hogging the web-development limelight. Problem was, there was no Model-View-Controller (MVC) framework for PHP.

With Ruby on Rails, though, PHP developers have come to realize the timesaving benefits of MVC - a fact that led to the development of various PHP frameworks that are actually based on Ruby on Rails.

Among them, the Akelos framework and PHP On Trax.

In this article we shall develop an MVC Create-Read-Update-Delete (CRUD) application using the PHP On Trax Framework. Why this particular framework? Simple: it is a direct port of the Ruby on Rails framework.

Install PHP On Trax

Install Apache HTTP Server 2.2 in C:/Apache directory and PHP 5.2 in C:/PHP directory, and configure the Apache server with PHP. Install a MySQL 5.0/6.0 database and enable the MySQL extension in the php.ini configuration file. by removing the ';' from the following line:

extension=php_mysql.dll

Set the extension_dir directive in php.ini to the directory containing the extensions.

extension_dir = "./ext"

Set error reporting in php.ini file to E_ERROR.

error_reporting  =  E_ERROR

We also need to install the MDB2 driver for MySQL, which is available as a PHP Extension and Application Repository (PEAR) module. First, install PEAR if not already installed. Download go-pear.php and run the following command to install PEAR:

C:/PHP>PHP go-pear.php

Download the MDB2 driver for MySQL Copy the .tar file to the C:/PHP directory. Install the MDB2 driver with the following command:

C:/PHP>pear install -o MDB2_Driver_mysql-1.4.1.tar

PHP On Trax is available as a PEAR module. Run the following commands to install PHP On Trax:

>pear channel-discover pear.phpontrax.com
>pear install trax/PHPonTrax

A PHP on Trax directory gets created in the C:\PHP\PEAR directory. Create a trax.bat file in the C:/PHP directory, which is in the PATH environment variable. To the trax.bat file add the following code:

php C:\PHP\PEAR\PHPonTrax\trax.php %1

Add the .phtml type to the httpd.conf file to render the .phtml view templates.

AddType application/x-httpd-php .php .phtml

The .phtml view templates contain a short form of PHP's open tags. Enable the short open tags in php.ini file.

short_open_tag = On

Start your build

In this section we create a PHP on Trax application. The MVC application shall be used to create, read, update and delete catalog entries in a database table. Create an application catalog in the Apache web server root using trax.bat with the following command:

C:\Apache\htdocs >trax catalog

A trax application with an application structure similar to a Ruby on Rails application gets created. The app directory consists of the controllers directory for the controller PHP scripts, the models directory for the model scripts and the views directory for the view templates.

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