Thursday, February 20, 2014

Web Application Development with Yii and PHP: A Book Review

We were again graced by Packt and was given the opportunity to review the second edition of Web Application Development with Yii and PHP by Jeffrey Winesett, which was released November 2012. Wait! What?! That is really 2012 and no typographical error, almost two years from now. You might be shouting expletives if I seem pulling your leg and reviewing a book over a year old.

When I double checked with the official Yii Framework website, it turns out that this book is for the Yii Framework version 1.1.12 which is about two versions away from the current version (version 1.1.14 as of this writing). What's so special about this book is that the Yii framework starting with version 1.1 is supported until December 2015. That means you get this book as an investment resource for Yii Framework 1.1.x development, and that means it's relevant now and beyond, make that 3 years after this book is published.

The most obvious gripe this book will suffer is that it's over a year old and still using only MySQL for database backend. Beyond that, this book offers an extensive array of features and highlights, befitting the long term support of the framework it covers. At around 330 pages, this book covers the history and object-oriented hallmarks of Yii as a PHP5 framework, including but not limited to the wholesome three letter words like MVC (model-view-controller) especially the Active Record design pattern for models, TDD (test driven development) including how Yii provides unit testing, and using Yii modules for RAD (Rapid Application Development).

The book which comes in eBook and combo eBook and print version, also has a companion file for the books TrackStar project management and issue tracking project discussing database connection, RSS feed feature provided by no less than a component from Zend Framework 1.x, caching and logging features as implemented in Yii. Another plus is that this book is useful for both new and experience PHP5 developers using Yii framework, given that the TrackStar application is built on a sequence that's easy to follow for both skill levels.

Saying PHP and Yii sounds like a rhyme and speaking of rhyme, this book is the best reference you can have on PHP5 development with the Yii Framework 1.1 until 2015, that's quite a long time.