Book review: php architect’s Guide to Enterprise PHP Development

Categories: Adobe AIR Books PHP Reviews

Currently I’m helping to lead the development of an enterprise-grade rich internet application. We’ve decided that the front-end client is going to be a desktop app running on Adobe AIR and using the Flex framework, but we’re still discussing options as to what the back-end should be running on. Java, .NET, Ruby on Rails, even Python…all have been discussed, but the one we were initially writing off was PHP. In an effort to be fair, I’m re-considering, and recently finished reading a book that aims to position PHP as a viable enterprise platform.

php|architect’s Guide to Enterprise PHP Development is a very concise book that aims to hit the broad, major topics of enterprise PHP development. It hovers somewhere between light and technical reading, so both the less technically-interested management and the hands-on developers can get the high points quickly. While it’s not, in my opinion, the comprehensive guide it claims to be, it does touch on all the most significant aspects of enterprise PHP development in a way that makes them quickly digestible and understandable. The author then provides enough footnotes and book recommendations for further reading, because the topic is a little too broad for the 270+ pages that make up the book.

The book covers such diverse topics as requirements gathering, software architecture and planning, tools (IDEs and editors), software development methodologies (waterfall, rapid application development, agile), design patterns, frameworks, security, deployment approaches, source control, test-driven development, quality assurance, optimization, maintenance…the list goes on. PHP has always had the misfortune of being labeled as less suitable platform for the enterprise than something like Java or .NET, and this book does a good job of addressing that and explaining how method can overcome perceived platform shortcomings.

So if you’re looking for a relatively fast read that covers all the major aspects of enterprise PHP development, I would recommend taking a look at php|architect’s Guide to Enterprise PHP Development.