Development environments done right, with Vagrant, Puppet and VirtualBox

vagrant_structure

When I first started out in web development, I worked directly on the server. I had an FTP client and I’d download files, edit them, and re-upload them. If it was a “serious” project, I might even use source control. I thought this was a pretty handy way to work… Looking back on that workflow, I’m embarrassed, but the thing is, I know people who still work that way. I’m not going to go into the merits of having a dedicated development environment, automated builds and tests, etc… Just take it as a given that you need them. With that being said, however, it’s always a pain trying to set up a new development environment, and having an environment already set up on my laptop doesn’t guarantee that it’ll be the same environment that the next client has in production. If you’re on a different machine, it’s a problem. I’m going to talk about how I’ve solved this age old problem using Vagrant, Puppet and VirtualBox.

Continue Reading…

Moving Kohana to a non public directory

Kohana, PHP framework

This is the second post in my series on the Kohana php framework.  For more, see:

Part 1: Getting started with the Kohana php framework

One of the simplest, and most basic security precautions that you can take is to move your application’s files into a non-public area of your webhost. Having your applications code and configs sitting there in your document root is just never a good idea. An attacker could very easily gain access to the source code of your application, as well as configuration. Next thing you know, there’s empty beer cans all over your apartment and the silverware’s missing. In general, this applies to any kind of web based application, but I’m going to be dealing specifically with Kohana, as part of my series on Getting Started with Kohana.

Continue Reading…

The Most Important Database Tool in the World!

Finally, I’m getting back to my series of posts about database development. Databases are an important part of the business landscape, but they are highly misunderstood. For instance a well designed database can allow your sales force to instantly call up information about your clients, their recent purchases, their returns, how much they spent with you last year, and so on. A well designed database can be an invaluable tool across your business. Now, note my use of the phrase “a well designed database”. A poorly designed database, however is a royal pain in the neck. It hides information, obscures data, and misleads your business. So, in order to ensure that your database is of the “well designed” variety, you simply must use “The Most Important Database Tool in the World”. Continue Reading…