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Zend Framework 1.8: Book review and Giveaway

Packt Publishing A while ago, I reviewed the jQuery 1.3 and PHP book. This book is published by Pack Publishing and they asked me to review another book for them. This book, written by Keith Pope, is called Zend Framework 1.8 Web Application Development. As you could have guessed by the title of the book, it shares great information about the Zend PHP Framework. This book was an eye opener for myself too, since I'm a regular user of the CakePHP framework.

I've read the book and wrote a review about it that you can read below. Now, you have a chance to win this 350+ pages thick book and read it yourself!

Zend Framework 1.8 Web Application Development

What you'll learn from this book:

  • Introduction to the MVC pattern and how The Zend Framework implements it
  • Building a fully functional website using the framework
  • How to correctly test your application
  • and much more!

Read the review below and make sure to check out how you can win a hardcopy version of this book. Also, make sure you subscribe to the RSS feed or follow me on Twitter to get updates on more future giveaways.

Table of Contents

There is a summary after each chapter, which reflects on what you've learned so far.

  1. Chapter 1: Creating a Basic MVC Application
    1. Overview of MVC architecture
    2. Setting up the environment
    3. Installation
    4. Creating the project structure
    5. Application directory structure
    6. Bootstrapping
    7. Your first controller
    8. Your first view
    9. Handling errors
  2. Chapter 2: The Zend Framework MVC Architecture
    1. Zend framework MVC overview
    2. The Front Controller
    3. The router
    4. The Dispatcher
    5. The Request object
    6. The Response object
  3. Chapter 3: Storefront Basic Setup
    1. Getting started
    2. The Storefront requirements
    3. Basic structure and setup
    4. Building the Storefront
    5. The Storefront database
    6. Logging and debugging
  4. Chapter 4: Storefront Models
    1. Models in the Zend Framework
    2. Model design
    3. Storefront Models
    4. Loading Models and Resources
    5. The SF Library
  5. Chapter 5: Implementing the Catalog
    1. Getting started
    2. Creating the Catalog Model and Resources
    3. Loading Models and other assets
    4. Creating the Catalog Controllers
    5. Creating the Catalog Views
    6. Building and running the storefront
  6. Chapter 6: Implementing User Accounts
    1. Creating the user model and resources
    2. Creating the Customer Controller
    3. Zend_Form
    4. Creating the Customer Views
    5. Building the application
  7. Chapter 7: The Shopping Cart
    1. Creating the Cart Model and Resources
    2. Creating the Cart Controller
    3. Creating the Cart Views and Forms
  8. Chapter 8: Authentication and Authorization
    1. Authentication versus Authorization
    2. Authentication with Zend_Auth
    3. Authorization with Zend_Acl
  9. Chapter 9: The Administration Area
    1. What is an administration area?
    2. Implementing the storefront administration area
    3. Catalog management
    4. Securing the administration area
  10. Chapter 10: Storefront Roundup
    1. Using multiple modules
    2. Services
  11. Chapter 11: Storefront Optimization
    1. General optimizations
    2. Dispatching optimizations
    3. Caching
  12. Chapter 12: Testing the Storefront
    1. What is testing?
    2. PHPUnit and Zend_Test setup
    3. Writing tests
    4. Testing the Customer Controller
    5. Common problems
  13. Appendix: Installing Supporting Software
    1. Installing PHPUnit
    2. Installing Xdebug
    3. Installing Apache Ant

Inside the book

Zend Framework MVC

Shop created with Zend

Unit testing


The book has the following tagline on the cover: Design, develop, and deploy feature-rich PHP web applications with this MVC framework. With a tagline like that, you got me interested already. Since I'm a huge fan of the MVC pattern (and already experienced it when using the CakePHP framework), I couldn't wait to give Zend a spin too. This book is a great starter for those people that do have a slight programmers background, but want to explore the possibilities of Zend.

The first two chapters are mainly for those people that don't know what the MVC pattern is. For me, I skipped those chapters almost completely and started with the third one. This chapter, the Storefront Basics Setup is the first chapter that talks about Storefront. This is the main application that will be expanded (features added) throughout the whole book. It's pretty useful to have a guide/application that you're working on through the whole book, since you can follow each step of the process of creating a website using the framework.

Although the book is in full colour (screenshots of directory structures etc.), code examples are in plain black. That's too bad, since I personally really like to see colours in source code for easy scanning. Some code examples use comments, which explains even better what the code exactly is doing.

Some of the code examples are pretty big and span over 3 pages. In my opinion that's a little bit too much. On the other hand, it's making the code complete too and you don't have to look in the appendixes to find the full code.

Another great point of this book, is the last chapter; Testing the Storefront. In this chapter, you'll learn to unit test the application! Something that was totally new to me (since I'm used to unit test Java and .NET code, but not PHP) so I was pretty surprised how this can be achieved using PHP in combination with Zend. As you can see, you can learn something new every day.

Although this book has a pretty wide range of audience (from beginner to the more experienced user), it's just easier to get through when you have worked with the MVC pattern before. On the other side, it's a great step in the right direction to make the first contact with the pattern. Zend itself is pretty easy to learn, and especially in combination with this book, I'm pretty sure you can build some awesome web application in no time! As you can see, I don't think this book has loads of downsides; it's well written, the storefront case is very good and it explains how the Zend framework in combination with MVC pattern works.


Now that you know all this information about Zend Framework 1.8 Web Application Development, I'm pretty sure you would love to add this book to your collection. Packt Publishing has kindly decided to provide one hardcopy version of this book to one lucky Reader!

During, this contest, we'll work with tokens. The more tokens you have, the greater the chance is of winning the actual book. But how to get a token?

Simply leave a comment

Dropping some kind words in the comment field, will provide you with one token.

Tweet about this giveaway on Twitter

One token will be provided to you if you tweet about this giveaway on Twitter.

Tweet about this giveaway on Twitter and leave a comment linking to your Twitter update!

The combination of both will give you not 2, but three tokens.

Example: If you leave a comment like this. I tweeted about this contest here , it'll provide you three tokens which increases the chance of winning the book. It's that simple!

Don't forget to enter a valid e-mail address, otherwise I won't be able to contact you if you've won the prize. When the contest has finished, all valid entries will be entered on The first one that will pop-up on top of the list will be announced as winner.

So participate now and who knows you could be the lucky winner!

Rules / Notes

  • Pack Publishing is only able to send this book to the UK, or countries in the US and Europe. If you live outside these countries, you'll receive the eBook version.
  • This contests ends on March 16th.

Good luck to everyone!

Update: Contest has finished

Small note to tell everybody that the contest has finished. I want to congratulate Romeo for winning the book!

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