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Review of the book: Zend Framework 2 Application Development from Packt Publishing

Posted by evolic | Posted in Programming, Web development | Posted on 13-02-2014

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Review of the book: Zend Framework 2 Application Development from Packt Publishing, written by Christopher Valles.

Zend Framework 2 Application Development

At the beginning of this review I would like to say that it is my second book about Zend Framework 2. This gives me a bigger picture and I could compare this book with the previous one.

What I should say first is to that this is not a reference book. If you are looking for the one, which describes Zend Framework 2 in details, covering many components and new things in second version of the framework – I would recommend to find another book and read it. I was hopefully a reader of such book – it was the first book I read about ZF2.
Although the author wrote in the book that he covers over 90% components of the framework – I revised it and in my opinion it is just a misunderstanding.

Here is the sentence about it:

“In this book we will review all the changes made in ZF2. The book is written with a hands-on approach, so you will learn the concepts while programming and building something that is actually usable. We will create a social network from scratch using 90 percent of all the components available in ZF2. So, we will cover a huge part of it, and definitely all you will need in the future is to write your applications.”

I want to not be groundless, so I give one example: you cannot find any word about caching! But it is not a big deal to learn about Zend\Cache in the documentation…

So, if it is not a reference book – what it is alike?

I may surprise you here, but this book is about applying Zend Framework 2 in real web application – in social network system.

What is important to mention is the approach of the author for this application. He (and the reader) implements two systems: the API and the frontend, which the users see.
So introducing API centric approach in the book is in my opinion the biggest adventage of this .

You can ask in mind – what is the API centric approach?

In this case all user’s actions are forwarded to the API, so frontend doesn’t have the access to the database at all. This is a good web service example.

“The first benefit of this approach for our social network is that the core of the application is just an API and all the related clients will rely on it to use the functionality. This means we have a good separation of concerns, and we will have separated the business logic from the client logic. This will allow us to create a website to access the service and the possibility of building a native application for mobile phones or even a desktop program using the same API in future.”

The second advantage is the application, which we are implementing during the reading. Social network is very good example of the web application these days – and you can feel like Mark Zuckerberg, when you create your own Facebook core.

The next advantage of this position is that:

all the components used in this book are open source

As the example open source tool I could mention about preparing own development environment using virtual machines (VirtualBox) with Vagrant scripts. More about that you can find at the beginning in the book (in the second chapter).

At the end of the book we are implementing user , which is now a must – for all web applications.

The last thing in the book is introducing OAuth2, which protects our API. If your API should talk with external web services – you are here at home.


If you are looking the book, which helps you to create your own web application in the Zend Framework 2 – this book is the one for you. It covers the basics introduced in the second version of the framework at the beginning to focus mainly on the social network implementation in the next chapters.

I hope you enjoy reading it!

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