File uploads with Adobe Flex and Zend AMF

Leonardo França writes; Zend AMF is an implementation done in PHP to work with the communication protocol binary AMF (Action Message Format) and is part of ZendFramework. I had to implement a system to upload files that were a little different than what is typically used in Flash, with this feature had to be integrated into the Zend AMF.
Researching a little on the net, found a solution that was simpler than I thought based on that article with a few adjustments.
Begin with our gateway to be used as endpoint in Adobe Flex.

< ?php require_once 'Zend/Amf/Server.php'; require_once 'Zend/Amf/Exception.php'; require_once 'br/com/leonardofranca/vo/FileVO.php'; require_once 'br/com/leonardofranca/UploadZendAMF.php'; $server = new Zend_Amf_Server(); $server->setProduction(false);



Read more at; File uploads with Adobe Flex and Zend AMF – Workflow: Flash.

Zend_Config_Ini and a string

Rob Allen as usual writes useful stuff; One thing that is different between Zend_Config_Xml and Zend_Config_Ini is that with Zend_Config_Xml you can pass in an XML string as the first parameter of the constructor and it will work. This doesn’t work with Zend_Config_Ini as we use parse_ini_file() under the hood.

With PHP 5.3 however there is is a new function called parse_ini_string() which will allow us to load arbitrary ini string into Zend_Config objects. This can’t go into Zend Framework 1 though due to our PHP 5.2.4 minimum version requirement.

As I needed this for a project, I extended Zend_Config_Ini to support this feature, which means simply overloading a single method

class App_Config_Ini extends Zend_Config_Ini
* Load the INI file from disk using parse_ini_file(). Use a private error
* handler to convert any loading errors into a Zend_Config_Exception
* @param string $filename
* @throws Zend_Config_Exception
* @return array
protected function _parseIniFile($filename)
set_error_handler(array($this, '_loadFileErrorHandler'));
if (substr($filename, -4) == '.ini') {
$iniArray = parse_ini_file($filename, true);
} else {
$iniArray = parse_ini_string($filename, true);

// Check if there was a error while loading file
if ($this->_loadFileErrorStr !== null) {
* @see Zend_Config_Exception
require_once 'Zend/Config/Exception.php';
throw new Zend_Config_Exception($this->_loadFileErrorStr);

return $iniArray;

The actual change is to see if the last 4 characters of the filename are “.ini” and if they aren’t then use parse_ini_string() instead of parse_ini_file(). The rest of the code is just error handling.

This is one area where I really like it when a class implements methods that done just one thing.

More at Rob Allen’s Dev notes

A Zend Framwork compound form element for dates

Rob Allen writes; A while ago I needed to ask a user for their date of birth on a Zend_Form. The design showed three separate select elements to do this:

Screen shot of a 3 select boxes for a date on a form

A little bit of googling found this site which has not unfortunately disappeared, so the code in this article owes a lot of the author of that article.

It turns out to be remarkably simple to create a single Zend Form element that is rendered as multiple form elements. We create an element object and a view helper object and we’re done. Usage then looks like:

< ?php class Application_Form_Details extends Zend_Form { public function init() { $this->addPrefixPath('App_Form', 'App/Form/');

// other elements before

$this->addElement('date', 'date_of_birth', array(
'label' => 'Date of birth:'

// other elements after

$this->addElement('submit', 'Go');

Obviously, this form lives in application/forms/Detail.php and is rendered as usual in a view script. In our form definition, we have added an element called ‘date’ and with the addition of the addPrefixPath call have told the form that in addition to using the standard Zend Framework form elements, also look in library/App/Form. (Incidentally, we can also now override any supplied form element by simply dropping a replacement into the libraryApp/Form folder.)

The date form element lives in library/App/Form/Element/Date.php as Zend_Form knows to look in a subfolder for App/Form called Elements for any element objects and will look in the Decorator/ sub folder for decorator objects.

The Date element looks like this:

Read the rest at Rob Allen’s DevNotes.

ExtJs, ExtDesigner and Zend Framework

Nils-Fredrik G. Kaland writes; Let’s say you are working on the user interface in Ext Designer / Sencha Ext Js, and after a while you find out you have ended up with a great amount of data stores. You also need to handle lots of Ajax requests and all the server side coding this invokes. But, why not think two steps forward already when working with the interface in Ext Designer? Of course, you are an experienced developer – so you have your database model ready. More on that later. Let’s start with the user interface in Ext Designer.

via ExtJs, ExtDesigner and Zend Framework

Handling exceptions in a Front Controller plugin – Rob Allen’s DevNotes

Rob Allen wites in his DevNotes; If you have a Zend Framework Front Controller plugin which throws an exception, then the action is still executed and then the error action is then called, so that the displayed output shows two actions rendered, with two layouts also rendered. This is almost certainly not what you want or what you expected.

This is how to handle errors in a Front Controller plugin:

  1. Prefer preDispatch() over dispatchLoopStartup() as it is called from within the dispatch loop
  2. Catch the exception and the modify the request so that the error controller’s error action is dispatched.
  3. Create an error handler object so that the error action works as expected.

This is the code:

< ?php class Application_Plugin_Foo extends Zend_Controller_Plugin_Abstract { public function preDispatch(Zend_Controller_Request_Abstract $request) { try { // do something that throws an exception } catch (Exception $e) { // Repoint the request to the default error handler $request->setModuleName('default');

// Set up the error handler
$error = new Zend_Controller_Plugin_ErrorHandler();
$error->type = Zend_Controller_Plugin_ErrorHandler::EXCEPTION_OTHER;
$error->request = clone($request);
$error->exception = $e;
$request->setParam('error_handler', $error);


That’s it.

via Rob Allen’s DevNotes.

Local config files and Zend_Application

Rob Allen writes; A friend of mine recently had a requirement where she wanted to have two config files loaded into Zend_Application, so that the specific settings for the server were not stored in the version control system.

Hence she has two config files: application.ini and local.ini where local.ini is different on each server.

The easiest way to approach this problem is to load the two files within index.php, merge them and then pass the merged config file to Zend_Application.

The code to do this looks like this: Local config files and Zend_Application.

Zend Framework 1.11.0 FINAL Released

The Zend Framework team is pleased to announce the immediate availability of the general access release of Zend Framework 1.11.0.

This release is the culmination of several months of effort by contributors and Zend Framework partners, and offers several key new features, including support for mobile devices and the first stable release of the SimpleCloud API.

You may download the release from the following location:

The following is a summary of new features and capabilities introduced in version 1.11.0

mobile support

Zend Framework 1.11 marks the first release with explicit support for mobile devices, via the new component Zend_Http_UserAgent. This component was developed by Raphael Carles. Carles is CTO of Interakting, the digital agency of Business & Decision Group of France. Interakting employs 150 PHP professionals to build industrial PHP projects, and its clients include Canal +/Vivendi, BNP Paribas, Samsung France, Ministry of Education, Alapage (Orange), Orange Tunisia, and many others. As such, they have extensive experience in supporting mobile devices, and stepped forward to contribute to Zend Framework, which they leverage in their projects.

Zend_Http_UserAgent performs two responsibilities:

– User-Agent detection

– Device capabilities detection, based on User-Agent

The component includes a “features” adapter mechanism that allows developers to tie into different backends for the purpose of discovering device capabilities. Currently, Zend Framework ships with adapters for the WURFL (Wireless Universal Resource File) API, Tera-WURFL, and DeviceAtlas, with more planned for the future.

Luca Passani, author and lead of the WURFL project, has provided an exemption to Zend Framework to provide a non-GPL adapter accessing the WURFL PHP API.

Additional hooks into the component are provided via a Zend_Application resource plugin, and a Zend_View helper, allowing developers the ability to return output customized for the detected device (e.g., alternate layouts, alternate images, Flash versus HTML5 support, etc.).

Zend_Cloud: SimpleCloud API

During ZendCon 2009, Zend announced a prototype of the SimpleCloud API.

This API was to provide hooks into cloud-based document storage, queue services, and file storage.

Zend Framework 1.11.0 markes the first official, stable release of Zend_Cloud, Zend Framework’s PHP version of the SimpleCloud API. Current support includes:

– Document Services:

– Amazon SimpleDB

– Windows Azure’s Table Storage

– Queue Services:

– Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS)

– Windows Azure’s Queue Service

– All adapters supported by Zend_Queue:

– Zend Platform JobQueue

– Memcacheq

– Relational Database

– ActiveMQ

– Storage Services:

– Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3)

– Windows Azure’s Blog Storage

– Nirvanix

– Local filesystem

When using any of the SimpleCloud APIs, your code will be portable across the various adapters provided, allowing you to pick and choose your services, as well as try different services until you find one that suits your application or business needs. Additionally, if you find you need to code adapter-specific features, you can drop down to the specific adapter in order to do so.

More adapters will be arriving in the coming months, giving you even more options!

We thank Wil Sinclair and Stas Malyshev for their assistance in the initial releases of Zend_Cloud.


Several classes in Zend Framework were patched to eliminate the potential for leaking timing information from the direct comparison of sensitive data such as plaintext passwords or cryptographic signatures to user input. These leaks arise from the normal process of comparing any two strings in PHP. The nature of the leaks is that strings are often compared byte by byte, with a negative result being returned early as soon as any set of non-matching bytes is detected. The more bytes that are equal (starting from the first byte) between both sides of the comparison, the longer it takes for a final result to be returned. Based on the time it takes to return a negative or positive result, it is possible that an attacker could, over many samples of requests, craft a string that compares positively to another secret string value known only to a target server simply by guessing the string one byte at a time and measuring each guess’ execution time. This server secret could be a plaintext password or the correct cryptographic signature of a request the attacker wants to execute, such as is used in several open protocols including OpenID and OAuth. This could obviously enable an attacker to gain sufficient information to perform a secondary attack such as masquerading as an authenticated user.

This form of attack is known as a Remote Timing Attack. Timing Attacks have been problematic in the past but to date have been very difficult to perform remotely over the internet due to the interference of network jitter which limits their effectiveness in resolving very small timing differences. While the internet still poses a challenge to performing successful Timing Attacks against a remote server, the increasing use of frameworks on local networks and in cloud computing, where network jitter may be significantly reduced, raises the distinct possibility that remote Timing Attacks will become feasible against ever smaller timing information leaks, such as those leaked when comparing any two strings. As a precaution, the applied changes implement a fixed time comparison for several classes which would be attractive targets in any potential remote Timing Attack. A fixed time comparison function does not leak any timing information useful to an attacker thus proactively preventing any future vulnerability to these forms of attack.

We thank Pàdraic Brady for his efforts in identifying and patching these vulnerabilities.

Dojo Support

Zend Framework’s default Dojo Toolkit version has been bumped to version 1.5.0, which includes the new component, a simple framework for client-side mobile applications.

SimpleDB Support

Zend Framework has provided support for Amazon’s Simple Storage Service (S3), Simple Queue Service (SQS), and Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) platforms for several releases. Zend Framework 1.11.0 adds support for SimpleDB, Amazon’s non-relational document storage database offering.

Support is available for all SimpleDB operations via Zend_Service_Amazon_SimpleDb.

Zend Framework’s SimpleDB adapter was originally written by Wil Sinclair.

eBay Findings API Support

eBay has an extensive REST API, allowing developers to build applications interacting with their extensive data. Zend Framework

1.11.0 includes Zend_Service_Ebay_Findings, which provides complete support for the eBay Findings API. This API allows developers to query eBay for details on active auctions, using categories or keywords.

Zend_Service_Ebay was contributed by Renan de Lima, Ramon Henrique Ornelas, and Don Bosco Nguyen Van Hoi.

MariaDB Compatibility

Zend_Db’s mysql and Pdo_Mysql adapters are fully MariaDB compatible, and the documentation has been updated to reflect configuration options for this fork of MySQL.

New Configuration Formats

Zend_Config has been a quite popular component in Zend Framework, and has offerred adapters for PHP arrays, XML, and INI configuration files.

Zend Framework 1.11.0 now offers two additional configuration formats:


Zend_Config_Yaml provides a very rudimentary YAML-parser that should work with most configuration formats. However, it also allows you to specify an alternate YAML parser if desired, allowing you to lever tools such as PECL’s ext/syck or Symfony’s YAML component, sfYaml.

Zend_Config_Json leverages the Zend_Json component, and by extension ext/json.

Both adapters have support for PHP constants, as well as provide the ability to write configuration files based on configuration objects.

Stas Malyshev created both adapters for Zend Framework; Zend_Config_Json also had assistance from Sudheer Satyanarayana.

URL Shortening

Zend_Service_ShortUrl was added for this release. The component provides a simple interface for use with most URL shortening services, defining simply the methods “shorten” and “unshorten”. Adapters for two services, and, are provided with this release.

Zend_Service_ShortUrl was contributed by Martin Hujer.

Additional View Helpers

Several new view helpers are now exposed:

– Zend_View_Helper_UserAgent ties into the Zend_Http_UserAgent component, detailed above. It gives you access to the UserAgent instance, allowing you to query for the device and capabilities.

– Zend_View_Helper_TinySrc is an additional portion of Zend Framework’s mobile offering for version 1.11.0. The helper ties into the TinySrc API, allowing you to a) provide device-specific image sizes and formats for your site, and b) offload generation of those images to this third-party service. The helper creates img tags pointing to the service, and provides options for specifying adaptive sizing and formats.

– Zend_View_Helper_Gravatar ties into the Gravatar API, allowing you to provide avatar images for registered users that utilize the Gravatar service. This helper was contributed by Marcin Morawski.

Thank You!

We’d like to thank the countless contributors who have made Zend Framework 1.11.0 possible. Over 200 issues and feature requests were closed in preparation for this release, reflecting the efforts of dozens of contributors to the project.
Matthew Weier O’Phinney

Zend SimpleCloud and Azure

Josh Holmes writes a informative article on SimpleCloud here;

I’ve been playing with Zend’s SimpleCloud API for the webcast that I’m doing with Zend today. I started with the Zend Framework Quickstart tutorial but changed out the backend to hit the Azure Tables and such (well kinda – I used Zend Studio 8 Beta 2 and didn’t use the ZF tool but I still created a little guestbook). I’m going to expand this example to include blob storage and queues as well in the near future but at the moment, I’m just going to hit the Azure Tables.

To get started, continue reading.