More Reusable PHP Functions

Several years ago I wrote an article about creating functions that can be easily reused in multiple projects (read that article here, if you're so inclined) and I thought it would be a good idea to include a few of our more recently developed favorites.

Advanced Sphinx Search in a PHP Application (Part 2)

In part one of this series I discussed the basics of getting a Sphinx search up and running in a custom PHP application. However, Sphinx has so many features and options that the previous article really only scratched the surface of what can be done, so in this post we'll get into some of the more advanced tricks and techniques that can be employed to customize your search results. Specifically, we'll cover how to handle pagination and custom weighting.

Integrating Sphinx Search into a PHP Application (Part 1)

We recently re-developed an application that was originally built using ASP Classic and MS SQL Server and converted it into PHP/MySQL and along the way, one of our goals was to simplify the search system. The original application had individual searches for specific content types -- for example, if you wanted to search for documents you would have to browse to that area and click the search drop-down. The fields listed there would be things like document title, date posted, document type, etc.

Real-Time Facebook-like Badges Using Pusher and Badger

Pusher/Badger badges

We have been tasked with the development of a large facilities management application -- one which has gone through several revisions over the years. In moving the project forward we wanted to add in features that provide more information quickly, and at-a-glance. In order to make things more real-time we investigated several options for replicating Facebook-style "badges" that would let users know when they had new tasks assigned to them or other content alerts that needed their attention.

Active Directory User Validation Through LDAP and PHP

We were recently tasked with the redesign of a fairly large intranet application which used Microsoft Active Directory for user authentication. The previous version of the site was created with ASP/VBScript and so our first challenge was duplicating (or in this case, improving) the LDAP connection system using PHP.

Windows, PHP, and MS SQL: A match made in...well...

The vast majority of PHP sites are built using a LAMP setup. For the uninitiated, this indicates a server running a Linux operating system, Apache web server software, a MySQL database, and the PHP development language. There are several reasons why this set of software is so popular, but the key ones are cost (free), security, reliability, and a wide open-source development community. However, in a recent custom project we were tasked with setting up a new intranet site which was effectively married to a Windows/IIS server running MS SQL.