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How to Construct an Application for App Engine in PHP

By Rizwan Ahmad - 10 January 2014 No Comments
As we all know, the app industry is booming by leaps and bounds. And who doesn't love to have an app? I just love Android apps and always keep a tab on every new Android market that hits the Android app market – the Google Play Store. Applications are a great medium that ensures infotainment, entertainment and lets you stay organized. 

SEE ALSO: The 6 Easiest Steps To Make Your Application Portable
How to Construct an Application for App Engine in PHP
Image Credit: webdigi

What’s more? Today, it looks as if the most talked about topic among clients is mobile apps. Why? This is because mobile applications sales are escalating worldwide and for business owners or individuals looking to have a great online presence finds apps to be a great medium for reaching to millions of app users. Now, one of the common questions that tops every business’ or individuals’ list is – “Should we hire a mobile application developer or build a mobile application on our own instead?”

It often comes to my mind to create an app on my own rather than splurging money in hiring some development firm. And I believe that there are a few other people who’ll love to build an app themselves.

If you’re thinking of building applications for Google App Engine, then you need to know that there are several languages in which those applications can be written such as PHP, Python and Java to name a few. In this guest post I’ll be covering how to create an application in PHP for Google app engine.

PHP Application for Google App Engine
Creating an application for App Engine is very simple, and hardly takes few minutes. What’s the best part? Well, creating an application for Google App Engine is free. Once you’ll complete building your app, you can upload it and share it with your targeted audience without ado, at free of cost and without the need of making any commitments.

Let’s have a look at the steps to creating Google App Engine application using PHP:

  1. Installing the PHP SDK
Let’s get started! In order to develop Google App Engine PHP applications, the first and foremost step requires you to install and set up the app engine SDK (software development kit) and its associated components. The app engine PHP SDK allows you to develop and later upload the PHP applications that you’ve created.

What Else? The software development kit comprises of a web server that you can run on your PC in order to test your PHP apps. Once you’re done testing on your local server, the SDK lets you upload your application to the Google App Engine with helps of its integrated software.

NOTE – Your SDK installations can vary for every platform. Thus, it is recommended that you must follow the instructions to install your SDK for the several platforms like Linux, MAC OS X and Windows.

  1. Developing and Testing your App Engine PHP applications
After installing the PHP SDK, the next step requires you to set up a local development environment that allows you to develop and test your PHP applications prior to displaying them to the world.
Let's start by developing a little application that displays a short message.

  • Creating a Simple Script
To create a simple script first you need to create a directory let’s say the directory is called hiworld. Now, all files of your application will be inherent in the hiworld directory. Further, inside this directory, create a file say hiworld.php, and later give it the following contents:

  echo 'Hello, World!';

This simple PHP script will respond to all the requests with the message Hi, world!.

  • Creating the Configuration File
Once you’ve have implemented your PHP script, the next step is to create a configuration file. The Google App Engine application has a default configuration file known as app.yaml. This file illustrates which scripts must be used for which URLs.

Inside the hiworld directory, create a file named app.yaml including the following contents:

application: hiworld
version: 1
runtime: php
api_version: 1

- url: /.*
script: hiworld.php

The aforementioned configuration file says the following about this application:
Ø  Each and every new PHP application created on the Google App Engine holds a unique application identifier. For instance, in the above configuration file the application identifier is hiworld. The identifier needs to be chosen for your PHP application as soon as you register it in the subsequent step. Till then you can simply leave the value set to hiworld since this value is not important when developing an application locally.
Ø  The application code that you’ve written as shown above is version number 1. In case you alter this version prior to uploading new versions of your application, App Engine will hold on to previous versions, and will make you roll back to a preceding version by making use of the administrative console.
Ø  The above application code will run in the PHP runtime environment, namely version "1". Few other runtime environments and languages can also be supported at some point, in future.
Ø  All the requests to a URL whose path matches with the regular expression ‘/.*’, must be taken care of by the hiworld.php script.

  • Testing the Application
Now you have implemented a handler script and created a configuration file, and after mapping every URL to the handler script, your application is complete. Last step requires you to test your application with the web server that comes incorporated with the App Engine SDK.
Let’s begin the web server by writing the following command, and then provide it the path to the hiworld directory:

google_appengine/ hiworld/

Now, your web server is running, and listening for requests, for example, on port 8080. In order to test your application, you need to visit the following URL in your browser:

Now you have built yourself a complete App Engine PHP application, why not share it with the world!

A Final Thought!
If you want to build a PHP app for the Google App Engine, you must consider the above mentioned steps that can be your definitive guide to building an excellent PHP application. However, even though it might seems easy to you to build an application by following the above mentioned steps, but I’ll advice that you still must talk to some app developers and app development companies with good app development experience; preferably, you’ll take help if you want to develop a useful and meaningful application.

SEE ALSO: Evolution of Technology in Software Application

Also, another important aspect that you must consider is that you must be aware of what you want and if you don’t want your data to be lost then it is important to back it up. Keeping track of these certain points will surely help you tackle uncalled circumstances.

Maria is a qualified PHP Outsourcing Company professional who is great at delivering focus in her writings. She works for the software giant, Xicom Technologies. Hire PHP Programmers from Xicom to get quality service at your fingertips.
About the Author:

Maria is a qualified PHP Outsourcing Company professional who is great at delivering focus in her writings. She works for the software giant, Xicom Technologies. Hire PHP Programmers from Xicom to get quality service at your fingertips.

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