The other company we collaborate with on short.ie has released a private beta of a new application a short while ago. The web application is basically a business collaboration tool that allows someone to keep a consistent tracking over projects and clients, management of tasks, management of documents (online document manager) and much more.
I would seriously recommend people (managers, developers, etc) to look at it and register for the BETA version because having been granted access to test and give feedback, we, as private beta testers, found it really nice, insightful and simple to use.
This web app has a huge potential (internationally) and is developed following a solid architecture. Being strong PEAR contributors we are of course happy to take a look at what helped the footprintapp.com team achieve such a great product. So I went ahead and asked a few questions to Iarfhlaith Kelly from webstrong.
Q: How long have you been using PEAR?
A: I dabbled with a few of the PEAR packages back in college (2001-2005). Mostly I used the database abstraction packages like DB and MDB2. It was great to use on object oriented approach to interact with a database. After college though, from 2005 onwards, I ventured much deeper into the PEAR packages because as a freelance developer I was getting a lot more requests from clients.
Q: How does PEAR help you in your daily development life?
A: Using PEAR has greatly reduced the amount of code I’ve needed to write on the ‘heavy lifting’ areas of web development. This lets me focus on the flow of the system and spend more time building features that make my app unique, rather then re-inventing the wheel on some of the more common features often needed in most modern web apps.
Also, because of PEAR’s command line interface for installing and updating packages (both locally and remotely) it has made maintaining the code packages a lot easier then if I had to download and upgrade each one manually. This saves a lot of time during system upgrades.
Q: What do you use it for (packages you use)
A: Well, like I mentioned before I started off by using DB and MDB2 in college, but once I started using PEAR on client projects I quickly learned about the XML parsing libraries, HTTP requests, MS Excel generation, encryption, authentication, and email. I used a number of key PEAR libraries without which I would still be building it today. These were:
* Auth_HTTP for HTTP based authentication
* MDB2 for database abstraction
The system also communicates with a number of other web services, such as Amazon’s S3 service and authentication services via the OpenID format. To communicate with these, I use:
* XML_Parser for processing the returned information
* HTTP_Request for sending commands and data to the web services
Because of the standard approach to documentation across all PEAR for these packages allowed me to hit the ground running on new packages.
This is yet another great experience by PEAR users and we are glad to be helping and best of luck to webstrong and footprintapp for the future!
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