Review: Web Application Development with Yii 2 and PHP

Yii is an amazing web application programming framework. It’s actually what I used to build Wordner a few years back. Yii is fast and powerful. It uses the Model-View-Controller (MVC) methodology. And, because it leverages PHP and MySQL, it can run on nearly any server.

For the past several years, the team who built Yii has been working to overhaul of the original framework. Yii 2 brings some significant enhancements to the framework, including support for namespaces, improved view echoing, and updates to widgets and themes.

Unfortunately, Yii 2 is incompatible with applications built on Yii 1. It’s also fresh out of the gate which means the documentation is still weak in a few areas. Keep that in mind if you are thinking about building a Yii 2 web application.

Thankfully, Packt Publishing has released a new book aimed at anyone wanting to learn Yii 2. Web Application Development with Yii 2 and PHP was written by the programming duo of Mark Safronov and Jeffrey Winesett. Yii 2 is brand new, so this book is one of the only resources currently available for people interested in exploring the framework.

Web Application Development with Yii 2 and PHP isn’t in its first edition. In fact, it is actually the third edition of what can only be called the “Yii Bible.” The latest edition has been completely updated to focus on the key features and differences found in Yii 2. This gives anyone reading the book a fast track to completing their application.

Safronov and Winesett have an excellent ability to take complex concepts and distill them down to simple steps. So, while you might think that you have be a seasoned programmer to dig into the book, that is actually not the case.

Case in point, Web Application Development with Yii 2 and PHP makes excellent use of sample code blocks and terminal commands. Both of these are extremely helpful when exploring some of the differences between Yii 1 and Yii 2.

That said, the book is not for newbies. To get the most out of it, you should have a firm understanding of PHP and basic web application development. It is also extremely helpful if you have used Yii 1.

One of the things I really like about this book is the way it guides you through the creation of a custom web application. Again, if you’ve ever written code, you can appreciate how important samples and guided tutorials are.

Web Application Development with Yii 2 and PHP provides walk throughs of setting up Yii 2, installing the basic and advanced sample applications, preparing a custom application, and generating CRUD functions.

Keep in mind that Yii 2 was just released, and there are still some rough spots you’ll need to work through. I did find myself needing to visiting the official Yii Framework website in order to complete a things. This is probably because the book was published just before the final release of Yii 2.

Nevertheless, the tutorials in the book are an excellent jumping off point for digging deeper into Yii 2. Additionally, there are special sections examining the rendering of views, user authentication, modules, extensions, events, and widgets to name a few.

Web Application Development with Yii 2 and PHP takes you step-by-steap through each area it explores. Every chapter builds upon the last to slowly build and enhance the sample web application code provided with the book.

By providing comprehensive foundation to Yii 2, the book will make even the most nervous reader feel confident enough to play and modify the samples provided. In that way, Web Application Development with Yii 2 and PHP will encourage you to learn the framework. Then, it will push you to break stuff and experiment on your own. Of course, if you plan on building your own web application on Yii 2, this is exactly what you need to do!

Web Application Development with Yii 2 and PHP is published by Packt Publishing and coauthored by Mark Safronov and Jeffrey Winesett. It’s 406 pages and includes code samples too.

The book is available in ebook and paper formats. You can buy it directly from Pack Publishing or on Amazon.