Thursday, November 06, 2008

Zend_Amf Update...

At ZendCon this year we announced a partnership between Zend and Adobe. The goal of the partnership is to help make it easier for PHP developers to use Flex. Since then there has been a flurry of activity including blog posts and the introduction of Zend_Amf into the main trunk of Zend Framework.

To help get PHP and Zend Framework developers up and running quickly, Kevin Hoyt has created a set of examples of using the new Zend_Amf component and posted them on his blog, in a post titled Lots of Flash, Flex, and Zend, PHP Samples.

"Depending on how you count it, there are somewhere between 13 and 54 different Flash, and/or Flex examples included in the attached archive - that doesn’t even count the different PHP examples (also included)."

Kevin's examples cover:
- Hello AMF
- Hello Text
- Hello XML
- Inline
- Object
- Remoting

It's a post that really gives PHP developers a good starting point and some excellent examples to work from. If you are interested in experimenting with Flex and PHP, you really need to read his post and explore his examples.

To be able to use the examples, you will need a version of Zend Framework that includes Zend_Amf.

Matthew Weier O'Phinney, Software Architect for Zend Framework, recommends checking out the latest version of Zend_Amf from SVN until 1.7 is officially released.

So make sure you grab the latest version from svn or get the final version of Zend Framework 1.7 when it comes out.

For further research on using Adobe Flex and Zend_Amf:
- Lee Brimlow and Matthew Weier O'Phinney's recently presented a webinar titled Using Zend Framework with Flex. (Free registration required)
- has a manual page for Zend_Amf.
- Wade Arnold, the author of Zend_Amf, has several good blog posts on his blog covering Flex and Zend_AMF.

As usual, although I strongly :) recommend using ZF for all your PHP programming, if you just want AMF support for PHP--consistent with the Zend Framework 'use at will' architecture--you can use Zend_Amf standalone without using other parts of Zend Framework.


  1. Andi: I think it would very useful to provide an article which details why would better using Zend_Amf than the oldie AmfPHP which is currently the de facto standard for communicating between PHP and Flash. (I know that the source code of even the new version of AmfPHP is very PHP4ish style, and could be improved a lot, but it is a long standing solution [we served with it more than 100 million request / day], so I feel it would be important to clarify why to move.)

    Another observation: I read in the proposal that the Zend_Amf won't contain a front controller, but from this point of view AmfPHP is a much convenient way for developers, so it would be nice to provide an out of box solution.

    Anyway I am happy that AMF support in PHP is moving to a cleaner code base. Thanks for everybody the work!

  2. @gergely

    Actually Wade has just posted a nice round up regarding the future AMFPHP vs. Zend-Amf

  3. @gergely: Zend_Amf presents an evolution of AMFPHP, and provides some important quality assurance and new features -- such as AMF3 support. Wade has fully unit tested Zend_Amf -- fixing long standing issues with AMFPHP in the process. Additionally, it will benefit from a broader community of contributors.

    Wade himself has posted some important information in this regard recently.

    Regarding your note of "Zend_Amf won't contain a front controller," I think this is taken out of context. Zend_Amf does not ship with a gateway.php file like Zend_Amf, but the process of invoking Zend_Amf is very similar, and in many ways simpler, than with AMFPHP. You simply instantiate the Zend_Amf object, configure it, and tell it to handle the request. The difference is that you're writing it yourself.

    I encourage you to give Zend_Amf a try!

  4. @Matthew: I follow Zend_Amf from its start (already tested it), I just feel that it would be important to speak more about this topic to the developers. Arnold is in my google reader ;), but I think the differences could be cover in more details.

    The front controller topic: I guess even for ZF is good if more and more people start to use it. And the lack of some kind of front controller creates a higher barrier to entry for a lot of people. And I even understand that it should not be part of the ZF but I thing it would nice to provide a basic out of the box solution.

  5. Here is a demo connecting PureMVC to Zend_AMF

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