Working with Models, Views, Controllers, and Routes in Visual C#.NET

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Working with Models, Views, Controllers, and Routes
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A discussion of building a modular application with the Zend Framework (Jeroen Keppens), at http://blogkeppensbiz/2009/06/create-modular-application-with-zendhtml A discussion of using per-module layouts in the Zend Framework wiki and forums, at http://frameworkzendcom/wiki/display/ZFPROP/Zend_Layout and http://www zfforumscom/zend-framework-components-13/model-view-controller-mvc-21/ modules-layouts-2645html The Zend Framework directory layout, at http://frameworkzendcom/wiki/display/ZFPROP/Zend+Framework+Default+ Project+Structure+-+Wil+Sinclair The Zend Framework coding standard, at http://frameworkzendcom/manual/en/coding-standardhtml
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Working with Forms
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Zend Framework: A Beginner s Guide
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Key Skills & Concepts
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Learn to programmatically create forms and form elements Understand how to filter and validate user input Protect your forms from Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) attacks and spambots Control the appearance of form elements and error messages Create a working contact form
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n the previous chapter, you learned how the Zend Framework implements the Model-ViewController pattern, and you looked underneath the hood of the example application to see how it works You also started to flesh out the example application by adopting a modular directory structure, adding a master layout, and creating custom controllers, views, and routes for static content Now, while you can certainly use the Zend Framework to serve up static content, doing so is a lot like using a bulldozer to knock over a tower of plastic blocks There s nothing stopping you from doing it, but it s not really what the bulldozer was intended for, and you re liable to face hard questions about why there s a bulldozer in your living room in the first place! The Zend Framework is similar, in that it s intended to provide robust, elegant, and extensible solutions to complex Web application development tasks The more complex the task, the better suited it is to the power and flexibility of the framework and the more fun you ll have knocking it down! In this chapter, you ll learn how the Zend Framework can simplify one of the most common application development tasks: creating Web forms and processing user input You ll also apply this knowledge to add some interactivity to the SQUARE example application, by creating a contact form So without further ado, let s jump right in!
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To demonstrate how the Zend Framework can help you with forms, a brief yet illustrative example will suffice If you re like most PHP developers, chances are that you ve written a form-processing script like the following one at some point in your career:
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<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 10 Strict//EN" "http://wwww3org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strictdtd"> <html xmlns="http://wwww3org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en" lang="en"> <head> </head>
3:
Working with Forms
<body> <h2>Create Item</h2> < php if (!isset($_POST['submit'])) { // no POST submission, display form > <form method="post" action="/item/create"> <table> <tr> <td>Item name:</td> <td><input type="text" name="name" size="30" /></td> </tr> <tr> <td>Item quantity:</td> <td><input type="text" name="qty" size="3" /></td> </tr> <tr> <td colspan="2"> <input type="submit" name="submit" value="Submit" /> </td> </tr> </table> </form> < php } else { // POST submission, validate input if (trim($_POST['name']) == '') { die('ERROR: Missing value - Item name'); } if (trim($_POST['qty']) == '') { die('ERROR: Missing value - Item quantity'); } if ($_POST['qty'] <= 0) { die('ERROR: Invalid value - Item quantity'); } // process input // eg: save to database // attempt a connection try { $pdo = new PDO('mysql:dbname=test;host=localhost', 'user', 'pass'); // create and execute INSERT query $name = $pdo->quote($_POST['name']); $qty = $pdo->quote($_POST['qty']);
Zend Framework: A Beginner s Guide
$sql = "INSERT INTO shoppinglist (name, qty) VALUES ($name, $qty)"; $pdo->exec($sql) or die("ERROR: " implode(":", $pdo>errorInfo())); // close connection unset($pdo); // display success message echo 'Thank you for your submission'; } catch (Exception $e) { die("ERROR: " $e->getMessage()); } } > </body> </html>
There s nothing very clever or complicated here This script is divided into two parts, split by a conditional test that inspects the $_POST variable to determine if the form has been submitted The first half displays an input form containing two fields and a submit button; the second half validates the input to ensure that it is in the correct format and then proceeds to escape it and insert it into a database Figure 3-1 illustrates what the form looks like Now, while the script and general approach that you ve just seen work in practice, there s no denying that it has a couple of problems:
The same script file contains both HTML interface elements and PHP business logic As discussed in the previous chapter, this is both messy to look at and hard to maintain It s also hard to enforce consistency between forms, since the code required to produce each form is customized to a very high degree Every time you add a new field to the form in the first half of the script, you need to add a corresponding set of validation tests and error messages to the second half of the script This is annoying, and often repetitive; witness that the first two tests in the previous example do essentially the same thing There s no way to reuse validation tests from one form in other forms (unless you had the foresight to package them into classes or functions from the get-go) As a result, you often end up writing the same code time and time again, especially when working with forms that perform related or similar operations
Figure 3-1
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