PHP Frameworks that Just Work
by Troy Topnik

Troy Topnik, July 8, 2013
PHP Apps in Stackato

It's great when you deploy an app and it just works. I recently worked on a proposal for a Stackato prospect who asked about a number of PHP application frameworks (basically "Will the following PHP frameworks run on Stackato"). Though I couldn't think of any reason they wouldn't work, I thought it would be prudent to test them before marking them "supported".

There are already a number of PHP frameworks showcased in Stackato's App Store. With a couple of clicks in the web interface, Stackato can pull a Joomla, Drupal, or CakePHP sample app from Github and deploy it.

These have some small code changes that pick up Stackato environment variables to set up the database, but are otherwise unmodified.

Perhaps it's a function of most PHP applications being designed to run on a fairly standard LAMP stack, but, as others have noted, it was pretty simple to get them running on Stackato.

As a result of my recent testing, I'm happy to report that these frameworks and CMSs work on Stackato with no major modifications:


As with the frameworks in the App Store, all these need are some snippets of code to pick up the credentials for a Stackato MySQL service. This can be taken from the Stackato PHP deployment documentation or one of the other PHP examples in Stackato-Apps on Github. My previous post on getting ownCloud into the App Store also covers the details.

Simple Symfony and Kohana applications will also work "out of the box", but some require a little tweaking to work nicely on the port assigned internally in application containers.

Commands? Check. cron? Check.

In the course of working on these frameworks I came across a post by Quentin Pleplé about trying to run Symfony on AppFog. AppFog was the original contributor of PHP support to Cloud Foundry, but we added a number of enhancements and complementary features in Stackato which deal with all of the limitations he encounterd (running commands interactively, in deploy hooks, and via cron).

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Troy Topnik is ActiveState's technical writer. After joining ActiveState in 2001 as a "Customer Relationship Representative" (AKA Tech Support), Troy went on to lead the PureMessage Enterprise Support team before moving on to a technical writing role in 2004. His talent for describing software for new users stems from his difficulty understanding things that developers find obvious. He has a Bachelor of Music from the University of Victoria.