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Help! File Management in MVC-pattern PHP / mySQL Application

Posted on 2009-05-04
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Last Modified: 2013-11-08
Hi experts. A grey Bank Holiday in England so a good excuse for some development :-) I'm looking for some help with my app. I think part of the problem is file management, and the rest is because I'm new to the whole world of object-oriented code. Allow me to explain...

I'm setting up a website with a remote assistance service. On my homepage, I have a login box on the right side. I want this to be a quick entry route into starting a remote assistance session.

The app needs to:
- Check if the user is logged in
- If no, display a username/password form
- If yes, display some data about that user's account, a "Welcome, [user name]" message, and the form which allows the user to initiate the remote assistance service.

I could code this fairly quickly with a simple procedural approach, but I've had a taste of OOP / MVC and I like it! However, I'm having some trouble 'bringing it all together'. Let me explain the two immediate problems, and I will then explain my app architecture:

Problem 1:

I have separated my files as below. My core classes, business model, controllers and views are all in separate folders. Let's say my db_connect script needs to 'know about' my db core class to perform its actions. Should I include() the db core class in the db_connect script, or should they all be glued together elsewhere?

Problem 2:

My understanding is that the controller should take user input, consult the model, and then generate a relevant view. Rather than generate two entire homepages depending on whether the user has logged in or not, how should I configure my app so that I can have one homepage 'view' with two alternative login areas?



Core Classes (ones that I could use across multiple apps)
-------------------
"html.php" - class to simplify generation of a standard HTML page (meta tags, google analytics code etc..)
"form.php" - class to simplify HTML Form code generation
"db.php" - class to handle connections and queries
"user.php" - class to handle a user object with login, data collection and logout methods

Model
------------------
"db_connect.php"

Straight script. Creates a "db" object from core classes, and calls a method with (hostname, username, password) parameters to open the database connection.

Controller
-----------------
"login.php"

Checks to see if the login form has been submitted.

If yes, the "login" method in my "user" core class is called.  The database is queried to check the username and password match. If yes, session variables are created for future authentication.

View
------------------
"index.php"

A mix of HTML and object-oriented PHP built from my core classes. No logic, just output.
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Question by:jimbo2k2
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mostart earned 500 total points
ID: 24295666
Well in the end you could do what you want. But if you like to have a OO and MVC approach why reinventing the wheel. You should consider using a MVC framework like ZEND (http://framework.zend.com/). This will give you all components OO style. It also makes a lot of things much more easy by providing handy classes for lots of jobs such as DB communication, form generation, Mail, Localization, Validation and many more..

I'm not a Zend Consultant and there might be other Frameworks, this is just the one I used yet and found very handy. Others I also used are not for PHP..
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Author Comment

by:jimbo2k2
ID: 24295930
Thanks for your comment mostart.

It is tempting to use a framework, but I am always put off by having to learn the framework first. I think I would prefer to work with my own code, especially because I am trying to learn PHP and OOP rather than just 'get something done'.

I suppose I want to understand the thought process of an experienced PHP programmer in approaching this problem.

I was just thinking, maybe I could create a 'view' for multiple page elements (header, navigation, body, login area, footer) and then write a simple script to glue it all together?










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Assisted Solution

by:mostart
mostart earned 500 total points
ID: 24295985
>I was just thinking, maybe I could create a 'view' for multiple page elements (header, navigation, >body, login area, footer) and then write a simple script to glue it all together?

yes I think this is a good idea in general.
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