What is Flow?

Flow is a web application platform enabling developers to create excellent web solutions. It gives you fast results. It is a reliable foundation for complex applications. And it is backed by one of the biggest PHP communities.

The Epic Forward

The Definitive Guide is meant to be a technical resource for documentation of both Flow usage as well as the theories, patterns and practices to be used in effective Flow development. While the community and the authors of this guide will remain objective when presenting concepts, the information found herein may be strongly biased both positively and negatively for and/or against other known software development methods and practices. While the practices adopted in this guide are not the only ones possible, nor necessarily the right ones for all projects, they are the generally accepted “Best Practices” that surround the design decisions and direction that have been taken by Flow and its contributors to date.

The fanatical adoption of the processes, procedures and methodologies as outlined in the guide will enabled you to work faster, smarter and produce the best possible results when working within the Flow framework. Flow was created to complete a missing piece not available to the PHP developer community. Many of the comparable systems found in various other languages are based on proprietary technologies or based on languages that require additional layers or systems to build and run applications. A primary reason for this was that due to some initial shortcomings of earlier versions of PHP, it was not accepted as an “Enterprise” language as opposed to a .NET or Java.

With the emergence of PHP 5.3 and the feature set it has brought with it, a better ecosystem of PHP frameworks is now possible. Flow aims to implement a set of software design and development principles that have been proven to produce organized, highly extensible applications which can evolve over time with the demands and changes of their domain.

Parts of The Guide

Part I: Introduction and Fundamentals

In this section, you will get an overview of the underlying patterns and practices that are implemented into Flow at its core. After reading this section, you should have a concise and informed understanding of theories and methodologies that are involved in building a Flow application using “Best Practices”.

Part II: Getting Started

In Getting Started, you will learn how to get a Flow application setup and ready to go. You will also be introduced to the basic building blocks for a Flow application and its packages.

Part III: Manual

As is the case with any manual, this section will focus on how to use the various pieces and mechanisms found within Flow. This will include descriptions of what each component does and example code of how to use or implement it into your application.

Part IV: Deployment and Administration

Learning to build an application based on Flow is one thing, but equally important is understanding how to deploy your application into the wild, and then how to maintain and support it once it’s live. The guide has dedicated an entire section to ensuring you know the ins and outs of publishing and maintaining an application built on Flow.

Part V: Appendixes

Any framework is only as good as its ability to communicate clearly on the frameworks intent and design to its community. While a ubiquitous language around design patterns helps, the appendixes section aim to make getting to specific documentation and topic references more efficient. This section is much more effective when used after having read through the guide, acting as a quick reference for previously learned concepts.