Building a RESTful Web API with PHP and Apify

Apify is a small and powerful open source library that delivers new levels of developer productivity by simplifying the creation of RESTful architectures. You can see it in action here. Web services are a great way to extend your web application, however, adding a web API to an existing web application can be a tedious and time-consuming task. Apify takes certain common patterns found in most web services and abstracts them so that you can quickly write web APIs without having to write too much code.

Apify exposes similar APIs as the Zend Framework, so if you are familiar with the Zend Framework, then you already know how to use Apify. Take a look at the UsersController class.

Building a RESTful Web API

In Apify, Controllers handle incoming HTTP requests, interact with the model to get data, and direct domain data to the response object for display. The full request object is injected via the action method and is primarily used to query for request parameters, whether they come from a GET or POST request, or from the URL.

Creating a RESTful Web API with Apify is easy. Each action results in a response, which holds the headers and document to be sent to the user’s browser. You are responsible for generating the response object inside the action method.

class UsersController extends Controller
{
    public function indexAction($request)
    {
        // 200 OK
        return new Response();
    }
}

The response object describes the status code and any headers that are sent. The default response is always 200 OK, however, it is possible to overwrite the default status code and add additional headers:

class UsersController extends Controller
{
    public function indexAction($request)
    {
        $response = new Response();

        // 401 Unauthorized
        $response->setCode(Response::UNAUTHORIZED);

        // Cache-Control header
        $response->setCacheHeader(3600);

        // ETag header
        $response->setEtagHeader(md5($request->getUrlPath()));

        // X-RateLimit header
        $limit = 300;
        $remaining = 280;
        $response->setRateLimitHeader($limit, $remaining);

        // Raw header
        $response->addHeader('Edge-control: no-store');

        return $response;
    }
}

Content Negotiation

Apify supports sending responses in HTML, XML, RSS and JSON. In addition, it supports JSONP, which is JSON wrapped in a custom JavaScript function call. There are 3 ways to specify the format you want:

  • Appending a format extension to the end of the URL path (.html, .json, .rss or .xml)
  • Specifying the response format in the query string. This means a format=xml or format=json parameter for XML or JSON, respectively, which will override the Accept header if there is one.
  • Sending a standard Accept header in your request (text/html, application/xml or application/json).

The acceptContentTypes method indicates that the request only accepts certain content types:

class UsersController extends Controller
{
    public function indexAction($request)
    {
    	// only accept JSON and XML
        $request->acceptContentTypes(array('json', 'xml'));

        return new Response();
    }
}

Apify will render the error message according to the format of the request.

class UsersController extends Controller
{
    public function indexAction($request)
    {
        $request->acceptContentTypes(array('json', 'xml'));

    	$response = new Response();
        if (! $request->hasParam('api_key')) {
            throw new Exception('Missing parameter: api_key', Response::FORBIDDEN);
        }
        $response->api_key = $request->getParam('api_key');

        return $response;
    }
}

Request

GET /users.json

Response

Status: 403 Forbidden
Content-Type: application/json
{
    "code": 403,
    "error": {
        "message": "Missing parameter: api_key",
        "type": "Exception"
    }
}

Resourceful Routes

Apify supports REST style URL mappings where you can map different HTTP methods, such as GET, POST, PUT and DELETE, to different actions in a controller. This basic REST design principle establishes a one-to-one mapping between create, read, update, and delete (CRUD) operations and HTTP methods:

HTTP Method URL Path Action Used for
GET /users index display a list of all users
GET /users/:id show display a specific user
POST /users create create a new user
PUT /users/:id update update a specific user
DELETE /users/:id destroy delete a specific user

 

If you wish to enable RESTful mappings, add the following line to the index.php file:

try {
    $request = new Request();
    $request->enableUrlRewriting();
    $request->enableRestfulMapping();
    $request->dispatch();
} catch (Exception $e) {
    $request->catchException($e);
}

The RESTful UsersController for the above mapping will contain 5 actions as follows:

class UsersController extends Controller
{
    public function indexAction($request) {}
    public function showAction($request) {}
    public function createAction($request) {}
    public function updateAction($request) {}
    public function destroyAction($request) {}
}

By convention, each action should map to a particular CRUD operation in the database.

Building a Web Application

Building a web application can be as simple as adding a few methods to your controller. The only difference is that each method returns a view object.

class PostsController extends Controller
{
    /**
     * route: /posts/:id
     *
     * @param $request Request
     * @return View|null
     */
    public function showAction($request)
    {
        $id = $request->getParam('id');
        $post = $this->getModel('Post')->find($id);
        if (! isset($post->id)) {
            return $request->redirect('/page-not-found');
        }

        $view = $this->initView();
        $view->post = $post;
        $view->user = $request->getSession()->user

        return $view;
    }

    /**
     * route: /posts/create
     *
     * @param $request Request
     * @return View|null
     */
    public function createAction($request)
    {
        $view = $this->initView();
        if ('POST' !== $request->getMethod()) {
            return $view;
        }

        try {
            $post = new Post(array(
                'title' => $request->getPost('title'),
                'text'  => $request->getPost('text')
            ));
        } catch (ValidationException $e) {
            $view->error = $e->getMessage();
            return $view;
        }

        $id = $this->getModel('Post')->save($post);
        return $request->redirect('/posts/' . $id);
    }
}

The validation is performed inside the Post entity class. An exception is thrown if any given value causes the validation to fail. This allows you to easily implement error handling for the code in your controller.

Entity Class

You can add validation to your entity class to ensure that the values sent by the user are correct before saving them to the database:

class Post extends Entity
{
    protected $id;
    protected $title;
    protected $text;

    // sanitize and validate title (optional)
    public function setTitle($value)
    {
        $value = htmlspecialchars(trim($value), ENT_QUOTES);
        if (empty($value) || strlen($value) < 3) {
            throw new ValidationException('Invalid title');
        }
        $this->title = $title;
    }

    // sanitize text (optional)
    public function setText($value)
    {
        $this->text = htmlspecialchars(strip_tags($value), ENT_QUOTES);
    }
}

Routes

Apify provides a slimmed down version of the Zend Framework router:

$routes[] = new Route('/posts/:id',
    array(
        'controller' => 'posts',
        'action'     => 'show'
    ),
    array(
        'id'         => '\d+'
    )
);
$routes[] = new Route('/posts/create',
    array(
        'controller' => 'posts',
        'action'     => 'create'
    )
);

HTTP Request

GET /posts/1

Incoming requests are dispatched to the controller “Posts” and action “show”.

Feedback

  • If you encounter any problems, please use the issue tracker.
  • For updates follow @fedecarg on Twitter.
  • If you like Apify and use it in the wild, let me know.

Implementing Dynamic Finders and Parsing Method Expressions

Most ORMs support the concept of dynamic finders. A dynamic finder looks like a normal method invocation, but the method itself doesn’t exist, instead, it’s generated dynamically and processed via another method at runtime.

A good example of this is Ruby. When you invoke a method that doesn’t exist, it raises a NoMethodError exception, unless you define “method_missing”. Rails ActiveRecord::Base class implements some of its magic thanks to this method. For example, find_by_title(title) and find_by_title_and_date(title, date) are turned into:

find(:first, :conditions => ["title = ?", title])
find(:first, :conditions => ["title = ? AND date = ?", title, date])

What’s nice about Ruby is that the language allows you to define methods dynamically using the “define_method” method. That’s how Rails defines each dynamic finder in the class after it is first invoked, so that future attempts to use it do not run through the “method_missing” method.

Method Expressions

GORM, Grails ORM library, introduces the concept of dynamic method expressions. A method expression is made up of the prefix such as “findBy” followed by an expression that combines one or more properties. Grails takes advantage of Groovy features to provide dynamic methods:

findByTitle("Example")
findByTitleLike("Exa%")

Method expressions can also use a boolean operator to combine two criteria:

findAllByTitleLikeAndDateGreaterThan("Exampl%", '2010-03-23')

In this case we are using AND in the middle of the query to make sure both conditions are satisfied, but you could equally use OR:

findAllByTitleLikeOrDateGreaterThan("Exampl%", '2010-03-23')

Parsing Method Expressions

MethodExpressionParser is a PHP library for parsing method expressions. It’s designed to quickly and easily parse method expressions and construct conditions based on attribute names and arguments.

Description

[finderMethod]([attribute][expression][logicalOperator])?[attribute][expression]

Expressions

  • LessThan: Less than the given value
  • LessThanEquals: Less than or equal a give value
  • GreaterThan: Greater than a given value
  • GreaterThanEquals: Greater than or equal a given value
  • Like: Equivalent to a SQL like expression
  • NotEqual: Negates equality
  • IsNotNull: Not a null value (doesn’t require an argument)
  • IsNull: Is a null value (doesn’t require an argument)

Examples

findByTitleAndDate('Example', date('Y-m-d'));
SELECT * FROM book WHERE title = ? AND date = ?

findByTitleOrDate('Example', date('Y-m-d'))
SELECT * FROM book WHERE title = ? OR date = ?

findByPublisherOrTitleAndDate('Name', 'Example', date('Y-m-d'))
SELECT * FROM book WHERE publisher = ? OR (title = ? AND date = ?)

findByPublisherInAndTitle(array('Name1', 'Name2'), 'Example')
SELECT * FROM book WHERE publisher IN (?, ?) AND date = ?

findByTitleLikeAndDateNotNull('Examp%')
SELECT * FROM book WHERE title LIKE ? AND date NOT NULL

findByIdOrTitleAndDateNotNull(1, 'Example')
SELECT * FROM book WHERE (id = ?) OR (title = ? AND date NOT NULL)

Example 1:

findByTitleLikeAndDateNotNull('Examp%');

Outputs:

array
  0 =>
    array
      0 =>
        array
          'attribute' => string 'title'
          'expression' => string 'Like'
          'format' => string '%s LIKE ?'
          'placeholders' => int 1
          'argument' => string 'Examp%'
      1 =>
        array
          'attribute' => string 'date'
          'expression' => string 'NotNull'
          'format' => string '%s IS NOT NULL'
          'placeholders' => int 0
          'argument' => null

Example 2:

findByTitleAndPublisherNameOrTitleAndPublisherName('Title', 'a', 'Title', 'b');

Outputs:

array
  0 =>
    array
      0 =>
        array
          'attribute' => string 'title'
          'expression' => string 'Equals'
          'format' => string '%s = ?'
          'placeholders' => int 1
          'argument' => string 'Title'
      1 =>
        array
          'attribute' => string 'publisher_name'
          'expression' => string 'Equals'
          'format' => string '%s = ?'
          'placeholders' => int 1
          'argument' => string 'a'
  1 =>
    array
      0 =>
        array
          'attribute' => string 'title'
          'expression' => string 'Equals'
          'format' => string '%s = ?'
          'placeholders' => int 1
          'argument' => string 'Title'
      1 =>
        array
          'attribute' => string 'publisher_name'
          'expression' => string 'Equals'
          'format' => string '%s = ?'
          'placeholders' => int 1
          'argument' => string 'b'

See more examples: Project Wiki

Usage

class EntityRepository
{
    private $methodExpressionParser;

    // Return a single instance of MethodExpressionParser
    public function getMethodExpressionParser() {
    }

    // Finder methods
    public function findBy($conditions) {
        var_dump($conditions);
    }
    public function findAllBy($conditions) {
        var_dump($conditions);
    }

    // Invoke finder methods
    public function __call($method, $args) {
        if ('f' === $method{0}) {
            try {
                $result = $this->getMethodExpressionParser()->parse($method, $args);
                $finderMethod = key($result);
                $conditions = $result[$finderMethod];
            } catch (MethodExpressionParserException $e) {
                $message = sprintf('%s: %s()', $e->getMessage(), $method);
                throw new EntityRepositoryException($message);
            }
            return $this->$finderMethod($conditions);
        }

        $message = 'Invalid method call: ' . __METHOD__;
        throw new BadMethodCallException($message);
    }
}

Performance

PHP doesn’t allow you to define methods dynamically, this means that every time you invoke a finder method the parser has to search, extract and map all the attribute names and expressions. To avoid introducing this performance overhead you can cache the attribute names. For example:

class EntityRepository
{
    private $methodExpressionParser;
    private $classMetadata;

    // Return a single instance of MethodExpressionParser
    public function getMethodExpressionParser() {
    }

    // Return a single instance of ClassMetadata
    public function getClassMetadata() {
    }

    // Invoke finder methods
    public function __call($method, $args) {
        if ('f' === $method{0}) {
            $parser = $this->getMethodExpressionParser();
            $classMetadata = $this->getClassMetadata();
            try {
                $finderMethod = $parser->determineFinderMethod($method);
                if ($classMetadata->hasMissingMethod($method)) {
                    $attributes = $classMetadata->getMethodAttributes($method);
                    $conditions = $parser->map($args, $attributes);
                } else {
                    $expressions = substr($method, strlen($finderMethod));
                    $attributes = $this->extractAttributeNames($expressions);
                    $conditions = $parser->map($args, $attributes);
                    $classMetadata->setMethodAttributes($method, $attributes);
                }
            } catch (MethodExpressionParserException $e) {
                $message = sprintf('%s: %s()', $e->getMessage(), $method);
                throw new EntityRepositoryException($message);
            }
            return $this->$finderMethod($conditions);
        }

        $message = 'Invalid method call: ' . __METHOD__;
        throw new BadMethodCallException($message);
    }
}

The Expression objects are lazy-loaded, depending on the expressions found in the method name.

Extensibility

The MethodExpressionParser class was designed with extensibility in mind, allowing you to add new Expressions to the library.

abstract class Expression {
}
class EqualsExpression extends Expression {
}

Source Code

Browse source code:
http://fedecarg.com/repositories/show/expressionparser

Check out the current development trunk with:

$ svn checkout http://svn.fedecarg.com/repo/Zf/Orm

Review: Zend Framework 1.8 Web Application Development

Zend Framework is one of the most popular and hottest open-source frameworks being used today. The number of books about Web development using Zend Framework has increased over the last couple of years.

Packt Publishing sent me a copy of the book Zend Framework 1.8 Web Application Development by Keith Pope to review. I found this book to be a good introduction to the topics that a Zend Framework developer will need to know when developing enterprise Web applications. The book is also aimed at advanced users, considering there were a couple of things that I learned about this framework from reading the book. The book not only shows you how the Zend Framework works, but also how to write an application for real-world usage. The book covers access control, performance optimization, testing, debugging and application design. The writing is clear, the code examples are good and Keith does an excellent job of walking you through the life-cycle of a request, explaining how things work and how you can extend the framework to fit your needs.

Here’s an example of the Storefront application:
http://code.google.com/p/zendframeworkstorefront/source/browse

Conclusion

The book is very well-written, nicely structured and full of highly practical advice. Overall, I’m happy to say that Zend Framework 1.8 Web Application Development fulfilled my expectations.

Other Reviews

Raphael Stolt

“The content of the book is delivered in a fluent, very enthusiastic and ‘knowledge-pillowed’ writing tone. By implementing or working through the Storefront application seasoned web developers using older versions of the Framework will get a good blue sheet on new components like Zend_Application and it’s implication in the bootstrapping process; while new developers tending towards picking up the Zend Framework will get a current and well compiled guide, which might first start off with a steep learning-curve but will turn into profund knowledge once hanging in there.”

Fred Wu

“The flow of this book is heavily inspired by the famous Ruby on Rails book, Agile Web Development with Rails, where the author invites you to join the process of building a demo application, which in both cases is a shopping cart system. Judging by the feedback of the Rails book, most people feel quite comfortable learning a framework this way, some don’t. I guess if you are not a fan of following a defined learning structure, this book probably isn’t for you.”

Testing Zend Framework Action Controllers With Mocks

In this post I’ll demonstrate a unit test technique for testing Zend Framework Action Controllers using Mock Objects. Unit testing controllers independently has a number of advantages:

  1. You can develop controllers test-first (TDD).
  2. It allows you to develop and test all of your controller code before developing any of the view scripts.
  3. It helps you quickly identify problems in the controller, rather than problems in one of the combination of Model, View and Controller.

The Action Controller I’m going to test has only one method, profileAction():

tests/application/controllers/UserController.php

class UserController extends Zend_Controller_Action
{
    public function profileAction()
    {
        $this->view->userId = $this->_getParam('user_id');
        return $this->render();
    }
}

tests/application/ControllerTestCase.php

class ControllerTestCase extends Zend_Test_PHPUnit_ControllerTestCase
{
    public $application;

    public function setUp()
    {
        $this->application = new Zend_Application(
            APPLICATION_ENV,
            APPLICATION_PATH . '/config/application.ini'
        );

        $this->bootstrap = array($this, 'bootstrap');
        parent::setUp();
    }

    public function tearDown()
    {
        Zend_Controller_Front::getInstance()->resetInstance();

        $this->resetRequest();
        $this->resetResponse();

        $this->request->setPost(array());
        $this->request->setQuery(array());
    }

    public function bootstrap()
    {
        $this->application->bootstrap();
    }
}

tests/application/controllers/UserControllerTest.php

require_once TESTS_PATH . '/application/ControllerTestCase.php';
require_once APPLICATION_PATH . '/controllers/UserController.php';

class UserControllerTest extends ControllerTestCase
{
    public function testStubRenderMethodCall()
    {
        $request = $this->getRequest()
            ->setRequestUri('/user/profile/1')
            ->setParams(array('user_id'=>1))
            ->setPathInfo(null);

        $response = $this->getResponse();

        $this->getFrontController()
            ->setRequest($request)
            ->setResponse($response)
            ->throwExceptions(true)
            ->returnResponse(false);

        $controller = $this->getMock(
            'UserController',
            array('render'),
            array($request, $response, $request->getParams())
        );
        $controller->expects($this->once())
                 ->method('render')
                 ->will($this->returnValue(true));

        $this->assertTrue($controller->profileAction());
        $this->assertTrue($controller->view->user_id == 1);
    }
}

You can go further making both the tests and the implementation more sophisticated. The main point is that you can build and test a controller in a way that doesn’t require a view script to be written to do so.

Zend Framework Known Issues

By default Zend_Test_PHPUnit_ControllerTestCase sets the redirector exit value to false, leading to unexpected behavior when unit testing your code. For that reason, make sure you always add a return statement after calling a utility method:

class UserController extends Zend_Controller_Action
{
    public function profileAction()
    {
        if (null == $this->_getParam('user_id', null) {
            return $this->_redirect('/');
        }
        return $this->render();
    }
}

If you want the Front Controller to throw exceptions, you have no other choice than to overwrite the dispatch method and pass a boolean TRUE to the throwExceptions() method:

class ControllerTestCase extends Zend_Test_PHPUnit_ControllerTestCase
{
    ...

    public function dispatch($url = null)
    {
        // redirector should not exit
        $redirector = Zend_Controller_Action_HelperBroker::getStaticHelper('redirector');
        $redirector->setExit(false);

        // json helper should not exit
        $json = Zend_Controller_Action_HelperBroker::getStaticHelper('json');
        $json->suppressExit = true;

        $request = $this->getRequest();
        if (null !== $url) {
            $request->setRequestUri($url);
        }
        $request->setPathInfo(null);

        $this->getFrontController()
             ->setRequest($request)
             ->setResponse($this->getResponse())
             ->throwExceptions(true)
             ->returnResponse(false);

        $this->getFrontController()->dispatch();
    }

    ...
}

The Dispatcher not only violates the DRY principle but also suffers from amnesia. The problem is that it doesn’t store the instance of the Action Controller, instead, it destroys it (Zend_Controller_Dispatcher_Standard Line 305). You can easily get around this issue by extending the standard dispatcher and overwriting the dispatch() method:

class Zf_Controller_Dispatcher_Standard extends Zend_Controller_Dispatcher_Standard
{
    ...

    public function dispatch($url = null)
    {
        ...
        Zend_Registry::set('Zend_Controller_Action', $controller);

        // Destroy the page controller instance and reflection objects
        $controller = null;
    }

This will allow you to access the view object after dispatching the request:

class ExampleControllerTest extends ControllerTestCase
{
    public function testDefaultActionRendersViewObject()
    {
        $this->dispatch('/');

        $controller = Zend_Registry::get('Zend_Controller_Action');

        $this->assertEquals('ExampleController', get_class($controller));
        $this->assertTrue(isset($controller->view));
    }

Links

PHPUnit: Testing Zend Framework Controllers
PHPUnit: Mock Objects

Symfony 1.3 Web Application Development

Packt Publishing recently sent me a copy of the book “Symfony 1.3 Web Application Development” to review.

This book is not a reference guide, but an example driven tutorial that takes you through the process of building Model-View-Controller-based web applications. You will learn how to create and develop a simple online store application. It also covers best practices for better and quicker application development.

The book is based on the latest version of the Symfony Framework, and does a great job telling you what you get out of the box and how it works, which is perfect for hitting the ground running. During the development you are introduced to the concepts and features of the MVC framework. However, for those who want to know more about the framework, the book doesn’t explain how things work under the covers. This book is more for beginners who want to get started with Symfony 1.3.

One thing I didn’t like about this book is that it uses Propel instead of Doctrine as the default ORM framework. Apart from that, it does a great job explaining and demonstrating with practical examples how to build a Web application from scratch.

Overall, and considering that some of the topics in this book have already been covered in Practical Symfony 1.3, I rate this book 4 out of 5.

Symfony 1.3 Web Application Development

Database Replication Adapter for Zend Framework Applications

Last updated: 21 Feb, 2010

Database replication is an option that allows the content of one database to be replicated to another database or databases, providing a mechanism to scale out the database. Scaling out the database allows more activities to be processed and more users to access the database by running multiple copies of the databases on different machines.

The problem with monolithic database designs is that they don’t establish an infrastructure that allows for rapid changes in business requirements. Here is where database replication comes into play. Replication can be used effectively for many different purposes, such as separating data entry and reporting, distributing load across servers, providing high availability, etc.

Zf_Orm_DataSource is a Zend Framework Replication Adapter class flexible enough to support the most commonly used replication scenarios:

Single-Master Replication

In the simplest replication scenario, the master copy of directory data is held in a single read-write replica on one server called the supplier server. The supplier server also maintains changelog for this replica. On another server, called the consumer server, there can be multiple read-only replicas.

Configuration array:

$config = array(
    'adapter'        => 'Pdo_Mysql',
    'driver_options' => array(PDO::ATTR_TIMEOUT=>5),
    'username'       => 'root',
    'password'       => 'root',
    'dbname'         => 'test',
    'master_servers' => 1,
    'servers'        => array(
        array('host' => 'db.master-1.com'),
        array('host' => 'db.slave-1.com'),
        array('host' => 'db.slave-2.com')
    )
);

// or ...

$config = array(
    'adapter'        => 'Pdo_Mysql',
    'driver_options' => array(PDO::ATTR_TIMEOUT=>5),
    'dbname'         => 'test',
    'master_servers' => 1,
    'servers'        => array(
        array('host' => 'db.master-1.com', 'username' => 'user1', 'password'=>'pass1'),
        array('host' => 'db.slave-1.com', 'username' => 'user2', 'password' => 'pass2'),
        array('host' => 'db.slave-2.com', 'username' => 'user3', 'password' => 'pass3')
    )
);

In the setup above, all writes will go to the master connection and all reads will be randomly distributed across the available slaves.

Multi-Master Replication

This type of configuration can work with any number of consumer servers. Each consumer server holds a read-only replica. The consumers can receive updates from all the suppliers. The consumers also have referrals defined for all the suppliers to forward any update requests that the consumers receive.

$config = array(
    'adapter'        => 'Pdo_Mysql',
    'driver_options' => array(PDO::ATTR_TIMEOUT=>5),
    'username'       => 'root',
    'password'       => 'root',
    'dbname'         => 'test',
    'master_servers' => 2,
    'master_read'    => true,
    'servers'        => array(
        array('host' => 'db.master-1.com'),
        array('host' => 'db.master-2.com')
    )
);

Using a distributed memory caching system

Database connections are expensive and it’s very inefficient for an application to try to connect to a server that is down or not responding. A distributed memory caching system can help alleviate this problem by keeping a list of all the failed connections in memory, sharing that information across multiple servers and allowing the application to access it before attempting to open a connection.

To enable this option, you have to pass an instance of the Memcached adapter class:

class Bootstrap extends Zend_Application_Bootstrap_Base
{
    protected function _initCache()
    {
        ...
    }

    protected function _initDatabase()
    {
        $config = include APPLICATION_PATH . '/config/database.php';
        $cache = $this->getResource('cache');
        $dataSource = new Zf_Orm_DataSource($config, $cache, 'cache_tag');
        Zend_Registry::set('dataSource', $dataSource);
    }
}

And here is a short example of how the Replication Adapter might be used in a ZF application:

class TestDao
{
    public function fetchAll()
    {
        $db = Zend_Registry::get('dataSource')->getConnection('slave');
        $query = $db->select()->from('test');
        return $db->fetchAll($query);
    }

    public function insert($data)
    {
        $db = Zend_Registry::get('dataSource')->getConnection('master');
        $db->insert('test', $data);
        return $db->lastInsertId();
    }
}

Source Code:
https://github.com/fedecarg/zf-replication-adapter

Adding theme support to your Zend Framework application

This is a brief explanation on how to add theme support to your Zend Framework application and how to ensure those themes are self-contained, easy to distribute and install.

Themes are very powerful and extremely easy to develop. They allow you to quickly switch between layouts and change the look and feel of your application. You can use themes to show, for example, a mobile friendly version of your site.

Making a Zend Framework application theme-able is a three-step process.

First, modify your directory structure:

application/
    controllers/
library/
public/
    themes/
        default/
            css/
            images/
            templates/
        custom/
            css/
            images/
            templates/

Then, edit your Bootstrap class:

class Bootstrap extends Zend_Application_Bootstrap_Bootstrap
{
    protected function _initView()
    {
        $theme = 'default';
        if (isset($this->config->app->theme)) {
            $theme = $this->config->app->theme;
        }
        $path = PUBLIC_PATH.'/themes/'.$theme.'/templates';

        $layout = Zend_Layout::startMvc()
            ->setLayout('layout')
            ->setLayoutPath($path)
            ->setContentKey('content');

        $view = new Zend_View();
        $view->setBasePath($path);
        $view->setScriptPath($path);

        return $view;
    }
}

And finally, copy your view scripts and layouts to the templates directory:

application/
library/
public/
    themes/
        full-site/
            css/
            images/
            templates/
                error/
                index/
                partials/
                layout.phtml
        mobile-site/
            css/
            images/
            templates/

Voila, mission accomplished.