Introduction

PHsPeed Academy

Welcome to PHsPeed Academy. If you want to learn how to use PHsPeed the best way, then you're on the right spot.

First, a little notice. As the development of PHsPeed continues, some screenshots and movies can differ from the version you have installed. Although we do our best, it is virtually impossible to keep up with the development and change all the documentation accordingly.

So what can you find here? We have tried to arrange a couple of lessons to get you going. We have a lot of plans here, including certifications, e-learning, and more, but initially, you need to know what you can do with PHsPeed and how to achieve that.

What is PHsPeed?

PHsPeed is a visual PHP development tool to create responsive web applications. Responsive here means that the applications you build with PHsPeed show well on all kinds of devices, from mobile phones to large desktops. There is a but however. If you design a form for a large desktop, then you need to be aware of the fact that it will display totally different on a small phone. So there are rules as you will learn during these lessons. But nothing to worry about. It's easy. To achieve all that PHsPeed uses standard technology. For responsive design, PHsPeed uses one of the latest versions (currently 4.4). For database access, PHsPeed uses PDO which is a database-independent library. For better user experience, the system is using JQuery(UI) and Ajax. And the most important of all, PHsPeed is using these technologies extensively, but it hides the most complex things. For example, if you want to change the color of a label on your HTML form, then in regular tools you must apply JavaScript to achieve that. In PHsPeed it's just a matter of assigning a color value to a component property. 

Components? Properties?

PHsPeed is component-oriented. That means that you can pick a component from the component toolbar and put it on your form. Examples of components are 'an edit box', 'a checkbox', 'a grid'. As these components are part of the user interface, they are called 'visual components'. That implies that there are invisible components, and that's true. Examples of that are database connectors, data sources, tables and more.
Each component has 'properties'. Those are special variables to influence the standard behavior. If you put an edit field on the form then the edit field will have a default behavior. Suppose you want to make the field required so that it cannot contain an empty value. Then you set a property 'required' to 'true'. When you generate the application, you will see that the field is mandatory.

How about Javascript? And CSS?

When you put a visible component on the form then some of them contain Javascript code that is needed to function well. It is generated in real-time when you do that. For the experts amongst you, it is possible to edit and change the JavaScript and even debug it in the embedded Chromium Javascript debugger. But in general, it should not be necessary to change javascript.
CSS is needed for the look and feel of your application. It too is generated on the fly. Sometimes by code, sometimes out of a style sheet. It depends. A lot of the CSS is hidden behind the Bootstrap framework.

Visual? Wysiwyg?

In the integrated development environment (IDE) you design your forms, (add custom code to events), generate, test and deploy your code. PHsPeed has a lot of tools to make that process even easier as it can generate full working applications based upon a database table. The form designer is used to make a conceptual drawing of your form. As the real presentation depends on the device you are using for display, a real Wysiwyg is not applicable. However, to generate and run the application takes only a few seconds, and then you can see the result live. By setting the size of the viewport, you can emulate large screens to small mobile devices.

How does it fit in my agile approach?

Working with PHsPeed fits in many development approaches including the agile (scrum) approach. See here.
But if you prefer prototyping, DSDM or other methods, then you will see that PHsPeed will fit into that too.

OK, I'm interested. Now what?

The first step could be to download and install the software and use the evaluation period to see if the product is for you. Although PHsPeed is a low-code platform, it does not mean that you never have to write code. But it's minimal. So if you are not a real developer, then you are most likely able to create simple applications or prototypes. For more complex business rules, however, you will need to write code, or find someone who does that for you. However, as you can always create a significant part of the application yourself, you save money by letting only the programmer do work what you can't.