Using Zend View for Email Message Body in Your Model

Lately in the PHP/Zend Framework blog world there has been much discussion concerning what constitutes a model in an MVC app.  In the current implementation of the MVC apps at work our ZF Form implementations are processed in a corresponding model class as well as a 'notify' method which handles emailing a response after successful submission.  I was able to abstract all aspects of the email properties except for the message body.

Most of the time the requirement is to have, basically, the same form view but with the values populate.  That usually means creating some long and kludgy looking heredoc or worse a huge string of crazy html intermingled with escapes.  Neither solution was very appealing to me.  I kept thinking more and more that the email body was really a view.  So I treated as such.  So my solution was to create a global views directory and a view script that was the email body template and passed it's render method to Zend_Mail instance.

This allows for further separation of models and views.  I know that technically the email body should be apart of the model, but far too many times I have to change how the body of the mail looks, not the data, so it lends itself to more of a view.

Please feel free to comment.

Forms as model architecture taken from

PayPal Zend Framework Validator

I was presented with a project where the client wanted a form that would accept credit card payments via paypal.  I could either write it in PHP or Java. While I am a big fan of both languages I felt in this instance that PHP was the most time efficient route.   However, PayPal doesn't offer an API for PHP. Only Java and .NET.  As to not be discouraged I decided to spend a little time trying to come with a custom validator that would handle the validation of the credit card validation.

My use case was very specific.  I only needed to authorize credit card sales.  Basically their simpliest form of transations.

Since all the applications that I write now are us the Zend Framework I was able to reduce "inline-code" by creating a custom validator that I assign to my preValidation method inside of the model.  :: I worked on this concept with Jeremy Kendall ::

There is definitely room for improvement, but this is might be helpful to others.  For example, the paypal options should really not be declared as Zend_Config instance, but checked for an instance of Zend_config and then set as an array with the toArray method.

// Validator

Internalization and Zend Form

One of the many growing requirements that I am experiencing at work is for internalization of our forms.  In this particular use case the languages available are limited to English and Spanish so I am not able to use Zend_Locale::BROWSER exclusively.  To make sure that correct form displays, in my form model class I created an array of allowed locales.  Before the form instantiated in the controller the language param is set the registry, and then that locale is checked against allowed locales.


Translations - located in my models directory: Models/Languages/En.php and Es.php

If locale is allowed then the form label translation is set.