PHP developers now have so many tools to choose from for testing and debugging their script. Here is a list of 10 wide-ranging tools which make a PHP developer’s life so much easier.
- SimpleTest –http://www.simpletest.org/
SimpleTest is an automated testing solution that lets developers write unit tests with PHP syntax. It offer features like Web Interface testing and though it’s not so popular, PHP community members appreciate it’s user-friendly testing approach.
- Firebug- https://getfirebug.com/
- Cucumber- https://cucumber.io/
Cucumber is a behavior-driven development tool that lets you write tests in ‘plain English’ or any of the 30 spoken languages, and execute them using a third-party tool like Mechanize to execute tests in a browser. Though Cucumber was written for testing on Ruby on Rails applications, it can be used with most mainstream programming languages including PHP.
With so many testing and debugging tools available, you need an issue tracking solution like Bugzilla to keep track of uncovered programs and assign them to team members. Bugzilla is an open source project for managing issues that supports all features expected in a high-quality tracking solution, including tracking the status of reported bugs and then assigning and changing the bugs’ status. Though it’s not written in PHP, it can be run on any server supporting PHP as it’s a Perl-based project.
- PHPUnit – https://phpunit.de/
Test driven development involves developing tests with the application code instead of after most of the application code is written. Developers are constantly writing tests to ensure their application doesn’t succumb to errors and the PHPUnit testing framework gives PHP developers a solution to write, organize and automate tests. This increases productivity as it saves the hassle of manually testing features.
- XDebug- https://xdebug.org/
Testing and debugging involves inspecting the state of your application in various execution stages using PHP statements like echo. This however makes reviewing contents of an object a messy affair with the lack of coherent formatting. The XDebug PHP extension is installed in minutes and helps change and enhance the readability of object contents output to the browser.
- Watir –https://watir.com/
Watir (Web Application Testing in Ruby has Ruby community roots but can be used with other programming languages, including PHP. It lets you write scripts that automate browser-based tasks to determine if your Web interface and server-side application are performing as expected. While it originally tested only Internet Explorer, extensions let you automate testing in major browsers.
- UserTesting.com- https://www.usertesting.com/
As open source projects and small businesses cannot afford to hire a full or part time quality assurance team, UserTesting.com is an online usability testing service that gives you a detailed and frank feedback.
It provides video and written summaries of their testing panel’s experience with your website at a low cost. It’s so popular that globally recognized companies like Amazon rely on it for unbiased third-party feedback.
- Selenium- http://www.seleniumhq.org/
Selenium is another testing solution that lets you check your website’s operation from the user’s perspective. It not only lets developers write scripted tests, a Firefox extension Selenium IDE also lets test developers record tests in Firefox just by interacting with the website. Its scripting capabilities are supported by other major browsers too.
- FirePHP- http://www.firephp.org/
FirePHP extends Firebug’s capabilities to the server by letting you log messages and other data from a PHP script. This proves helpful while debugging Ajax-driven features or to inspect an object’s or array’s contents without repeatedly inserting or deleting echo statements. It is also a Firefox extension but you need to install a simple PHP library on the server with your PHP-driven website.
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Written By Mathew K – Co-Founder & Talent Acquisition – PHP Web Developers – | Digital & Tech companies – https://www.linkedin.com/in/mathew-kimani-52a3aa25/