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1. Quickstart Guide

On this page we will show the basic steps for creating a new project and encoding files. The full range of available features are described in later sections. If you are using the full version of the Encoder rather than the evaluation and have not yet licensed the product, please read about licensing the Encoder and then return here afterwards.

Start the application from the item provided in the Windows Start Menu. The following window will appear:

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Creating a New Encoder Project

The first step is to create a new Encoder project. An Encoder project stores all the settings necessary to encode a PHP project in the way that you want, and over time, you will probably create an Encoder project file for each PHP project that you wish to encode.

To create a new project, click on Create New Project... on the left of the startup window, choose the File/New Project... menu option or click the first toolbar icon new project. An unconfigured project will be created and the project settings dialog will soon appear. The Encoder has many features, and the available project settings are grouped on different tabs according to their function. For now we will just configure the options present on the Quickstart tab, which allows for quick setup of the bare minimum settings required to encode a project.

Setting the Source Files Folder and Language

With the project settings dialog open, select the Quickstart tab if it is not currently active, and in the field Project source folder type the location of your project source files; then press enter. If the source folder exists, the Project files section on the Source tab will now show your project files tree. Different icons indicate how the Encoder will process each file and folder. Files that match the default PHP extensions will be encoded ( ), others will be copied ( ), and any files or folders matching the default excluded item patterns will not be processed ( ). Notice that a popup menu is displayed if you right click on files and folders in the tree with options to change how the Encoder will process the selected item(s). The icon buttons at the top of the tree can also be used for this purpose.

Next, you should select which version of the Encoder to use to encode your PHP files. The default Encoder version is version 10.0. This should only ever be changed if you know that the servers your code will run on do not have at least a version 10.0 Loader installed.

Next, you should select the version of the PHP language that your source files use. The default Source language is PHP 7.1. The source language determines the minimum PHP version that will be required, and it is beneficial to use the highest language setting possible. So for example, even if your source code uses only PHP 4 syntax, if you know that your end users will have at least PHP 7.1, selecting PHP 7.1 would be best. If the Encoder reports parsing errors during encoding then remember to check that the correct language type is selected as an incorrect setting is the most likely cause.

Starting with version 10.2 of the Encoder, there is a "PHP 5.6 & 7.1" encoding option that produces a bundled encoding where the encoded files include both an encoding with PHP 5.6 as the source language and, also, an encoding with respect to PHP 7.1. The encoded files will then run on PHP 5.6, 7.0, 7.1 and 7.2 with the appropriate ionCube Loader installed. Note that the source files must be language compatible with both PHP 5.6 and 7.1 for the bundled encoding to be done successfully.

Setting the Target Folder

When the Project source folder was specified, you may have noticed that the Target folder name has been automatically set to the same name as your project folder. This can be changed if you wish.

Now enter the Location of project target folder, for example, C:\encoded-projects The Encoder also needs to know what to do if the target folder exists. The default setting is to Replace the target folder each time the project is encoded, and other options are to merge (create/overwrite) files into the target, rename the existing target to a unique name, or only process and update files where the source file is newer than the target or if there is no corresponding target file. Keeping the default option to Replace files is recommended, and a Quick Build option from the Project menu can be used to perform an update operation when required. These settings can be changed on the Target tab.

The basic settings are now configured, so click OK to close the project settings.

Building (encoding) Your Project

You are now ready to build your project. Choose the Encode/Build menu option or click the Start Building toolbar icon start
building. Files will be processed, and the first status indicator icon in the bottom right corner of the window will turn yellow while the Encoder is running. The Event Log tree in the main window will show how items have been processed as well as any warnings or errors. Once building is complete, your encoded files can be copied to a web server.

Now that you have completed the quick start guide, a good place to continue reading is with the project settings. The PDF User Guide is also a good source of reference. As well as describing every Encoder command line option in detail, which may be useful even though you are using the GUI, the licensing features of the Pro and Cerberus Encoder are explained, and the Loader API is also explained.