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A Definitive Guide to PHP Frameworks for Development

A Definitive Guide to PHP Frameworks for Development

PHP web development has always been a complex and time consuming task. But not anymore!

This is all thanks to high-end PHP frameworks.

Agile application development is now not only easy, but it is also faster.

These high-end PHP frameworks come to your rescue when time is a big issue and you want to implement those high-end functionalities in your application in the least possible time.

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Image credit: Flickr

This is thus the time that you need to look at popular PHP frameworks.

Without any delay, let us take a look at the top PHP frameworks that would help you develop agile and secure applications.

Laravel

Packed with a lot of interesting features, a tempting engine and other development related stuff, Laravel provides your application with a reliable and tested environment.

Painless routing, a robust library and powerful ORM along with simple authentication are some of the features that make Laravel the first choice for developers.

  • Allows you to easily manage third-party packages with its tool composer.
  • Has an easy to comprehend syntax.
  • Eliminates testing hassles with its built-in unit testing.
  • Allows you to manage client and server routes through Restful routing.
  • Provides you with the flexibility to craft enthusiasts’ small businesses into big enterprise applications all in one go!

Phalcon

Named as one of the fastest PHP frameworks that the industry has ever witnessed, Phalcon provides you with an array of features.

They include asset management, security and translations, which make it one of the most preferred MVC frameworks boosted by PHP.

Consider Phalcon to develop micro application and high-end MVC applications with multi modules.

  • Easy to grasp and learn.
  • More cost effective than other frameworks.
  • Allows you to use selected objects or a whole framework due to its loosely coupled nature.
  • Has a powerful design.
  • Has neat API.
  • Allows you to easily create software through the direct injection feature of Phalcon.

Symfony

Symfony 2 is another PHP framework that you can choose to build websites and web applications. Witnessing 1,000,000 downloads till date; Symfony is currently backed up by an amazing support of 300,000 developers.

  • Allows easy configuration with event dispatcher and dependency injectors.
  • Allows for easy customisation as per your needs.
  • Allows you to deploy a micro framework and there is thus no need to deal with the entire framework.
  • Is highly extensible.
  • Validate roles easily and helps you boost productivity.

Yii

Yii is another high-performance framework. The beauty of this framework lies in its features that allow you to focus on the code while all the messy work can be managed behind the scenes.

Although many tasks in Yii are automated, you might still have to dig through the framework a bit more to know it inside out.

  • Is equipped with a powerful caching system for loading the web applications quickly.
  • Integrates with third-party codes easily. And, guess what, the codes from the Zend and Pear frameworks can also be used in the Yii web application.
  • Is a highly secured framework. It boosts some advanced security measures, such as injection attacks, cross-site scripting and input validation.
  • Has RBAC-based built-in authentication support.
  • Is highly compatible with Ajax and jQuery which allows you to create highly scalable and versatile UIs.
  • Can easily be integrated with both relational and non-relational databases.

Zend

Zend is the preferred PHP framework if you want to build a high performing web application. Packed with secure coding tools, the Zend framework showcases various important features, such as extensibility and modularity.

  • Has highly deployable API-centric applications.
  • Follows an agile design methodology.
  • Has a drag-and-drop editor.
  • Has instant debugging.
  • Includes PHP unit testing tools.

Things to Keep in Mind While Choosing a PHP Framework

  • What do you expect from the framework?

Even though familiarity is an important element when choosing a framework, functionality should also be considered.

This is because a CMS might not be suitable for an eCommerce application. You must thus first relax and analyse your requirements. Only thereafter can you proceed to compare the myriad of options that are available to you.

  • What about the documentation?

Always choose and go for a framework that comes with a lot of documentation and training. You never know when you might need it!

No matter how much expertise you have in a framework, it always appears to be hazy six months down the line. Under such circumstances, documentation comes to the rescue.

  • Does the framework have an active user base and is it actively being developed?

Writing code that is not perfectly coupled with your chosen framework is time consuming.

At that time, you are left with only two choices: Stay with the framework and continue to do its maintenance all by yourself or simply do the coding again with a new framework.

Neither choice is favourable nor should you thus always take a look at the framework’s community and active user base before you settle on one.

Still puzzled about which one to choose for PHP web development? This table might help!

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So, which framework do you plan to choose for PHP development?

Yii vs. Zend – Why Use One of These for Your Web Development

Yii vs. Zend – Why Use One of These for Your Web Development

PHP has a large footprint in the web development community. With over 80% of all existing websites running on PHP code, we can confidently say that PHP has become a ubiquitous phenomenon in web development.

A major reason for many developers choosing PHP is its wide range of developmental frameworks.

PHP frameworks enable you to build websites and apps of all sizes and complexity levels without having to start from scratch.

So, the massive growth of PHP-based web development can be rightly attributed to these excellent frameworks.

But, then again, the real question is which PHP framework is best suited for your needs.

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While choosing the best framework can be subjective and based on your particular needs, there are few qualities that make a framework the best choice in many cases.

Yii and Zend are two frameworks with such amazing features and capabilities.

So, here is a brief overview of both these frameworks to help you decide which is the best one for your MVC development project.

Yii

Yii has been a popular choice among developers to develop large-scale and secured applications.

It was launched in 2008 and is one of the oldest PHP frameworks still going strong. Yii 2.0 is the latest version available.

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This framework is suitable for developing secure applications with complex workflows. It is also great for developing CRM and CMS applications.

Yii is a high-performance, component-based PHP framework that is designed to make your MVC development fast and easy. It is flexible and includes a variety of features, including:

  • Integration with jQuery,
  • Gii module – a built-in code generator, and
  • Active record – the ability to access databases as either Data Access Objects or as Active Records.

It has many other attractive features as well, such as caching, role-based access control, scaffolding, testing and authentication.

In addition, Yii has an active community that can help you with easy maintenance and support. The documentation of its code library is also good.

Cons

  • A major downside, as reported by many beginners, is that it can be a little difficult to get started with Yii.
  • Yii relies heavily on static methods and this may cause code complexities.
  • Managing code for large platforms and sites can be difficult and you have to be extra careful in using Yii in such cases.

Zend

Zend has been a constant favourite for many developers and has been upgraded into the Zend 2.0 version. Many corporations, such as BBC, BNP Paribas and Cisco WebEx, use Zend in their projects.

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Some of the great features of Zend 2.0 are:

  • Modular approach – enables reusability and better flexibility,
  • Service manager – a layer that returns objects as requested to be used in your own factories,
  • Event manager – lets you attach and detach even listeners, handlers, trigger events and interrupt execution, and
  • PHP composer – maintains the project libraries and version management.

Zend can also be used on a piecemeal basis: Certain components of Zend can be used in a Yii-based web application.

It follows a use-at-will architecture and has minimal interdependencies among its components.

It further supports multiple database systems and email delivery systems.

This framework gives you complete control over every feature and customisations are very easy. When the project involved is simple, development using Zend can be very fast.

However, for larger projects, using Zend tends to take longer.

Cons

Zend has a reputation for being hard to learn. But, in case of documentation, Yii seems to have better credits. The configuration options are also complex.

Let us take a closer look at the specialties of each framework to better understand them.

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So which one are you going to pick? Do you have any questions or points to add here? Please feel free to leave your comments below and thanks for reading!

An Analysis of which JavaScript Framework Is Right for You

An Analysis of which JavaScript Framework Is Right for You

While building a multifaceted and interactive web application, architects and developers are usually met with the challenge of performance, maintainability and modularity and are in constant need of a set of frameworks that can act like a backbone to their project and help them knock-out all the glitches in the process.

JavaScript, a programming language that was designed to give easy access to pre-built components that serve as building blocks for a webpage, thus entered the field.

Gone are the days when web development was all about uploading static HTML, CSS and JavaScript files to an HTTP server. Modern web applications are much larger and more complex than earlier and require a framework of language that provides structure, quality and maintainability all at the same time.

JavaScript frameworks were created to address the need of building a stable foundation for a web application.

What are JavaScript Frameworks?

JavaScript frameworks are libraries of pre-written JavaScript that allow easier development of JS-based applications by providing a layer of abstraction on top of the core language.

These frameworks provide a multitude of functions and help make it easier and more achievable for developers to create responsive, fluid and maintainable interfaces for web apps.

JavaScript frameworks are open-sourced, released under the permissive MIT license and aim to resolve the problem of single page web apps using an MVC or MV* design pattern.

Top JavaScript Frameworks

There has been a great surge in MV* frameworks over the past few years and the list of new and stable frameworks continues to grow each year.

Developers usually find themselves lost in choice as to which framework best addresses their needs. So, we have simplified the selection process by reviewing the top JavaScript frameworks that have proven to be the best frameworks in the world of development.

The most established frameworks are Backbone.js and AngularJS, while the ones that have experienced the most growth in the last year are AngularJS, Meteor, Ember.js and Knockout.

AngularJS

AngularJS

Created as part of GetAngular, AngularJS is the oldest of all three top JavaScript frameworks and represents a client-side library written JavaScript that aims to simplify the development and testing of single-page applications by providing a framework for MVC and MVVM architectures.

This framework typically works by first reading the HTML page and then interpreting the custom tag attributes as a directive to connect the input and output parts of the page to a model represented by standard JS variables.

It is also worth noting that the values of these variables can be manually set within the parameters of the code or can be retrieved from JSON resources.

The rationale behind building AngularJS is the common belief that declarative programming is ideal for creating user interfaces and connecting components together, whereas imperative programming is well suited for business logics. All this innovation does not, however, rule out the flip side of the framework.

When it comes to the pain points, AngularJS is largely criticised for the complexity of the directives API. What confuses developers is the concept of ‘Transclusion’ which makes it challenging for them to understand the underlying concepts of compiling functions, pre/post linking functions and all other configuration settings for directives.

Ember.js

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The newest addition to the flock, Ember.js, is the modular framework that is now used for creating scalable single-page applications by combining common idioms and best practices into the framework.

It uses the Handlebars template engine to write codes with Handlebars integrated templates that update automatically when the underlying model changes. Ember.js makes it easy to take on a multipage, navigational, long-term project, compared to other frameworks in the realm of JavaScript.

It is capable of inferring much of the configuration on its own and can create a controller for your resource, even when you don’t define one yourself.

However, what concerns developers is the fact that much of the content and examples in Ember.js no longer work and this confuses them when first using the framework.

Node.js

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The next top JavaScript framework is Node.js, an open-source, cross-platform runtime environment, which was designed for server-side applications. Node.js comes with an event-driven architecture along with a non-blocking I/O API that ensures optimum throughput and the application’s scalability.

This framework uses the Google V8 JavaScript engine for code execution and contains a built-in library to enable applications to act as a web server. Bringing event-driven programming to web servers, this framework enables development of fast web servers in JavaScript.

Using a simplified model of even-driven programming, developers can build highly scalable web servers using callbacks to notify them when a task is complete.

The drawbacks of using Node.js is the tonnes of nested callbacks and the use of single thread. It means that, unlike pre-emptive concurrency, programmers will have to figure out how to deal with concurrency. Some issues with regard to API stability have also been reported by developers.

Another challenge with using Node.js is the newness of the framework. Not every developer is well aware of the pain points of working with a large-scale Node.js application until the language is thoroughly road tested and made error free.

Conclusion

Developers with an MVC programming background in Ruby, Python, Java, C# or any other object- oriented language may find Ember. js’s holistic approach a viable option for application programming.

For those who prefer to work in the non-blocking, even driven I/I paradigm, Node.js is the best.

Lastly, AngularJS’s innovative approach makes a lot of sense to developers who are working for quick prototyping projects and large-scale production applications.

So, which is your favourite framework? Do you have any points to share? Please feel free to leave your comments below and thanks for reading!