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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?

ASP.NET vs PHP for Enterprise Applications

ASP.NET vs PHP for Enterprise Applications

PHP and ASP.NET are definitely not new to the web development industry.

They have both been major contributors to website and enterprise applications for many years now.

Python, Django, Ruby on Rails and a lot of others have challenged their survival.

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But these two languages have always emerged stronger, all thanks to the feature set that they possess and the flexibility that they provide to developers.

PHP development and ASP.NET development have been in a neck and neck competition with each other for the title as the best.

And have thus forced CTOs and enterprise owners to make the difficult decision of which one to choose for their enterprise application?

So let us find out more about these two languages!

ASP.NET and PHP at a Glance

  • ASP

Active Server Page (also known as ASP) is scripting language mainly used on the server side which was developed by Microsoft.

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Image credit: Flickr

It is a more powerful server side language and hosts an array of features, including links to the backend, session, and state management, and handling request and response parameters.

A webpage that has been designed using ASP will include static HTML tags and dynamic validation using JavaScript or VBScript. Dynamic generation of HTML and CSS is also possible with ASP.NET.

How Does ASP.NET Work?

You request an ASP page which is on a server and the corresponding page fetches the information from the database.

This then dynamically generates the HTML code for you to present your requested data and it sends it to you to view in a browser.

  • PHP

PHP is a scripting language. PHP is mostly found embedded with HTML code, or is even served as a standalone program.

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It processes the code using an interpreter in the web server or Common Gateway Interface (CGI). PHP can also be used as a command line scripting in GUI applications. It has the ability to be integrated with various database systems.

 

ASP.NET Development vs PHP Development – Which One to Choose for Enterprise Applications?

ASP.NET and PHP are both versatile languages used in larger web application development and have the ability to scale a lot. Each has its own strengths to support your application.

The choice between the two should be based on your application and its environmental parameters, such as traffic, scaling, and cost.

  • Business Size

The size of your business is an important factor to consider when deciding which language you should go for.

Firstly, PHP was essentially designed as a web language, while ASP.NET was crafted for designing enterprise applications.

Secondly, ASP.NET is easy at scaling and easily gears big projects, while smaller projects work better in PHP. Furthermore, ASP.NET has industrial strength, which provides robustness and power to your application.

  • Time and Pricing

PHP is an open source language and runs on any open source platform which overtakes ASP, since ASP is cost-effective and requires larger resources and more support than PHP.

Time is also another big factor to consider. PHP is easy to deploy and develop. It is easier to install and set up on development machines than ASP.

  • Lightweight

ASP.NET requires huge libraries to be integrated, while PHP is simple to use with basic options.

ASP.NET also only supports Internet Information Server (IIS) servers, while PHP supports various servers.

ASP.NET furthermore uses server space and accessing the data every time from the server makes its performance suffer.

Since PHP uses built-in memory, it is easy to access the data faster and so PHP stands at the top due to its faster execution.

Here is a quick comparison table that will help you better understand the differences between the two.

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Both languages are good in their way. It is up to the business types to choose the one that is best suited for them.

If cost is not a factor and your application is huge, you can go for ASP.NET Development.

If you are a startup or a small-sized business where cost is a huge factor, it would be best to choose an open source language like PHP.

So which one did you choose?

 

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!

ASP.NET vs PHP for Enterprise Applications

PHP open source and ASP.NET have been major contributors to web development for many years now and continue to be used for their flexibility and other strengths in the programming arena.

In our experience as knowledgeable website development agency, we are often asked by clients whether we feel they should move forward with an ASP.NET or a PHP based solution for their project.

ASP.NET was designed as an enterprise wide solution platform

In response to this question there are a few points that we like to make clear to clients who ask for our opinion.  But before we get started in our exploration of these two powerful platforms, it’s important to understand that PHP was originally built as a platform for building Personal Home Pages.

PHP was designed to be a web language, more than an enterprise wide solution platform. ASP.NET was designed as a platform for enterprise wide solutions and therefore was built for scalability and to be robust.

One is open source and the other is from Microsoft

First of all we mention the fact that ASP.NET is produced by Microsoft and PHP is an open source product. Quite often the client hasn’t got a lot to say about that. After all, it’s not really as important as what the difference are between them when it comes to areas such as:

  • Security
  • Features
  • Whether it’s possible to extend
  • Average development time
  • Frameworks
  • Cost

PHP is available as an open source product and therefore does not come with the background support that ASP.NET is provided with. The latter not only has Microsoft user support available with it, but also potentially a more structured developer culture that we can expect so see associated with MS products.

Regarding the first three points. They are actually remarkably similar in performance of them. Similar results are possible with either platform. Good security is down to the work of the programmer, they need to ensure that the application is secured well and safe.

The big differences between ASP.NET and PHP

The big differences lie more within these areas:

Microsoft ASP.NET is equipped with just several frameworks just as PHP open source is.  The big difference lie in the requirement in question. On a case to case basis, we feel, one framework is better suited to a project than the other. We have the experience to be able to advise on this

Scalability works better in ASP.NET in our experience with smaller projects working better in PHP. In fact PHP is good for start-up solutions whereas ASP.NET has industrial strength with many different features. If you’re looking for flexibility and scalability then go with ASP.NET.

With regards to average development time, it is sometimes more advantageous to use PHP. Very small projects can often be created faster on this platform as it’s easier to find web hosts and development machines are so very easy to set up.

Which programming knowledge does a company have access to?

One of our main considerations is whether a client wants to work with one type of technology stack vs another. They may have already invested in in-house programmers who have more knowledge and experience of one over the other.

In some cases, our clients prefer the stability that going with Microsoft offers. They will be able to gain support, look forward to upgrades and more if they go with ASP.NET. Some clients will prefer the idea of a product that is open source.

Our clients may well have Linux servers already set up what they want to use to their full capacity.  Of course, open source comes with little overheads in terms of cost due to it being free.

However, if our clients don’t know which they prefer, or come to the conclusion that it really doesn’t matter, then we will choose for them based on what we feel they will gain the most overall value from. We may even look forward to what else they may need in the future, and make the decision based on what makes sense.

A couple of our developers even have the viewpoint that it’s not so much a matter of ASP.NET vs PHP as more a case of PHP vs C# when it comes to programming. Now that C# has had optional parameters added in its version 4.0, then the advantage that PHP had over it is now defunct.  It’s possible to perform dynamically typed variables, which of course keeps the abilities of the language very flexible.

What about cost?

When it comes to cost, we feel that PHP is first over the line. Although it’s possible to run ASP.NET on Mono on a Linux server, it will not be without issues. However, Webforms (one of the frameworks of ASP.NET) can be run on SQL Compact and SQL Server.  Although we do sometimes use Webforms, we find that there is more control using ASP.NET.

Summary

In our opinion PHP is perfect for starter solutions, but if you are representing a large enterprise and are looking for a solution that is robust and capable to being scalable then we would recommend ASP.NET to you. We are fans of both as they both have their virtues. However, we would guide you based on what the future is for your project.

Which one do you prefer and why?