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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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.
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!
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 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 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 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!
So, which framework do you plan to choose for PHP development?
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.
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
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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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.
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 is a scripting language. PHP is mostly found embedded with HTML code, or is even served as a standalone program.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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 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.
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.
- 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 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.
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.
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.
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!
Have you been keeping track of the leading eCommerce platforms that have emerged in recent years for businesses?
If yes, then Magento is sure to figure in that list of popular eCommerce solutions that have made lives easier for businesses to go online with their products or services.
Magento has been known to help businesses seamlessly build an online store across any category, customise it as per their changing needs, attract more customers and generate better sales.
This open source Content Management System (CMS) has been constantly evolving with new solutions and tools, due to which it has been trusted and utilised by more than 240,000 businesses across the globe.
This number is estimated to rise by leaps and bounds in the coming years as the demand for eCommerce increases.
So let’s check out the advantages offered by Magento, especially for small businesses, and compare it to other eCommerce platforms or CMSs.
1. A Customisable Open Source Solution
Magento (Community Edition) is open source and can be downloaded for free. Once installed, you are not restricted to the standard templates, but you can customise it as per the dynamic requirements of your business.
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You can boost your eCommerce store with several new features and functionalities by installing Magento extensions that are available at the Magento Connect marketplace.
For small businesses, this customising option is pretty handy since the eCommerce needs of these businesses may be pretty specific.
2. Strong Community Support
To enjoy a smooth experience with any new tool or CMS, like Magento, that you haven’t used before, you will always feel the need to have reliable and readily available support.
Since Magento is open source, it has an extremely large and knowledgeable community of developers who constantly work on it to ensure it stays updated and secure. If you are stuck anywhere or face any issues while handling the Magento tool, sound technical help is available to you at an instant.
Such support is ideal for small businesses which may not always have enough expertise with Magento to handle the issues. They can easily rely on this Magento community support to get solutions for several issues.
Most of the problems that you may face, while using Magento for the first time, may already have been discussed with solutions at the community forum sites.
3. One-Stop Shop
The best thing about Magento is that you can manage it from a single platform and do not need different solutions for different purposes.
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You can manage all customer records, billing activities, store inventory, and so on from one place (the admin dashboard). You can create multiple online stores from a single backend CMS.
All your eCommerce apps can be handled from a single database, which further increases your company’s efficiency. This makes it easier for small businesses, as they will need fewer resources to manage and monitor their online store.
4. Support for Mobile Shopping Experience
The world is witnessing an increasing trend towards online shopping for mobile phones. This has led many eCommerce businesses to switch their focus towards developing their online store apps or making their eCommerce websites mobile friendly.
The fact that the Magento platform offers multiple HTML5 capabilities ensures that your customers will have a superior mobile shopping experience.
5. Higher Flexibility and Scalability
With an open system architecture, the Magento experts in your company can create uniquely designed user experiences for various types of access devices.
You can have a fully flexible eCommerce workflow to meet the different business requirements of your company. In addition, this platform offers a higher scalability option at any point of time.
This means that your business can grow seamlessly with flexible eCommerce-based modifications and enhancements possible through Magento.
Comparison with Other Popular CMS
If you were asked about the most popular CMS in the world today, you would probably answer “WordPress”. There is no doubt about the overall popularity of WordPress, but it is not designed specifically for eCommerce.
To handle eCommerce requirements, you need to use WooCommerce along with WordPress. Similarly, if you want to design eCommerce stores using another popular CMS, like Drupal, you need to use Drupal Commerce along with it.
Yet, Magento is a platform specifically created for eCommerce requirements. It possesses countless eCommerce features and functionalities that give it a clear edge over other content management systems supporting eCommerce.
Magento is quite SEO friendly and you get the preloaded ability to give meta titles and descriptions as soon as you add products to your online store. You don’t need to install a separate SEO extension or plugin. Some other preloaded SEO features include sitemaps, URL rewrites and layered navigation.
For WordPress, you need to specifically download an SEO plugin, like Yoast, for SEO-related features.
A simple comparison table according to a Tomrobertshaw.net report , for the top eCommerce software in use across the globe is illustrated below:
It is clear that Magento leads the way for eCommerce software with a market share of almost 26%, followed by WooCommerce which is way behind with only 9.7% of the market share.
Now that you know Magento is the best eCommerce platform currently, you may be wondering about the ways through which you can opt for a suitable Magento development service provider.
You can do that by checking out the Magento community forums which are full of experienced Magento developers or you can find a suitable one via LinkedIn or Crunchbase as well.
You can also check out who has extensive experience in developing online stores using Magento and contact them to get the relevant services for your business.
So, what are you waiting for? Get started with Magento and grow your online business!
The decisions you make today have a strong bearing on the operations of your business in the future. In order to make sound decisions, your enterprise needs to have the latest operational intelligence information. This is where ‘Business Intelligence’ (BI) comes in and a qualified BI consultant will be able to track your company’s status and operational data very quickly and efficiently.
The global market for BI platforms is witnessing a constant rise that has made it rank among the fastest growing enterprise software industries.
As per Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for BI and Analytics platform from earlier this year, this growth is expected to take place at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 8.7% through to 2018.
Source: Gartner (February 2015)
Martin Butler, an industry expert, commented on the importance of BI by saying that “an organisation without Business Intelligence bears a striking resemblance to a ship without a rudder” in his latest report.
So in this article, we will look at the reasons your organisation needs a Business Intelligence consultant, along with some tips to find the right BI consultants and hire them at the right time.
Tasks Performed by BI Consultants
An ideal BI consultant for your business will have sound knowledge of the underlying data system, along with programs and tools that create the data. The primary job involves carrying out constant monitoring of the business data and generates timely reports that can be shared with your company’s management on a frequent basis.
One of the most important yet ignored tasks performed by any BI consultant is finding and listing down requirements. The consultant can devise relevant strategies and focus on achieving better results for your business if they have a sound understanding of your business needs.
A smart BI consultant will focus on the business and then determine the technology and tools that need to be used in order to convert a vast pool of data into valuable information.
Having dealt with a number of enterprises, we realise the importance of having a level-headed BI consultant that can offer alternate solutions to emerging challenges with well-defined reports.
This goes a long way in helping the management make informed decisions that turn out to be successful in the long run. Therefore, you can term your BI consultant as the ideal partner for the decision makers of your business.
Rising Need to Hire BI Consultants
As needs are becoming more dynamic, it is getting increasing difficult to make the right, long-term decisions without a strong source of information and intelligence.
You need professionals that can provide updated operational data and information in an efficient manner upon demand. Your management cannot be expected to continuously monitor the data reports and use them to make informed decisions. It requires a specialist to provide the right kind of data and information and this is why you need a qualified BI consultant.
There is no perfect time to hire a BI consultant. You need to get hold of one as early as possible in order to increase your chances of making better decisions that yield quality results for your company. In addition, the sooner you hire a BI consultant, the easier it will be for them to develop an understanding of your requirements.
Skills to Look Out for While Hiring a BI Consultant
- Must be an expert on your company’s underlying data system (IBM DB2 or Microsoft SQL Server or similar)
- Should have sound knowledge of SQL, database functions and data modelling
- Must be able to query recursively at a fast pace (to generate quick reports on demand) and execute analytic functions for complex inter-row calculations
- Must have good knowledge about the source program (Sage ERP or Microsoft Dynamics GP or similar) used to generate data reports
- Must possess excellent communication skills to understand the business requirements clearly, highlight the gaps and showcase valuable information on time
If you are going for a BI project for the first time, you definitely need professional help from agencies that have prior exposure to BI technologies and tools.
Also, you can opt for recruitment agencies that offer experienced BI professionals on contract or for permanent hires. However, you can also opt for BI consultancy firms that provide quality support for all your data-centric BI needs.
There is no room to experiment when it comes to BI for your organisation as a single bad decision can have very far-reaching consequences. Hiring a well-qualified BI consultant or a team of such consultants is a small investment that will pay rich dividends for your business in the long term.
The time and money you spend on hiring the right BI team will eventually help your business grow and increase profitability through well-informed decisions.
So do you plan to hire in-house BI consultants, or outsource? Let us know in the comments below, and thanks for reading!