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The PHP framework stand off

6:43 am

The PHP framework stand off

PHP Frameworks

A PHP framework is what you can use if you want to start off with programming a new PHP website. It is essentially a library since it consists of several modules for various purposes. It is not necessary that you will require all the modules however you will have the ones you require available in your initial setup without having to go hunting for them. A PHP framework makes the tasks like setting up CRUD for a module a breeze. In fact it is usually on a couple of lines of code that is required and you have all of it ready. In addition to which it is easy to setup several other features like customer login, etc.

Why use one?

  • The use of a PHP framework is highly recommended for those new to programming in PHP or programming in general. If you do happen to be a C or C++ programmer with considerable experience and are not having a go with PHP you may find it tough going. At a time like this a PHP framework can be a lifesaver. Here are the other advantages of using one:
  • A framework has all the files well organized and in a modular format since the usually follow an object oriented methodology. Many frameworks use MVC code structure. In addition to this all the code added is also organized properly.
  • Almost every decent website made using PHP will require to make use of some additional functionality. With a PHP framework you have several utilities and libraries that you can make use off.
  • A framework takes care of everything for you. This includes security as well. In general PHP is a fairly powerful programming language. This means that if you are careless you code and project can be vulnerable to attacks and hacks. However with a PHP framework all this is already taken care off.
  • With the framework in place you do not need to write a lot of code in order to add common functionality. A few lines of code with take care of most of the common functions and features that you may need in a website application. It is true rapid application development.

 What are the options?

A recent study carried out gave us some outstanding results. There was a clear winner in terms of popularity, at the same time there were many follow-ups with almost equal popularity and user base.

This how it looks as per the survey conducted half way into 2014:

  • Laravel
  • Phalcon
  • Symfony2
  • Code Igniter & Yii (sharing the 4th spot)

There are several more available, however the top five are listed above.

An In-depth look:

There are several PHP frameworks available and each is different and good in its own domain.

Laravel:

Laravel is a very popular PHP web application framework with elegant syntax and expressive too. The common tasks, such as

  • Authentication
  • Sessions
  • Routing, and
  • Caching

The main features include…

  • Powerful tools
  • Expressive migration system
  • A neatly integrated unit testing support.
  • It can be safely said that Laravel can handle huge enterprise level applications as well as simple JSON APIs equally well. If there is a perfect framework suited for every type of application that would be Laravel. It safe and built tough. I say that because it is built over Symfony components and thus has a solid foundation. It is compatible with several database packages like.,
  • MySQL
  • Postgres
  • SQL Server and even SQLite
  • Enough of the praises because here are a few requirements that Laravel demands. For one it requires root access to the server and I know for sure that not every webhosting company is going to allow that.

Phalcon

Phalcon is the second most popular PHP framework around and has been written in PHP5.

Features:

  • Rich
  • Highly configurable
  • Phalcon has the ability to act as a good platform for high level applications, including those demanding a lot of resources. As far as the learning curve is concerned it is a breeze. The structure is very intuitive and easy to use.
  • The overhead is smaller compared to other frameworks as well. You are less likely to get confused or jumbled up with the class names or controllers since there exists native namespaces. It also implements the direct injection facilitating software that are easy to create with end to end test application.
  • Phalcon is also implanted as a C extension, similar to Laravel and hence this also requires root access to a webserver to install it.
  • Besides which you do not need to be highly skilled PHP programmer either. Although knowledge of PHP 5 and OOP concepts are a must.

Symfony2:

Symfony 2 comes in a distant third when it comes to popularity. It is extensively used and consists of a powerful ORM. The documentation is out of his world. The fact that one of the most popular open source CMS software, Drupal makes use of Symfony has certainly been beneficial or this framework in terms of popularity.

Above all Symfony is considered:

  • Stable
  • Fexible and sustainable frameworks around.
  • With Symfony 2 you can breathe easy when it comes to configuration. It is made possible with the ‘Event Dispatcher’ and the ‘Dependency Injector’. This is one framework where you do not need to reinvent the wheel.
  • It is highly extensible as well and even make it possible to leverage the power and strength in many ways like allowing to validate roles and improve the productivity.
  • The skill level that Symfony2 demands is slightly higher than the others. However it too has been written using PHP 5, in addition to which it requires that you have knowledge of OOPs concepts, ORM and console.

Code Ignitor:

  • Codeignitor is a extremely popular since it has been around for a while, however it comes in 4th jointly with Yii in terms of usage and current popularity. There is extensive documentation available on the internet, in addition to which there are tons of website with tutorials on Codeignitor including video tutorials as well.
  • It offers especially high levels of control. Yii is one framework that lags when it comes to comparison of the level of control. PHP applications developed using Codeignitor have exceptionally high performance and at the same time are not very demanding when it comes to the requirements to host it.
  • As far as configuration is concerned that isn’t any required. Furthermore it consists of large scale libraries that allows you to break up complex elements to make things simple. To top it all it is also easy to maintain.
  • Another popular framework is built on top of Codeignitor and that one is called BonFire. The BonFire framework is slowly growing in popularity as well being a fairly new one and extends the abilities of Codeignitor.

CakePHP:

  • CakePHP is a true framework in the sense that it allows for very rapid web application development. Even the process to set it up is fairly simple. With CakePHP all you need to do is to setup the database and you are done. The hard bits are all built in and that includes database access, caching, translations, validation, even authentication and more.
  • CakePHP uses the popular MVC structure and hence is intuitive from the start. The learning curve is thus quite low for those who have a good understanding of the OOPs concepts. CakePHP has been built to directly handle all aspects of an application and that includes the tasks from the initial request made by a user to the final rendering of a page.
  • Furthermore with applications built using CakePHP you do not need to think twice about the security. That is something that is inbuilt.

Alakmalak to the rescue:

Alakmalak is a firm that is slowly and steady increasing in popularity. Its steady growth is a good indication of the quality of work and standards. Having developed more than 2000 websites for different clients from across the globe they most certainly have a lot of experience. The fact that they are going strong and even expanding their operations hammers in what I am trying to say even more.

At Alakmalak there are a highly skilled team of india web developers who know how to approach every problem. For example the team of skilled web developers are well equipped to deal with applications built using frameworks if the need be and can even setup one themselves.

But to drive in the message; what I am trying to convey is that the PHP frameworks are very good in every aspect like security, speed and high quality code. But there is something better than PHP framework and that is coding in ‘Core PHP’. For those not familiar with that term it means building an application from scratch.

A PHP framework cannot compete with ‘CORE PHP’ programming when it comes to speed. However usually only the expert PHP web programmers india should go for this option since it takes a lot of skill.

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