If you are looking to develop custom web applications for your business, then PHP is ideally the development platform that you should work with. A server-side scripting language, it has been hugely successful thanks to its suppleness in design of applications and websites that have a great functionality. PHP offers compatibility with a number of different frameworks.
Zend Framework in brief
One of the more popular frameworks in PHP is the Zend Framework. An object-oriented and open source framework for web applications, it is best suited for the developers who wish to further their knowledge and expertise in PHP5. Also regarded as the “component library” thanks to its numerous loosely coupled components, Zend offers an advanced implementation of a Model-View-Controller architecture for setting up a fundamental structure that supports development of all Zend Framework applications. The framework is capable creating more amount of reusable code than developers can make best use of in their development process.
Zend Framework advantages
Let us now take a look at some of the many advantages that Zend Framework has to offer in development of websites and applications for the various businesses.
#1. It is loosely coupled: The Zend Framework allows use as a component library. This signifies that developers can choose to use only a subset of or a particular component available within the framework. For example, if you wish to make use of only Zend_PDF, you can freely do so without being required to make use of the other framework components.
#2. MVC components: Zend Framework allows the usage of MVC components, which represents Model-View-Controller pattern of architecture. It is a well known fact that usage of MVC helps in the isolation of all forms of business logic from any given user interface.
#3. Programming for CLI and Web: This PHP framework is used for the writing of CLI scripts. Zend_Console_GetOpt is a component that provides functionality for argument parsing.
#4. Quality: Zend lays absolute focus on quality control of code by following the best practices prevalent in the industry. The framework makes use of proven design patterns that are object-oriented. Almost all of its components can be extended easily. Zend components undergo intense testing of all parameters with PHPUnit as the measuring standard. Code coverage of atleast 80% has been found on all of the components. A continuous integration server is also in place for it. Zend also provides developers with unique components for testing.
#5. Extend classes: A completely object-oriented framework, Zend utilizes a number of object-oriented concepts such as interfaces and inheritance. This allows extendability of all Zend Framework components to a certain extent. Customization of the framework in such a manner allows developers to create a functionality that is unique to their development project.
#6. Customized component usage: The design of Zend Framework is such that it represents a collection of classes. Its MVC components are typically used for the creation of a fully-functional Zend project. However, in a number of other cases, developers can simply opt to load the specific component that they need for their development work.
#7. Tooling and Rapid Application Development feature: The initial setup process for an application tends to be tedious and difficult. In order to provide a solution out of this crisis situation, Zend Framework comes equipped with RAD or Rapid Application Development feature that offers a command line client and tooling support. This is a big help for the development process of PHP web applications as it easily generates such features as MVC and project architecture.
#8. Easy integration: Zend Framework has a decoupled nature that makes integration with other libraries as per the choice of the developer a very easy task.
The industry has witnessed a number of advancements over the past few years as far as PHP Framework development is concerned. To put in an analogy, the sea is full of a variety of fishes. Symfony, CakePHP and CodeIgniter Frameworks are equally good to use in the development process.
However, when it comes down to choosing a framework, the decision is largely influenced by what an individual is most comfortable at working with. You can spend weeks, months or even years working with a framework but if you are unaware of the features to make best use of and its usage does not make you comfortable, then there is every possibility you are going to chuck it in the trash bin in the end.
Here is a humble request to all individuals to consider the usage of Zend for their business needs. If you are comfortable with it, great! If not, you can always opt for trying out the other PHP Frameworks. Sooner rather than later, you will come across one that best meets your requirements.