Amongst many web development technologies, PHP has evolved very rapidly and now being used extensively for developing simple as well as complex web applications. One of the reasons behind its popularity could be that it is powerful, yet very simple and easy to use.
As the complexity of the web applications is increasing, developers have started making use of Frameworks. Frameworks are nothing but a collection of preformatted classes and functions which provide many functionalities out of the box, saving the developers a whole lot of time because they don’t need to always reinvent the wheel.
Some of the most commonly used PHP Frameworks are Zend, Cake PHP, Smarty, and Symfony. I am a big fan of Symfony framework. In this post, I will explain the reasons behind my fondness –
Symfony is proving to be the best choices for businesses. It is a very flexible and adaptable Framework. With dependency injector and Event Dispatcher, it is completely configurable. Symfony follows Advanced OOPS Service Oriented architecture so it is easy to develop fast, scalable projects. There are three independent components/ bricks offered by Symfony. Businesses can choose appropriate one as per their needs -
- Full Stack: If you are looking to develop complex application with many functionalities, you can go with this.
- Brick by brick: If you want to build your framework according to selective functionalities which you need, you can choose this.
- Microframework: If you are looking to build some specific functionality in your project, you can use Symfony2 for that too! You can use specific brick and use it for a particular functionality without having to install the entire framework.
Developers do not need to develop or redevelop generic features, such as form management. They can focus on the application's real challenges. Symfony provides tools to make it easier to use and improve productivity – these include the Web Debug Toolbar, native support for development environments, detailed error pages, and natively supported security and SEO friendly URLs etc..
This entire Symfony framework is available as a complete bundle - right from the smallest brick to the core version. Every bundle adds functionality to the core framework. You have an option to use the bundles in different projects. You have an option to modify anything within the framework along with the core. Without having to reconfigure the whole framework, you can modify the behavior of the bundles within the framework. To add any new feature, you can simply create a bundle which can be use as separate functionality in other projects as well.
Ease of Use and Performance:
For both novice and advanced users, Symfony offers complete flexibility. There is lot of documentation and community support which make it extremely easy to use. There are also “embedded” best practices within the framework – these are the best practices that are natively applied without having to understand them – this allows the users to get started immediately. Symfony also provides easy configuration files in YAML. Symfony provides many ways and caching mechanisms to improve systems performance.
Ease of Debugging:
Symfony2 offers a powerful debug toolbar which presents all the information needed for easy debugging. The powerful, extensible toolbar and an integrated profiler offered by Symfony2 includes information about every step of the application – giving you precise information like long it took to render a particular view or how much memory was used to execute a particular action.
Ease in Testing:
It almost feels like Symfony2 has been prepared with testing in mind. Unit testing becomes very easy with it because it is well decoupled. With PHPUnit, it offers a first layer of functional testing by simulating HTTP requests and examining output without having to write any script with any testing tools. If you wish to integrate the framework with behavioral testing tool, it offers a Behat extension. With Symfony2, developers don't need to spend a whole lot of time in manual testing. Symfony2 and the overall ecosystem around it offers good toolsets for unit, functional and behavioral tests.
Ease of Deployment:
With it’s an out of the box integration with Capistrano, Symfony2 makes deployment a real breeze. You don't need to waste time and energy (and therefore money) for manual deployments or for developing any automated deployment tools. Symfony natively supports separate configuration for different environments like Development, Staging and Production.
I am keen to know your experience of working with frameworks. Do share those as comments.