I’ve explored a few PHP frameworks for some new application prototypes recently.
Normally when I build sites, I prefer to have full control over the codebase, but with short deadlines and the abundance of new frameworks available, I’ve found that pre-built infrastructure code for handling the plumbing common to all applications makes it easy to get new concepts up and running.
In short, it’s getting easier to leave most of the drudgery of building PHP applications to the framework, and spend more time developing the logic behind my applications.
Two of the more interesting frameworks are CakePHP and CodeIgniter. Both are modeled on Ruby on Rails and adhere to its “Convention over configuration” principle, meaning they are ready to go out-of-the-box with little initial setup and take a very pragmatic approach to Web development.
They also support MVC architectures, so they simplify maintenance and separation of concerns between modules of code. This is all in addition to simplifying security, data-mapping, and rich user interface development.
While I see CakePHP as the more fully featured framework, CodeIgniter seems to have it beat when it comes to the initial learning curve, so it’s what I’ve been using more often.
In any case, I look forward to using these frameworks more in the coming year (and to make good on my promise to enable CakePHP for DB2).
If you’re a PHP developer and still building applications from the ground up, you owe it to yourself to check out the many framework options now available. You can’t go wrong by starting with one or both of these two frameworks.