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Anthony Eli Agbenu
Anthony Eli Agbenu

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Zend framework as your next PHP enterprise framework

Are you shopping for a PHP framework for your next enterprise app? Usually, when you say enterprise, languages like C sharp and Java spring quickly to mind. Today let’s consider using a different language.

Let’s opt for the world’s most used language on the web (that being PHP), and use that in your company. One approach to build an enterprise app is to do that with flat PHP files. However, who does that these days. Everyone uses frameworks!

Going forward, it is my opinion is that frameworks are likely to replace other projects that have already being built from flat PHP files. Building with frameworks usually contribute to speeding up the pace of development. So the next question becomes, which framework should you choose.

That is a difficult question to answer definitively. Why? Because unlike other languages for which have you can name one dominant frameworks (for example Rails for Ruby and Django for Python), PHP has no dominant framework. There are several very popular frameworks to choose from. Each of these frameworks is known to excel in some areas and fall short in other areas.

The major consideration in looking for a PHP framework, is one that promotes MVC, and would give a standardized web app development approach. I would hit the nail right on the head and say pick Zend framework for enterprise apps.

Other favorite PHP frameworks of mine (like Symfony, Laravel and Yii) are both capable of being used as the framework of choice in a traditional company setting. The case for Zend framework as the PHP enterprise language of choice is a subjective matter. Still here is why I would recommend Zend framework;

  1. It has official partnerships with companies like Microsoft, IBM to provide interfaces for developers to work with. It is important, since the lack of a principal sponsor sometimes halts the ability of the developer to access certain web services that could have aided in their work.

  2. You want a framework that is going to be around for a long time. Their heavy involvement in the PHP language makes a statement. You can have faith that they would not just pack their bags and leave anytime soon.

  3. The absence of a CLI tool, means that there is no scaffolding. Everything is done intentionally. Developers would not generate pieces of code would not knowing where they are going end up.

  4. It offers certifications to prove not only proficiency with the Zend framework, but also the PHP language. Thus it puts the programming team in a good stead when it comes to recognition and reasons why projects should be done in-house.

  5. It is used by some world renowned organizations that are corporate in nature, thus would be appropriate for your company (since it would like to model itself as corporate in nature)

  6. Enterprise apps can grow to a huge size. And for big web application you need a framework that has been tested to do this at other big organizations. It has proven to be very scalable and decoupled.

  7. It also has some features such as

*View Helpers
*Action Helpers
*Database Relations
*Models, Mappers and DbTable

The only downsides are that the lack of much scaffolding (as compared to some others) makes it not as preferable for rapid application development. Forgive me if Rails has spoilt me somewhat. For example, scaffolding is a game changer when you are in a hackathon.

Let my endorsement of the Zend framework not be seen as a criticism or rejection of other frameworks. I especially liked working with Laravel and Yii to great effect, and built some really nice apps.

The subject of frameworks is only is make work easier. No demerits were deal breakers on why a framework should be taken over another. Still on this subject matter of which PHP framework to use to build your next enterprise app, I pick the Zend framework.

This post was also published on my blog at

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