Zend Framework, better known as ZF, has brought tremendous changes in a PHP developer’s world. As opposed to the traditional website development platforms, Zend allows creation of robust PHP based solutions and web applications. Today, Zend is one of the most popular web development framework used across the globe to create interactive and powerful websites, and it’s not without good reason. There are a good number of beneficial features that aids a programmer to code better. They include:
- Extended classes :
ZF is a completely object oriented platform and consequently uses lot of OO (object oriented) concepts including interfaces and inheritance. This allows the developer to extend its components to a good extent. Further, this helps developers in implementing their own versions/variations of each individual component without hacking into the codebase. Customizations such as this bring uniqueness to each project.
- The goodness of object orientation :
When working in a Zend framework, everything needs to be seen and used as an object. However, this also has its set of disadvantages such as making the coding more complicated. However, it does provide the upper hand by making the codes reusable. However, seldom do developers repeat their code and this makes it a good choice.
- Focus on just what you require and forget everything else :
Going by the design, Zend is a simple collection of classes. In every ZF project, you would see that the Zend MVC components are being used. However, in other cases, you can just load required components. The Zend platform is quite decoupled, offering each component as an individual library, instead of being a framework as a whole. Developers working in ZF must have heard about glue framework. This actually refers to the decoupled nature of ZF and its ability to be “glued” to existing applications.
- Does a lot many things :
Zend integrates a lot of components ranging from user authentication to controlling access to resources. Similarly, it is easy to integrate RSS feeds and create forms.
- No model implementation :
This is both the reason that some developers don’t use Zend framework and some others love it. Lack of model implementation provides developers the flexibility of using any element to achieve the end result. There are no restraints holding back the already complicated implementation.
- Integrate ZF with anything :
The decoupled nature of ZF makes its suitable to integrate external libraries to be used in the platform. For example, developers planning to use Smarty as their template can simple integrate a wrapping class with Zend_View_Abstract, which in turn uses Smarty to render.
- Standards and guidelines :
Every contributor should sign a Contribute License Agreement (CLA) and each code must adhere to generalized Coding Standards. This makes every code highly qualitative, tested and readable.
- Test driven development practice :
Developers are required to write tests for their codes to make it easier to exchange codes, refactor, create input/output whitelist and think of potential use cases.
- Documentation and Community :
Due to the high complexity, ZF integrates a steep learning curve. However, documentation and an all pervasive community makes it easier for learners to understand the platform.
- Certifications :
Finally, ZF is perhaps one of the few platforms that offer both Zend Framework Certification and PHP Certification. This will certainly motivate young and emerging developers to take up training and certification exams that will help build their portfolio.
Zend Framework Features :
Some of the salient features of Zend Framework is as follows −
- Pure object oriented web application framework
- Advanced MVC implementation
- Supports multi databases including PostgreSQL, SQLite etc.,
- Simple cloud API
- Session management
- Data encryption
- Flexible URI Routing
- Zend provides RESTful API development support.
- Code reusable and easier to maintain.
What makes the Zend Framework one of the premier frameworks used by PHP developers is that – it provides clean and stable code complete with intellectual property rights. It also makes programming easier. It is fast, easy to learn and convenient framework. Zend supports strong cryptography tools and password hashing techniques.
Zend Goals :
Following are the goals of the Zend Framework.
- Simple and productive
- Extensibility − Programmer can easily extend all the framework classes.
- Portability − Supports multiple environments
Zend Applications :
The following popular products are developed by using the Zend Framework.
- McAfee Company website
- IBM Company website
- Magento − one of the popular shopping cart website.
Advantages of Zend Framework :
Some of the advantages of the Zend Framework are listed below.
- Loosely Coupled− Zend provides the option to delete modules or components which we don’t need in the application.
- Performance− Zend Framework is highly optimized for performance. Zend Framework 3 is 4x faster than its previous version.
- Security− Framework supports industry standard encryption.
- Testing− PHPUnit is integrated with Zend so you can easily test the framework.
The Zend Framework provides a powerful module system. The module system has three components. They are as follows −
- Module Autoloader− A Module Autoloader is responsible for locating and loading of modules from variety of sources. It can load modules packaged as Phar archives as well. The implementation of the Module Autoloader is located at myapp/vendor/zendframework/zend-loader/src/ModuleAutoloader.php.
- Module Manager− Once the Module Autoloader locates the modules, the module manager fires a sequence of events for each module. The implementation of the Module Manager is located at myapp/vendor/zendframework/zendmodulemanager/src/ModuleManager.php.
- Module Manager Listeners− They can be attached to the events fired by the Module Manager. By attaching to the events of module manager, they can do everything from resolving and loading modules to performing complex work for each modules.