The Developer Day | Staying Curious



Zend Framework pros and cons

Generally I dislike most PHP frameworks. Especially after the Ruby on Rails fashion wave after which a lot of PHP frameworks have been born with ActiveRecord implementations, scaffolding and so on. It makes you creep after watching yet another Blog development screencast in 15mins “using the best new framework”!

Not so long ago Zend Framework released a stable release and today I’ve spent my time at work watching screencasts and webinars to take a closer look at it.

And I LOVED IT :) Here’s why:

  • Whole framework is just one directory of classes that you don’t ever care about with no predefined application structure and design by default.
  • It stands behind a respectable and well known company ZEND that has a lot of to do with PHP.
  • It has an outstanding team of professional contributors with a lot of brain power and experience.
  • Lots of well developed components following actual design patterns.
  • 80% > unit test coverage
  • A useful documentation that most others are missing.
  • MVC components, controller plugins, helpers.
  • A possibility to develop a modular application where each module has it’s own views, controllers, models that can easily be removed by anyone in seconds while other frameworks force me to split MVC components to other directories and making it hard to separate from hundreds of others.
  • It does not have ActiveRecord and Scaffolding :)

Though there are some issues people might spot:

  • Zend_Controller_Helper_Abstract. Class names lack namespaces. Though there were no namespaces available while Zend Framework has been actively developed and does it really matter?
  • You need to understand a few design patterns and OOP to use full Zend framework’s potential. And that does not only requires time spent learning but also experience working with it.
  • It is big, it is heavy, it eats memory and it has a lot of includes. Though I usually tend to agree with the “hardware is cheaper than development” theory ..

All in all I find Zend Framework the best PHP framework there is. In the past I looked at CakePHP, symfony, code ignite. I’m going to give Zend Framework a try at work and implement a not so very important project with it. If it works out well I might start migrating all our frameworkless applications to it.

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4 Comments for Zend Framework pros and cons

DC | August 31, 2011 at 3:41 PM

Well put explanation of pros and cons for Zend framework. I have yet to give zend framework a try but I prefer to write my own code for the most part.

Just few days ago I tried finding a decent start-up tutorial on Zend framework but failed to do so.

Thanks for the post.

Zend Framework Development | April 17, 2012 at 12:46 PM

But it seems that these days Zend is going ahead of other PHP Frameowrks and the result as by the users using the language is just showing that.

Mark Workman | June 27, 2013 at 11:52 AM

Zend concentrates on quality of the code. It follows industry best methods and It uses proven object oriented design styles. Almost all the elements can be easily prolonged.

Macaulay Kerr | July 1, 2013 at 11:52 AM

Zend framework has a versatile structure, where all the elements are generally linked. This kind of use-at-will Zend Structure gives PHP program designers a probability either to use framework elements independently or to merge them according to their choices and needs.

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