With the rapid growth of web developing toolkits and frameworks, choosing the most convenient one to develop a web application has become highly essential. Zend is one such convenient and easy framework that is object oriented and widely used by PHP developers. PHP version 5 and above can be used to develop applications using this open source framework.
This structure has loosely coupled components that let dedicated developers to use it independently. This structure being object oriented, is the best option to create a web site with least effort. The Zend framework is widely used by PHP developers because it is stable and easy to use. It is based on an advanced and flexible Model-View-Controller (MVC) implementation. All the major frameworks nowadays are based on MVC, which makes it an actual standard in web application development.
The latest version of Zend is the Zend Framework 2. The main sponsor and Zend Development Company of this structure is Zend Technologies, a leader in the PHP world; but there is contribution from companies like Microsoft, Strikelron and Google in adding features and components to this framework. This version totally follows the principle of object oriented design. It is based on PHP 5.3 and beyond and uses all its major updated features like lambda functions, namespaces, late static binding and the like. Its component structure and design allows developers use whichever component they want to, making it unique and stand out. These components can be used together as well as separately.
ZF2 has evolved from the Zend Framework 1 which was a widely accepted framework with millions of downloads among the developers. The migration from ZF1 to ZF2 is possible without much rewriting. The main pro of using ZF2 is its characteristic of being modular which lets the user to use whatever they need and ignore the rest. One can drop in someone else’s module, and with a simple line added to the config file, a new application is ready without much efforts. With this, it makes the concept of modular code-reuse very easy and simple. ZF2 is well documented, consistent and scalable and uses skeleton program for beginners unlike ZF1 that uses command line tools to begin with. The ZF2 version implements the Models-Operations-Views-Events (MOVE) pattern which is advancement from the previous versions that used MVC framework. This latest version has an event manager and service manager that manage the events, modules and library components. The previous versions were about 30 MB in size but ZF2 is comparatively compact and just 2.5 MB in size when zipped. ZF2 uses git and composer and is an ideal solution for developing test-driven applications. Keeping security concerns in consideration, built in libraries and tools are provided in Zend Framework 2.
By taking into account all the above benefits, one can firmly comment that Zend Framework has evolved as a user friendly tool to develop web applications. Providing developers convenient tools to make edits helps in modifying and updating the applications without making major changes. Though Zend programmers feel more comfortable in using ZF1, it is advised that the existing users start using ZF2 as a tool to develop web applications.