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Zend - Your thought and experiences


robcrozier

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Hi All.

 

I am currently looking at options for a PHP MVC framework for a new large e-commerce project.  I have a small amount of experience with CodeIgnighter, however i have heard lots of good things about Zend Framework...

 

Can anyone share their thoughts on the framework (good, or bad) as well as any experiences that they have had using Zend?

 

Thanks for your time guys!  I look forward to reading any comments. 

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If your looking to implement a bussiness critical application on CodeIgniter... DON'T. CI isn't made for such applications merely for people new to (web-)software development and you'll find a great bottleneck in CI when you do. Zend on the other hand has the muscle you need to run a large e-commerce project mostly because it's backed by a big company that provides training (for those new team-members you'll employ in 2 years).

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I've had nothing but good experience with ZF. There is bit of a learning curve if you're not used to OOP, and the API isn't the most consistent (but will be in ZF 2.0).  However, the community is very active, and always coming out with new bug fixes/features. If you have any questions, people in #zftalk can usually help you out.  It's definitely a robust framework that's easy to extend.

 

I've actually posted the source of my blog using ZF if you wanna check it out here.

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Thanks for that info guys, thats exactly the sort of feedback I was looking for.

 

ZF sounds like a good option in my instance then.

 

I will be sure to check out your blog source Shlumph, that will be a great help!

 

I think I will keep tjis thread open a little longer just to get a few more peoples opinions.

 

Thanks again guys!

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If your looking to implement a bussiness critical application on CodeIgniter... DON'T. CI isn't made for such applications merely for people new to (web-)software development and you'll find a great bottleneck in CI when you do. Zend on the other hand has the muscle you need to run a large e-commerce project mostly because it's backed by a big company that provides training (for those new team-members you'll employ in 2 years).

 

Its been my experience that Zend is far too slow to handle any large applications. We (my employer) had to ditch a CMS that we had developed on top of Zend because it simply took far too long between request and response.

 

You may say it wasn't optimized, but believe me, we spent a good two months trying to optimize it because we weren't willing to drop 12 months worth of development without a fight. In the end though, we just couldn't get the performance we required.

 

A much smaller custom framework has since been developed and is producing MUCH better results.

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Interesting one thorpe!  Which version of ZF were you using in this instance?

 

Has anyone else found this with ZF?  If so, does anyone know whether this has been improved within the later releases of the framework?

 

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ZF definitely seems to be less responsive than other MVC frameworks out there. But, it's a framework that's not going away anytime soon. One of the major goals for ZF 2.0 is improving the performance. There's also a section in the documentation dedicated to improving performance: http://framework.zend.com/manual/en/performance.html

 

In my humble opinion, ZF is great for larger projects, because of how robust and easy to extend it is. But the extra overhead isn't worth it for smaller projects. Although, my blog is a very small project and developing it on ZF is a pleasant experience.

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@robcrozier As you can tell by the comment of @thorpe choosing a framework is no easy task. My point - although not really clear - is that each framework has different goals and these may or may not suit your project, choose wisely.

 

However from my personal experience I can advise you not to use CI nor CakePHP (which is a bottleneck of it's own, unless you are really experienced with the framework and know where these bottlenecks are and how to fix them).

 

For a legacy product I had to implement a few new features and learn CI along the way - which sounded interesting at first - until I found myself in the deep-end, frustrated as to why I could not just pass the "Active Record" to a function and modify it (or reset everything for that matter), or simply parse the query or create a simple UNION statement.

 

Create a pre-defined set of requirements. Find and select the frameworks that fulfill these requirements and benchmark the hell out of it! The single framework that beats all tests is the one you want.

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Some really useful comments there guys!  Thanks for all of the input so far.

 

After reading your comments i think i will stay away from CI and Cake for this one, although ZF does seem to have it's drawbacks too, clearly.  Although i like the fact that it's well maintained and there is an active community for ZF out there.  I have also heard stories of v.large e-commerce platforms using ZF in the past.  Reassuring!

 

Are there any other frameworks out there that people have worked with that have perhaps been overlooked?  Maybe some smaller MVC frameworks that are perhaps less bloated that the three main ones discussed here (CI, Cake, and ZF)?

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

I've been using the Zend Framework since ver. 0.2 and I can really credit a lot of my growth as a developer to it. Obviously not perfect, it's still the best written PHP framework on the market.

 

to Thorpe and others who experienced performance issues - I can't comment on your specific situation, but from my experience the framework was never the bottleneck. One of our ZF projects scaled from one dedicated server that was squeezed to the max to now 28 servers and growing. We encountered database bottleneck, apache bottlenecks, memory bottlenecks, network issues, but the framework was never the problem. If anything, the high maintainability of code written with ZF has allowed us to quickly evaluate and optimize bottlenecks easily.

 

I'd really recommend the ZF to anyone who wants to get started with a framework - just a word of caution, there is some learning curve involved. Just brace yourself and you'd reap the rewards in the long run.

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to Thorpe and others who experienced performance issues - I can't comment on your specific situation, but from my experience the framework was never the bottleneck.

 

After eliminating the framework and writing my own, simpler MVC the bottleneck was removed. Even though I pulled and we still use the exact models from the application (Doctrine).

 

I haven't really had time since to investigate further and have since moved on. But it seems logical to me that Zend was indeed the bottleneck. Of course, I could definitely have configured it / used it incorrectly at the time.

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