When starting a new web development project, one of the vital decisions is to choose the right framework. Amongst various web development technologies, PHP has evolved rapidly, presently being used extensively for building simple as well as complex web applications.
When it comes to PHP frameworks, the Symfony framework, according to Google Trends is ranked after Laravel in popularity. Although ranked lower to Laravel, more and more projects are using the Symfony framework and you can judge its popularity from the following graph:
What is the Symfony Framework?
As described on its website, “Symfony is a set of PHP Components, a Web Application framework, a philosophy, and a community — all working together in harmony.”
Generally speaking, the Symfony framework is flexible, with a basic idea to do away with the cumbersome coding, thus saving the time of development. The philosophy behind Symfony is to help create software by users for their own needs.
Symfony has all the characteristics that are expected from a modern framework. In this blog, we list some features that make Symfony framework one of the best PHP frameworks.
1. High Flexibility
The Symfony PHP framework is a well-organized, feature-rich PHP framework whose architecture paves the way for the developers to build sustainable web applications in the easiest way possible.
What makes this PHP framework so awesome are its two most striking technological benefits: Bundles and Components.
- The Bundle is similar to a plugin. The major benefit of Bundle is that they are decoupled, implies they can be reused and reconfigured further for many applications to bring down the overall development cost.
- Components help reduce routine tasks as they can be used independently by adding your own custom modules without hurting the architecture. All-in-all, there are 30 helpful Symfony components that facilitate the web development process. The components of Symfony framework can also be used exclusively in other frameworks (for instance, Laravel) or in plain PHP solutions.
Bundles and Components help to get rid of the inflexible dependencies in the architecture by giving you the liberty to get reused. Fewer the dependencies, the easier it becomes to introduce changes sans the risk of breaking other parts of the system.
Thus, you can adapt the solution to any requirements and user scenarios to create a highly flexible application.
The Symfony framework is packed with exclusive custom features and functionalities for both developers and businesses. With Symfony as your PHP framework, you can make your web application as user-oriented as you aim for. The advanced OOPS service architecture of Symfony allows to scale up projects.
Symfony offers following types of customization:
- Full stack – Build a complex product with multiple functionalities
- Brick by brick – If you wish to build an application with specific features and selective functions, you can create your own custom framework.
Symfony Development: The Unsung Hero of the Emmanuel Macron’s Political Campaign
Now, the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, in April 2016, came up with a political movement called “En Marche!” (“On the Move” in English). It was launched with an aim to ask the public what was wrong with France.
Surprisingly, En Marche! was low on budget, infrastructure, or members to support its cause. The internet was the only weapon for them to support and promote their campaign and collect collections.
Initially, their platform was built upon WordPress. They found it to be too slow for them. They needed another platform to replace WordPress, which could allow faster and more customized development.
Thus, they chose Symfony as their primary framework.
“The choice of Symfony was natural: it fits the project size well, I have experience with it and it scales easily to handle the large number of users we have.”
3. Refined MVC Architecture
The MVC architecture of the Symfony framework is ideal for a systematic and scalable web development projects. Utilizing MVC as the core of its web development, Symfony framework makes sure that the project has an organized file structure distributed into Model, View, and Controller.
- The Model focuses on the business logic of the web application.
- The View provides the specific model into a web page visible to the user.
- The Controller, as per the user actions, prompts alterations to the Model or View, when needed.
The true benefit of using MVC with Symfony is that the developers get the liberty to easily separate the Model (business logic) and View (user presentation), allowing for better maintainability.
4. Large community
One of the key aspects that define the framework’s survivability is a good community. Symfony’s official website declares 3000+ contributors with a passionate group of over 600,000 developers from more than 120 countries – the number is several times bigger than that of other PHP frameworks communities.
Moreover, at the time of writing this article, the Symfony framework has 20,758 stars, 1,304 watchers, and has been forked 6,901 times on Github.
Why strong community matters
Symfony PHP framework is an open-source framework giving liberty to the PHP experts from all corners of the world to take part in making the code better for everybody. In the community, people cooperate with each other in building new components with an aim to solve emerging issues or help others with advice. Understandably, as the community strength grows, so does the support ecosystem as well as the rate of innovation.
Why Dailymotion Migrated to Symfony
Initially, the website of Dailymotion was built upon their home-made framework. They had sufficient in-house developers dedicated to their website development. However, they wanted to shift their focus on their business, rather than being forced to maintain a framework.
Thus, they migrated to an open-source framework—Symfony and they chose it because of its large community. The other main reasons for their shift as mentioned by their co-founder Olivier Poitrey are:
- Don’t reinvent the wheel
- Maintain less code
- Better compliance with coding conventions
- Implement new processes like unit/functional testing easily
5. Stable and Sustainable
Fortunately, Symfony is one of those few frameworks that are commercially supported. Developed and sponsored by SensioLabs, it offers 3-year support for all the major versions. Moreover, the company also provides lifetime support for security-related issues.
The company also offers official tutorials and certification. The company’s website will help you to find the upcoming conferences taking place all over the world. Thus, the scale and seriousness of their intentions and beliefs can be inferred.
Symfony Framework—Choose it and Use it for Your Next Project
No doubt, the popularity of Symfony is impacted by its steep learning curve, but remember, Symfony is still PHP. So it is not that one has to relearn how to write code, instead, they need to understand the code in a new and better way.
Symfony framework is often recommended to reduce product development time while enhancing the web application’s quality. With passing years, Symfony is turning into a viable PHP framework to build performance-rich applications depending on the specific requirements of the clients.