Zend Framework, an extension of the popular and widely-used programming language PHP, is committed to creating a stable, reliable, scalable environment for Web 2.0 developers.
Zend Framework is a premiere, open source and object-oriented Web application Framework implemented in PHP5. The framework uses the MVC Paradigm, a flexible architecture and a well-tested code base. It retains the spirit of PHP in its simplicity and is a useful tool for web development. It focuses on building modern, reliable, and secure Web 2.0 applications and web services. It has a loosely-coupled component structure, giving web developers the freedom to pick and choose the needed parts.
The framework is offered under the BSD Licensing and is corporate-friendly. It has a wide base of contributors and is actively supported. Zend Technologies is the company that sponsors few developers to contribute to The Zend Engine, the core of PHP. The company together with the community develops the Zend Framework. So Zend Framework is from “the makers of PHP”.
Few years ago, PHP popularized itself as a simple yet powerful scripting language for web development. But then a plethora of web application frameworks arrived, in PHP, as in other programming languages, which would alleviate tedious, repetitive programming tasks like Database Interactions and would thereby reduce development time and costs. The MVC design pattern allowed separation between the logic and the presentation layers helping developers and designers to work simultaneously and make changes without one affecting the other. But, to maximize any framework’s benefits or more appropriately to be able to customize it to suit one’s needs, the developer’s familiarity with the tool becomes very important.
Zend Framework has a vast library of components and allows you to choose only one or more subsets of the framework. The components are decoupled as much as possible and are provided for specific purposes. But there are some components that are dependant on each other. It also provides MVC Components.
Some of the popular components are:
MVC – Zend_Application, Zend_Controller, Zend_View, Zend_Layout, Zend_Navigation
l10n and i18n – Zend_Locale, Zend_Date, Zend_Translate, Zend_Currency, Zend_Measure
Web services – Zend_Service_Yahoo, Zend_Gdata, Zend_Service_Amazon
Others – Zend_Acl, Zend_Auth, Zend_Mail, Zend_Pdf, Zend_Form, Zend_Search_Lucene, Zend_Validate, Zend_Tool, Zend_Test
At EnderTech, a popularly used component is the “Zend_Search_Lucene”. It has been successfully implemented in multiple projects.
The official website for Zend Framework is http://www.framework.zend.com/. It has an extensive documentation. There is an active online community for support, as with any other Open source project. Zend offers commercial support and training for Zend Framework. Well-written books are available. Also, a Zend Framework Certification is available.