According to a number of surveys, Zend is one of the most popular PHP frameworks of 2015. However, the surveys also indicate that web programmers still use versions 1 and 2 of Zend Framework. In addition to being one of the stable and mature PHP frameworks available in the market, Zend also supports the current version 7 of PHP. Also, the open source framework is being used by many large corporations including BBC, Cisco WebEx and BNP Paribas. Zend Framework 3 further comes with several new features and enhancements to compete with other modern PHP frameworks.

Why Zend Framework is one of the Most Popular PHP Frameworks of 2015?

Object-Oriented Framework:

As a fully object-oriented PHP framework, Zend uses inheritances, interface and other object oriented programming concepts. So it allows programmers to treat everything as an object. The developers can further make the code reusable by treating everything as an object. The code reusability helps developers to write large web applications in PHP within a shorter amount of time.

Use-at-Will Architecture:

Zend is designed as a loosely coupled PHP framework. It can be used by developers as a component library. The users also have option to user a whole component or subset of components provided by the framework. However, some components within Zend Framework are fully decoupled, whereas others depend on specific components.

Option to Customize Components:

In addition to being object-oriented, the components available in Zend Framework are also customizable and extensible. The programmers have option to implement custom variations of certain components without making any changes to the code base. Thus, the developers can add special functionality to the web application by extending the existing components. Further, they can use the customized components across different projects.

Provides MVC Components:

Like other modern PHP development frameworks, Zend also supports model-view-controller (MVC) architecture. The MVC architecture helps developers to develop large-scale and complex web applications rapidly by keeping the business logic and user interface separate. Zend further implements front controller patterns, while allowing users to treat components as individual libraries and load only the components required by the project.

Tools to Create Secure Applications:

Many programmers nowadays review the source code of web applications thoroughly to make their more secure. Zend Frameworks comes with several tools to make the code secure. The programmers can use the code security tools to do the things in the most appropriate way. At the same time, they can also use cryptographic tools provided by Zend to make the source code of applications inaccessible.

A Single API to Manage Multiple Cloud Infrastructure:

Many organizations nowadays deploy web application in the cloud to avail benefits in terms of cost and scalability. But developers have to put additional time and effort to deploy the web application in cloud infrastructure provided by various vendors. Zend Framework simplifies deployment of web applications in the cloud by allowing programmers to manage multiple cloud environments thorough a single API. They can simply use the API provided by Zend_Cloud_Infrastructure class to accomplish common operations like creating a new instance, deleting an instance, rebooting an instance, starting/stopping an instance, and getting current status of an instance.

Additional Technologies:

While using Zend Framework, the developers can take advantage of additional technologies like Zend Server and Zend Studio. Zend Sever is designed as a PHP stack to optimize the running of web application developed using Zend. On the other hand, Zend Studio is an integrated development environment (IDE) that provides a number of features which can be integrated seamlessly with Zend. However, both Zend Studio and Zend Server are commercial software. The developers can only use the community edition of Zend Server without incurring any additional expenses.

Despite being a mature, stable and robust PHP framework, Zend is considered to have a steep learning curve. The framework further becomes complex due to a large number of configuration options. So Zend Framework is not popular among beginners. Many web application developers use Zend only building large sized web development projects. But Zend Framework still comes with features to meet the requirements of modern web application development projects. Interested readers can read more about how Yii framework fares as an alternative to Zend.