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A Closer Look at the Role of PHP Development in Enterprise Applications

With the internet quickly becoming our primary source of content of any size or shape, the use of online business portals has increased manifold.

The current state of user engagement has created the need to make websites and applications more dynamic and less static. PHP makes it easier for web developers meet those requirements and create dynamic websites.

Short for Hypertext Preprocessor, PHP is a service-side open source programming language that is used to improve and enhance the web surfing experience.

Compared to other programming languages that require complex and tedious scripting, PHP is an easy language that gives you maximum control over websites and works well with other languages and databases.

According to a survey conducted by W3Techs, 81.8% websites are using PHP as their core programming language.

 

PHP’s Popularity

This raises the question, why is PHP so popular in the web development world, and why should enterprises use this language to build their business applications? Here are the top four reasons.

 

It’s Easy

One of the top reasons why most developers prefer PHP over other scripting languages is because it is easy to read and understand, and is based on both C and Perl. The dual experience of C and Perl makes development twice as easier than any other complex programming language.

 

Maximum Control

Compared to other languages in the programming arena, PHP provides more control over websites and web applications and lets you complete the same functions with lesser lines of code.

 

Cross-Service Compatibility

Another reason why PHP is usually the most preferred programming language is that it works well with other languages like HTML, CSS, and various databases. Written between tags, codes, and functions, it’s easier for programmers to manage and make sure that the relevant code is in the right place.

 

Accessibility

PHP is an open-source, scripting language and has earned a huge following over the years. A large community of helpers and an abundance of guides make it extremely easy for PHP developers to rewrite and reuse code without paying the price for it.

Having established that PHP is the most preferred language in the programming arena, let’s find out why businesses should leverage PHP development for their web applications and what are the strengths and weaknesses of this language.

PHP for Enterprise Web Application Development

When it comes to web technology, enterprises are usually skeptical about three things: performance, security, and reliability.

With respect to PHP, the key architectural concerns, in addition to what we have already mentioned, are supportability and interoperability.

Although PHP is well known for being the most widely used scripting language for web application development, enterprises have shown more concerns on the interoperability aspect of the language over anything else.

 

Interoperability

It wouldn’t be entirely wrong to say that historically, PHP performed poorly in the Windows environment at first. Originally designed to work in Linux, PHP did not run well in a threaded environment.

However, it went through a series of improvements and changes over time, especially the introduction of FastCGI technology into MS IIS Web server platform that resolved the issue of PHP platform support.

 

Security

Another concern that many enterprises expressed with the use of PHP for web application development is the apparent lack of security this language has been criticized for.

Technically speaking, with all enterprise languages, there are certain security loopholes that are identified in the early stages of development and are fixed before anyone is the wiser. That said, it would be incorrect to say that some vulnerability lies in the PHP language itself.

In reality, the weakness lies in the application that is written using PHP or any language for that matter. A programming language cannot be held accountable for poor application design or bad coding that result in security lapses and vulnerabilities.

 

Extensibility

For an enterprise application, multiple architectural layers are created that represent business objects. One of those layers is the presentation layer that PHP provides extensive support to, for manipulating HTML, managing HTTP sessions, and choosing from multiple template systems.

With an extensive library of extensions, PHP connects to LDAP, Java Beans, CORBA, COM+, and .NET servers easily and seamlessly.

Challenges with PHP Application Development

Much like a game of chess, PHP is easy to learn and understand, but when it comes to mastering the language, it becomes a challenge.

There is a common belief that it’s easy to build an application using PHP in lesser time, but the agility of development does not ensure application effectiveness.

One of the notable criticisms about PHP is the lack of consistency in its APIs. Developed in an organic fashion, developers find it difficult to rely on the API consistency moving from PHP to the next. Furthermore, compared to other languages like Java, PHP is not that strong in the area of enterprise tooling.

The good news is, considering the significant inroads made by PHP into the realm of application development, when used with a development framework like Zend, PHP can do wonder in enterprise application development and fulfill various business needs in a reliable and cost-effective way.

So does your organization use PHP for enterprise applications? Have you found it to be reliable? Let us know in the comments below, and thanks for reading!

 

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