Using CakePHP Framework for Web Development

dMarkWeb has been in business for a while.  Building and designing web applications using PHP.  We initially started building site management systems using our own developed file structure.  No templates, no smarty, just straight mixed up, stirred, PHP and html.  That is exactly what it was.  PHP with a bunch of echos everywhere to display the html dynamically. Wow, what a mess.  Sad part is that we still see people doing it today and the unfortunate thing is that web solution visionaries end up with unsatisfactory and unmanageable web applications.   We of course refuse to take on any such project. So, this article is aimed towards developers looking for a framework, developers with no direction yet looking for some, and the web visionaries who just are not sure what direction they should head when looking for a developer. First off, Loadsys uses CakePHP.  I’m not going to get into technicals here, but CakePHP is a rapid application development framework that provides “rules” if you will for a developer to follow to keep a web application structured.  It comes with a suite of utilities and helpers that make things that seemed difficult or frustrating before, a breeze. Cake offers the following benefits
  • Rapid development framework that will speed up development time for a developer that is experienced with the framework
  • Well-structured code (most of the time)
  • Programming logic separate from design
  • Less new developer “Getting Familiar” time
  • Built-in utilities and helpers (no wheel re-inventing)
  • Large and enthusiastic developer base
A web application needs a framework and in our opinion it should be a well-established one like CakePHP.   Now, please consider what I’m saying.  I said “Like” CakePHP.  We realize there are other frameworks out there.  Some achieve the same result as CakePHP.  For example, there is Ruby on Rails, who’s concept was created by 37 signals.  There are other frameworks out there as well.  These are all good and put developers in the right direction of structured coding. I’m stuck between choosing Ruby On Rails and CakePHP, which one is better? We have had this question asked by multiple clients.  There are times when we are competing for bid between us and a Ruby developer.  Whenever I get asked this question, I’m very honest.  I say, “There is not really a difference”.  Maybe this isn’t good for business, but in actuality there isn’t.  Maybe Ruby has some tools that Cake doesn’t have, or vice versa.  But at the end of the day, I’m sure that the client would have a well-structured web application in both scenarios.  Whether it is Ruby on Rails or CakePHP. The web development realm has evolved into some smart people doing some amazing things.  They do this by learning from mistakes.  I’m hoping this article puts a young developer or even a person drawing up plans for a new web application to follow the movement towards well-architected web applications