What can symfony do for you? What’s required to use it? This chapter answers these questions.
Symfony in Brief
A framework streamlines application development by automating many of the patterns employed for a given purpose. A framework also adds structure to the code, prompting the developer to write better, more readable, and more maintainable code. Ultimately, a framework makes programming easier, since it packages complex operations into simple statements.
Symfony is a complete framework designed to optimize the development of web applications by way of several key features. For starters, it separates a web application’s business rules, server logic, and presentation views. It contains numerous tools and classes aimed at shortening the development time of a complex web application. Additionally, it automates common tasks so that the developer can focus entirely on the specifics of an application. The end result of these advantages means there is no
need to reinvent the wheel every time a new web application is built!
Symfony is written entirely in PHP. It has been thoroughly tested in various real-world projects, and is actually in use for high-demand e-business websites. It is compatible with most of the available databases engines, including MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, and Microsoft SQL Server. It runs on *nix and Windows platforms. Let’s begin with a closer look at its features.
Symfony was built in order to fulfill the following requirements:
Easy to install and configure on most platforms (and guaranteed to work on standard *nix and Windows platforms)
Simple to use, in most cases, but still flexible enough to adapt to complex cases
Based on the premise of convention over configuration – the developer needs to configure only the unconventional
Compliant with most web best practices and design patterns
Enterprise-ready – adaptable to existing information technology (IT) policies and architectures, and stable enough for long-term projects
Very readable code, with phpDocumentor comments, for easy maintenance
Easy to extend, allowing for integration with other vendor libraries
Automated Web Project Features
Most of the common features of web projects are automated within symfony, as follows:
The built-in internationalization layer allows for both data and interface translation, as well as content localization.
The presentation uses templates and layouts that can be built by HTML designers without any knowledge of the framework. Helpers reduce the amount of presentation code to write by encapsulating large portions of code in simple function calls.
Forms support automated validation and repopulation, and this ensures a good quality of data in the database and a better user experience.
Output escaping protects applications from attacks via corrupted data.
The cache management features reduce bandwidth usage and server load.
Authentication and credential features facilitate the creation of restricted sections and user security management.
Routing and smart URLs make the page address part of the interface and search-engine friendly.
Built-in e-mail and API management features allow web applications to go beyond the classic browser interactions.
Lists are more user-friendly thanks to automated pagination, sorting, and filtering.
Factories, plug-ins, and events provide a high level of extensibility.
Development Environment and Tools