Zend Framework to Laravel

As a PHP Zend Engineer I’ve always used Zend framework for projects, it’s always just made sense to me but the latest iteration (Zend Framework 2) is a complete overhaul. The event based architecture and the various patterns it uses are truely awesome, however I find the configuration over convention way of thinking has been taken to literally.

If Zend framework 1 was like using a sledge hammer to crack a nut, Zend Framework 2 is like using a crane with a wrecking ball! Zend Framework 2 is just too complicated and I’m afraid especially for projects with a short lifespan.

So when our next project landed we began looking for a new PHP framework to work with. Enter Laravel 4. I have now used Laravel to work on a medium-sized project and I can honestly it was an absolute joy to work with. The framework is so feature rich I was struggling for ideas on how to use all of them!

Out the box Laravel comes with, Unit Testing, ORM, Redis, Queues, Package development, database migrations & seeding plus allot more. The best feature is the Artisan Command Line Interface (CLI) which speeds up repetitive tasks like creating database migration classes. It uses MVC architecture and makes overriding configs based on environments very simple.

Overall, PHP is and always will be a scripting language. The benefits of using PHP are simple, shorter development times for clients. Thus, PHP frameworks should follow suit and I think Laravel does so perfectly. However, the need for a framework like Zend will always exist for large-complex projects. But I do feel its complexity compared to version 1 has pushed developers to use other frameworks, leaving the online community behind Zend Framework 2 dwindling. We will certainly be using Laravel again and into the infinite future.