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Thread: Enterprise PHP

  1. #51
    Yugo full of anvils bronze trophy hillsy's Avatar
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    Macromedia and BlueDragon do almost the same thing for CFML and Java/.Net...

    I can see how it might make sense. Say you have a bunch of designer-oriented people who don't know Java, yet you want to deploy your intranet on J2EE. Do you use your expensive Java developers to do it when they're supposed to be helping interface your financials system to your website? Or do you give it to your web developers who don't know a lot of Java but are well up in CFML/PHP?

    Or say you want to take advantage of the fact that it's much quicker to write a web application in CFML than in Java (or ASP/ASP.Net/PHP for that matter )

    Yes it is a dumb idea from the point of view of duplicating effort. But you're not always going to be doing that. Real world example - we are close to completing a Java-based extranet which has so far taken much longer than it had any right to, mainly because of the overhead associated with developing in Java (more skilled developers, more complex environment etc). If we'd done it in a high level language like CFML or PHP, it would have been finished weeks ago. Let the Java developers worry about the business logic, and the CFML developers worry about how to drop that out onto a web page.

    Of course we didn't do that, but that's another story...
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    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Good thinking, there!
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    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Jeremy W.'s Avatar
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    Fair enough shaun Still, I wouldn't call it the future of PHP
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    SitePoint Wizard Mike Borozdin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hillsy
    Macromedia and BlueDragon do almost the same thing for CFML and Java/.Net...

    I can see how it might make sense. Say you have a bunch of designer-oriented people who don't know Java, yet you want to deploy your intranet on J2EE. Do you use your expensive Java developers to do it when they're supposed to be helping interface your financials system to your website? Or do you give it to your web developers who don't know a lot of Java but are well up in CFML/PHP?

    Or say you want to take advantage of the fact that it's much quicker to write a web application in CFML than in Java (or ASP/ASP.Net/PHP for that matter [img]images/smilies/wink.gif[/img])

    Yes it is a dumb idea from the point of view of duplicating effort. But you're not always going to be doing that. Real world example - we are close to completing a Java-based extranet which has so far taken much longer than it had any right to, mainly because of the overhead associated with developing in Java (more skilled developers, more complex environment etc). If we'd done it in a high level language like CFML or PHP, it would have been finished weeks ago. Let the Java developers worry about the business logic, and the CFML developers worry about how to drop that out onto a web page.

    Of course we didn't do that, but that's another story...
    ColdFusion? I took a look at it some times. It's set of different tags. I don't think tham many developers like it. So I think PHP is preferable in this case. Besides, I think, it's much easier to find PHP developer rather than CFM one. And I guess, the latter will charge more.

    As for PHP vs. Java vs. NET. I think it's sensible to put up some framework for this kind of work and don't use "PHP mixed up with HTML" style of coding. I always put up my framework for nearly all project I work, except those that need some updating, in this case, I have to follow its standarts, even "PHP mixed up with HTML".

    I don't know much about Java. But I assume that using .NET won't be overkill. Mainly because of its separating code from content by using datagrids, repaters and so on, and by using form validating controls.

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    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    I see the point of using PHP as a frontend of enterprise applications, but I don't really see any point in using it as a frontend in instead of ASP.NEt, which is already an excellent and easy-to-use framework.
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    eschew sesquipedalians silver trophy sweatje's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M. Johansson
    I see the point of using PHP as a frontend of enterprise applications, but I don't really see any point in using it as a frontend in instead of ASP.NEt, which is already an excellent and easy-to-use framework.
    What if you do not have a Windows/IIS based web infrastructure?
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    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweatje
    What if you do not have a Windows/IIS based web infrastructure?
    Well, you CAN buy a web server, put Server 2003 Web on it, and use web services, but it's a rather moot point if your developers aren't trained in it, anyway. If you don't have Windows infrastructure and and/or windows developers, you probably don't want to use Windows solutions. In the same manner, if you don't have a unix infrastructure, you probably don't want to use non-unix solutions.
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    SitePoint Wizard gold trophysilver trophy
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    If the question is "why use PHP as a front end to .NET / J2EE?" reckon there's two main issues.

    First there's the ease of use factor. That may be arguable vs. .NET (for me it's a static vs. dynamic, IDE vs. text editor thing), but vs. JSP I think is pretty clear that PHP is easier to prototype / develop quickly with. That's the first reason why PHP might be a preferable choice.

    Second and more important, within companies there's "aggregation" of business tier systems into web based front ends which often happens over a network. In other words the server you're running your .NET business app on may be Windows (inside the private corporate network) but the system which you deploy your web front end on is a seperate server (perhaps running Unix). You may have multiple "business tier" systems, some written with Java, other's .NET etc which need to give the appearance of being integrated to an end user.

    What Zend is "selling" when it talks about integration with other component frameworks is that PHP makes an excellent choice for aggregating such systems; a presentation logic tier on top of the business systems.

    Still you may not be convinced but where PHP has an edge in this area is that it's very easy to modify to cope with changes. I work in this sort of environment (and I suspect Jason up there does too). Alot of what you spend your time doing is keeping pace with changes that happened to one of the many business tier systems you're aggregating.

    Typically someone makes some "API breaking" change at the business tier and your web front end stops doing what it's supposed to so the "fix" has to happen fast.

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by neil100
    Just look at one simple aspect, templating, .net and java both have standard methods for using template tags, on the other hand PHP seems to have an endless supply of templating systems available (smarty, fast template, ETS, template tamer, yabs and so on...), with everyone using different systems whenever people want to work together on a large "enterprise" project people will have to learn yet another templating system, which is not conducive to effeicient development. This can also be extended to eveything else PHP such as frameworks, class libraries etc, it also doesn't help that the class library that PHP is trying to push as the standard (PEAR) is not up to much.
    At the risk of hijacking my own thread, I find this doesn't make much sense to me. I defy anyone to prove to me that PHP isn't, at its core, a template engine.

    Smarty, et al. are simply wrappers around what PHP already does. And as such they have never made sense to me. Everyone has opinions on this, and mine is that Smarty should never have made it into PEAR, and that the constant chatter about template engines for PHP diverts energy from making the language better. Any HTML developer that can learn the Smarty syntax can just as well learn some simple PHP syntax.

    C'est la vie...


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    Keith.

  10. #60
    eschew sesquipedalians silver trophy sweatje's Avatar
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    My best arguments for using PHP in an enterprise environment were:

    1) cross-platform (in a way that .NET is not)
    2) easy to learn (in a way that Java is not, particularly if the developer has any C background)
    3) allows for web, xml and database work within a Unix shell scripting environment
    4) same language for Web development as Shell Scripting


    ...digs up an old email...edits to remove unknown acronyms ...
    Quote Originally Posted by email to corporate infrastructure group
    We have started to encounter limits within our current UNIX scripting environment (Korn Shell and SQLPlus). I believe there is a need to define a more powerful scripting tool as a standard for us to use, and one that will be acceptable within the [name of corporate infrastructure group] environment.

    One recent example of these limits is the inter-company communication between [our business unit] and [another company]. This communication was effected using database queries to generate specially formatted URLs for transmission through the web proxy to [the other company's] remote IIS server, and retrieving the server's response into a UNIX batch job. This level of connectivity is absent from ksh-88, and using conventional UNIX tools would have forced us to resort to C.

    With the current trends in technology, I also see customers requesting for us to transact data with them using XML, and over SSL for security reasons.

    We need to have a scripting environment that supports:
    Real-time transactions with our customers across the internet
    Access to databases
    Access to the web (HTTP get, post, fetch URLs)
    Use of SSL
    Support for XML
    Support for LDAP
    UNIX file system access

    We would like to know what directions the [corporate infrastructure] and other BU's are pursuing in this regard and what you foresee as the accepted standard in the new [corporate infrastructure] environment.

    [our Business Unit] was able to satisfy our needs using an open-source scripting language called PHP (PHP Hypertext Processor, http://www.php.org) commercially supported by the Zend Corporation (http://www.zend.com). After evaluating a number of options, we settled on PHP for several reasons:
    Native support for HTTP transactions
    Support for SSL if needed
    Native Oracle database connectivity
    Single HP-UX binary (ease of maintenance)
    Easy to learn for our developers (c like syntax (no pointers), structured or oop)
    Cross Platform (runs on Unix and Win32)

    The [other company] solution has been in place at [our BU] since March 2001, and has worked effectively for us. When we move to the Data Center will you provide software technical support for our PHP application? If not, what language will you support that can provide the same functionality?

    Thanks.
    These questions went unanswered, and thus PHP became the de facto advanced scripting tool in our Unix batch job environment. By extension, developers trained in using PHP for scripting can no easily develop web pages as well.

    HTH

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    why bother to make PHP enterprisable if it will take years to come even close to J2EE .. not to mention how long would it take to be real Enterprise voodoo kind of stuff ..

    my oppinion is that .,. if you want real enterprise stuff going on .. move to java or .net (although I prefer Java).. if you want simple scripting langugae powerfull enought to make something out of it .. use PHP or ASP (I prefer PHP or JSP)..

    why discovering hot water if we allready discovered it ?!?!?

    bye

    Armando

  12. #62
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Karl's Avatar
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    As has already been said, Enterprise is just a cover word for adding nanny like features (protected anyone?) to a language most of the time. Enterprise development depends 75-90% on the skill of the developer, not the tools used, although they obviously do play their part.
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  13. #63
    Yugo full of anvils bronze trophy hillsy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mika
    ColdFusion? I took a look at it some times. It's set of different tags. I don't think tham many developers like it. So I think PHP is preferable in this case.
    I won't argue that ColdFusion is as popular as PHP or ASP/ASP.Net - it's clearly not. But it's a bit of a stretch to say that not many developers like it. It's the platform of choice for many developers I know

    Anyway, the ColdFusion example was just that - an example. Another instance where it makes sense to deploy a high-level language (CFML) on top of a complex framework (J2EE). Seems to me this is where they are trying to take PHP with its Java integration.

    As for PHP vs. Java vs. NET. I think it's sensible to put up some framework for this kind of work and don't use "PHP mixed up with HTML" style of coding.
    This is an excellent point. PHP is a bit like Perl (or most languages for that matter) - it's very easy to write unreadable code and there's "more than one way to do it". This was alluded to earlier in the thread. This does not play well in an - ahem - enterprise environment. A framework (or even a coding standard or some guidelines) is a prerequisite for most forms of enterprise development. Perhaps slightly more so for PHP.

    PHP (and ColdFusion) are best at one thing - dynamic web page development. I like Harry's characterisations. Ease of use is much better than with Java. Maybe less so with regard to .Net. And the fact that your presentation layer can talk to all your disparate business logic layers, means you don't need to program your intranet in ASP, your extranet in ASP.Net but your website in JSP.
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    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karl
    As has already been said, Enterprise is just a cover word for adding nanny like features (protected anyone?) to a language most of the time. Enterprise development depends 75-90% on the skill of the developer, not the tools used, although they obviously do play their part.
    I'd actually say that enterpris development depends mostly on the project manager. And as for what you call nanny-features etc:

    When you are doing software development, you make mistakes. EVERY coder, no matter how good he/she is, spends the bulk of his time debugging. I think this talk like "pah, we don't need private members or IDE:s" is just mumbo-jumbo and has no connection to the real world. The truth is that things like encaspulation and IDE:s do cut down development time, no matter how good (and expensive!) your programmers and project managers are.
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    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Karl's Avatar
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    If you have a style guide and it's drummed in to developers then you don't need private members etc. you can work round it quite easily in your style guide e.g. private members always start with _ for example.
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    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karl
    If you have a style guide and it's drummed in to developers then you don't need private members etc. you can work round it quite easily in your style guide e.g. private members always start with _ for example.
    Like I said, having stuff like private members saves you time. You don't have to develop basic stuff like that for the style guide, and you don't have to drum it into your developers.
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    SitePoint Wizard Mike Borozdin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karl
    As has already been said, Enterprise is just a cover word for adding nanny like features (protected anyone?) to a language most of the time. Enterprise development depends 75-90% on the skill of the developer, not the tools used, although they obviously do play their part.
    You're abosultely right! Smart developer can do evrything or nearly everything!

    Quote Originally Posted by M. Johanssom
    I'd actually say that enterpris development depends mostly on the project manager. And as for what you call nanny-features etc:

    When you are doing software development, you make mistakes. EVERY coder, no matter how good he/she is, spends the bulk of his time debugging. I think this talk like "pah, we don't need private members or IDE:s" is just mumbo-jumbo and has no connection to the real world. The truth is that things like encaspulation and IDE:s do cut down development time, no matter how good (and expensive!) your programmers and project managers are.
    Yes, good project manager will hire proper developers

  18. #68
    SitePoint Wizard Chris82's Avatar
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    Hello!

    In my opinion having private fields (or member visibility in general) does not make a language more enterprise ready. The coding standards for PHP are used to say that due to the lack of all private fields all class members should be treated as private. Other languages (Java, C#) support this natively, yet it can be circumvented in both cases, In PHP accessing a field directly and in other languages simply using a different visibility.
    I do like PHP because for what I want to do (putting some partly dynamic webpages online) it is the best choice since its simplicity and ease of use. It allows me to get something working online really quick. I don't know how it is done with .NET (C#) but Java looked a bit "intimidating" with these XML-config files.

    An official body which provides accepted certification for PHP programmers could help to advance PHP in terms of "enterprise-readiness". If a programmer says that everyone can get a certification simply by parroting the relevant books, then I would as an employer ask him, why he did not get one if it so easy. If the programmer has additional practical experience, all the better. I do agree, that a certification / diploma is not an absolute indicator of the real programmer's quality but it can be an influencing factor.

    Example: The company wants to hire a new programmer. Several programmers apply for the job, some with certifications, some without. The employer has to decide which programmer to hire.
    The employer faces the problem that he does not know of the programmers' real qualities who apply for the position. The job seeker has an information advantage. So the employer can conduct interviews to "screen" the potential candidates and additionally look for signs which could signal that one programmer is better than another. The employee to-be on his part could "signal" the employer his qualification by providing certificates such as a degree / diploma or a certification by an official body (preferrably the language creator itself takes on this job or authorizes a third party to be in charge of this process.

    I do not know if a dynamically or statically typed language is better suited for web application however a statically typed language has advantages when it comes to IDEs. For example: In a statically typed language any argument which is passed in to the function must be of a certain datatype. Therefore the IDE "knows" which methods can be called and some errors can be spotted at compile time.
    Speaking from personal experience with Eclipse (the IDE), I would say that a good IDE does indeed increase the productivity. Code Completion, ease of use when creating new classes, features to help with the documentation and providing method bodies for abstract functions are some advantages that come to my mind. And having to do this in a normal texteditor can be a tedious task.

    I have found this case study by Sun on ebay's switch to J2EE and besides the usual "marketing talk" I would be interested to know if others think that PHP could meet the requirements mentioned in the case study as well.

  19. #69
    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Excellent post, Chris. Rep given.
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    SitePoint Wizard Mike Borozdin's Avatar
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    I think, language enterpriseness depends on the support of the big companies. And in this case, ASP.NET, Java have a great advantage over PHP. I know PHP is supported by Zend. But Zend is nothing comparing to Microsoft or Sun. Support of big companies mean a good certification base (I know, it was already mentioned here), IDEs and many solutions, such as various servers and so on.

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    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Karl's Avatar
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    Wouldn't use Sun as a good example of good big company support for a language, they've certainly fumbled the ball many a time with Java, think the best suggestion I heard was that they give Java to IBM who seem to know how to handle it - But I get what you're saying, PHP does need to big $$$ or £££ behind it if it wants to get "noticed" in the enterprise arena.
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    IBM ? Now there is a business to look at when you need to know something about Java and in particular XML.

    They've got just about everything sewn up and they sure know what they're doing... If only I knew someone at IBM Greenock...

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    I agree PHP needs some marketing done, until then some people may still shy away.

    Microsoft spends millions advertising their .NET - you see it in all kinds of magazines but you never see "PHP" type ads.

    Why would people buy bottled water when you can get it free in your own home? Because someone has brainwashed you into thinking their bottled water, probably from their own tap, is better

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    Yer I've noticed that as well. That's globalisation for you as I see it IMO;

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    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ramprage
    Why would people buy bottled water when you can get it free in your own home? Because someone has brainwashed you into thinking their bottled water, probably from their own tap, is better
    Actually, I drink bottled water because it tastes better, plus, it's convinient to pick up a bottle in town. I don't drink it at home, though. I hear it's more common in the US to drink bottled water at home, though. Do them peeps have bad water or something?

    Edit - I think it was greenpeace that declared bottled water a big problem of the modern world, in that it was a huge waste of resources in transport and packaging. And people paying for an unnecessary product.
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