Over the course of your working relationship with your chosen web developers (or developer), you will be expected to engage with them about the requirements that you have for your website. More often than not they may also want to launch a discussion with you about FRAMEWORKS – which frameworks they are skilled in using and what framework best suits your site.
Now before you panic and call in the builders it’s worth knowing that frameworks are not quite as physical or as exhausting as they sound. Web application frameworks are actually a set of software tools which support and improve the development process of websites, web services and interactive web applications. Frameworks enable developers to manage a number of complicated activities which commonly occur during the build process of dynamic websites (sites which are that little bit more special than simple brochure sites). Some of the tools include “libraries” to store information databases, page template automation processes to ensure design unity throughout site pages, and automated code functions to improve the dizzying programming and coding processes.
As a website owner it is unlikely that you will ever have to use your site’s framework. However in order to improve your understanding of the website building process, and of the functionality and capabilities of your site it’s worth taking a basic look at the types of frameworks which are readily available.
Organised around the Model View Controller (MVC) Paradigm, Rails is a software framework written in the Ruby development language. It is an open-source opinionated framework - it makes assumptions about the most efficient way to do things and creates automatic processes and conventions based around this best practice. Rails is particularly useful to developers because it not only encourages best practice, it also increases productivity and efficiency by improving application development processes.
Similar to Rails, Cake PHP is a framework written in the PHP scripting language which adopts both MVC and ORM (Object-Relational Mapping) paradigms to assume best practice and increase developer productivity. Cake PHP simplifies the process of building dynamic applications by allowing developers to introduce code automation which decreases the amount of time spent inputting pieces of code, and prevents mistakes associated with code inputting.
Symfony PHP is another popular framework written in PHP which follows the MVC paradigm. The aim of Symfony is to help developers build complex and robust web applications in a more efficient and timely way. Also known as a full-stack framework, Symfony PHP provides developers with a number of tools such as class libraries (written in PHP5), architectures and components.
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