Advantages and disadvantages of Phalcon

In order to design a web presence, it makes sense to use a web framework. This offers many pre-built features that make it easier to design the website. This not only represents an enormous reduction in workload.

Moreover, these modules help even programmers with little experience to achieve professional results. However, to implement a web project, there are very many different frameworks to choose from.

These differ in the programming language used, their architecture, their functions and their performance. Therefore, it is very important to look closely at the features of the various options and then choose a suitable framework. Here we present the PHP framework Phalcon and work out the advantages and the disadvantages of this solution.

The architecture of Phalcon

Phalcon is a PHP framework. However, the individual modules are programmed in the C programming language. At first, this may sound like a contradiction. Therefore, it is important to explain this feature in a little more detail. Most PHP frameworks are also programmed in the PHP programming language.

This means that they consist of PHP functions, objects and methods. These modules can then be easily inserted into a PHP program to create the page.

It is only necessary to access them in order to use the functions they provide. In Phalcon, however, these individual functions and elements are now programmed in C. We will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this later on. Regarding the architecture, however, it is important to note that the call to the corresponding modules can still be made in PHP.

For this purpose, an interface is integrated that allows the functions programmed in C to be addressed via PHP. Therefore, no C knowledge is required to use the framework. It is enough to know PHP. Nevertheless, it is useful if you know at least the most important basics of C. This makes it easier to understand how it works.

Outstanding execution speed

C and PHP are two very different programming languages. PHP is a scripting language with a very special field of application: the design of server-side programmed Internet pages. This specialization leads to the fact that you can do the corresponding task with it very easily.

This is an interpreted language. This means that a software called interpreter reads the code directly during execution and executes the corresponding commands. This is very convenient, because in this way it is possible to run the programs on any platform. The only requirement is that a PHP interpreter is available.

However, this is the case with virtually all web servers. No adjustments to the program are necessary – regardless of whether you run it on a Windows or a Linux server, or whether you use a completely different operating system. However, the interpretation of the programs also has a disadvantage. To execute the program code, a translation process into machine language is necessary.

This requires considerable resources. Therefore, the translation is comparatively slow during execution. The C programming language, on the other hand, is structured quite differently. Here, the translation process takes place only once. This creates an executable program.

This can be executed much faster. However, it is not possible to transfer this to other operating systems. Another characteristic of C is that it is a hardware-oriented language.

This means that it is possible to directly access various hardware functions here. This can be used for optimization – and thus contributes to a high execution speed.

You can see that programs in C are characterized by high performance. This is also one of the main advantages of Phalcon. This framework is significantly faster than ordinary PHP frameworks.

Very complex framework

The structure with modules programmed in C within a PHP framework brings a very high execution speed as just described. However, this makes the framework very complex.

Dealing with many other alternatives – for example, the PHP framework Laravel – is quite easy to learn. In particular, programmers who already have experience with the PHP programming language can create extensive web applications with the corresponding frameworks after a short time. The use of Phalcon, on the other hand, is not quite simple.

This software has very complex structures. This makes it necessary to familiarize oneself intensively. If you want to create pages with the Phalcon framework yourself, it means that you have to plan a lot of time for it.

If, on the other hand, you plan to hire a programmer to do it, this high level of complexity means that it can be quite difficult to find a suitable professional.

Difficult installation

Not only the structures of the framework are very complex. Even the installation presents a considerable challenge. You must provide the individual modules in a suitable version for the platform used.

For this purpose it is necessary to adjust configuration files and path variables and to install various components via the command line interpreter.

In addition, this requires root access to the server. This is also a problem with many web hosting plans.

Especially for inexperienced users, the installation process is very difficult and sometimes even leads to the cancellation of the entire project. In addition, the effort required for this is quite high. All this has a deterrent effect on many users.

High flexibility in the structure of the projects

Another important feature of Phalcon is that this software ensures high flexibility in designing the flow of your Internet applications. With many other frameworks, there are fixed structures that you absolutely must follow during implementation.

With Phalcon, on the other hand, there are only a few specifications. This makes it possible to implement your projects exactly according to your ideas without forcing them into a corset imposed by the framework. This is very beneficial for creative ideas that deviate from the usual patterns.

Phalcon Query Language: a custom database language

One of the essential tasks of server-side web applications is to perform database queries.

The Phalcon framework is equipped with its own language for this task: the Phalcon Query Language. This is an SQL dialect that allows inserting data into the database or retrieving it from it.

This language not only makes database management easier. In addition, it contributes to a high level of safety.

Easy management of CSS and JavaScript applications

Many different languages are often used to design websites. For example, for the layout of the pages it is common to use the CSS stylesheet language. JavaScript is used for dynamic, client-side content. The Phalcon framework allows these elements to be managed easily and efficiently as well.

Conclusion: Phalcon convinces with a good performance

As a conclusion, it can be said that the use of Phalcon is particularly worthwhile if you place a lot of emphasis on high execution speed. Therefore, if your application involves computationally intensive processes, this framework is always a good choice.

It is true that the training and the installation are somewhat more complex than with most alternatives. But you also benefit from outstanding flexibility, easy database management, and many other advantages. As a result, this software is an excellent solution for many projects.

Interesting links:

More information about the Phalcon PHP Framework

Information about Phalcon on Wikipedia

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