Almost ten years ago, a humble project was born. A french entrepreneur built a framework to use in his company for client projects, this project was the Symfony Framework. Today it is one of the most respected PHP projects out there, and in these few lines we will review it’s benefits and the possible applications in enterprise environments.
Symfony is a Full Stack PHP framework, developed by the Sensio Labs, a French company co-founded by Fabien Potencier and Grégory Pascal. Symfony has became a landmark of good practices and inspiration not only for other PHP powered projects, but also for Frameworks built with other languages like Ruby or Python.
Almost anything can be accomplished with the framework, when I had to describe the framework to a person who knew nothing about it, I explained like this “Think about all the repetitive work you do on a web project (Routing, Users & Security, Validations, etc.), Symfony solves all that, so you will only focus on your business logic”. This is true, and will let you know an standard way to handle your projects. Symfony doesn’t come with an admin panel, since all it does is solve basic problems, the implementation and how you consume it’s components is up to you.
Throughout the years Symfony has been powering some big traffic website, in the early days of the framework it got noticed by Dustin Whittle, a Yahoo! developer that made a huge contribution to the SYmfony community: Sell the idea to use Symfony on some Yahoo! services.
This services where: Delicious, Yahoo! Answers and Yahoo! Bookmarks, this made a great selling point, for the humble framework, which quickly started gaining adepts and fans. This also made a great selling pitch for any client, “We are using the technology that powers Yahoo! Answers, a 500+ Million users website”.
With the products that Yahoo! shipped using Symfony, the framework proved that it was scalable and that it delivered great performance, with that in mind DailyMotion, the second largest public video service started using the Symfony 2 components. They were early adopters of the technology and another big selling point for the new version of the framework. They made the very new key point of the framework very clear, it’s modularity. Symfony became a decoupled framework that could help you fill in the blanks of your application. It was no longer a monolithic or strict environment framework. It became an easily decoupled framework, and you could implement a single component if that was what you needed.
Soon the Symfony components started powering a bunch of different of PHP projects, even Drupal itself started building the upcoming Drupal 8 version on top of the Symfony components, helping them build the next generation CMF.
I've been using Symfony for about 7 years now, and I've built a good amount of applications, one worth mentioning was a CRM application for a local company that handled over half a million records, with blazing fast access times and a low memory footprint. Symfony is one of the biggest assets I have in my toolbox, it helps me in building REST APIs with ease, and also gives me a great workflow for web based applications.