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Symfony Review: "The new standard in PHP libraries"
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January 11, 2019

Symfony Review: "The new standard in PHP libraries"

Score 9 out of 101
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Overall Satisfaction with Symfony

The Symfony framework underpins several of the applications that we use. Most notably, is it used by Drupal 8 core, and so it makes its way into many of our client projects. We have also used components of Symfony directly in other PHP web applications, as we find that it puts a lot of industry-standard practices in place saving us time and headaches. It's easy to use and always getting better.
  • Symfony covers all of the bases that one might expect from a PHP framework, it can essentially be a one-stop-shop for the lower-level components you might need when developing a PHP application.
  • Symfony is a fully modular library, allowing you to easily use only the parts you want, easily plug it into other systems, and easily augment or replace parts of it with other libraries.
  • Symfony plays nicely with other code. We've never had an issue using it with any other PHP library or framework we've come across.
  • It's hard to fault Symfony for much of anything today. There are occasional security issues, but they are typically handled professionally and patched quickly.
  • Symfony can be a heavyweight solution if you don't really need a framework. This isn't really a fault with Symfony, since it does allow you to only use the components you need.
  • Using Symfony (or certain components of the Symfony framework) has allowed us to more rapidly and securely build custom PHP scripts and applications that would have taken us more time or had more bugs otherwise.
  • Spending less time coding and re-coding the basics that Symfony covers helps to free up our time to get more client work done.
  • Drupal 8's use of Symfony has helped to make its developer experience far better than ever before, keeping our developers happy and working at maximum effectiveness.
Symfony has become such a standard that many frameworks which previously may have been seen as competition, are actually adopting Symfony components to allow them to focus more on what makes their solution unique. Drupal 8 has replaced much of its low-level internal code with Symfony components. Laravel utilizes much from Symfony and builds on it. CakePHP was my preferred framework over Zend and CodeIgniter, but now I typically prefer Symfony or Laravel depending on the type of application and complexity of what I'm doing.
If someone is writing a PHP application and looking to determine which framework would be best suited, I think Symfony is almost always a great choice. I sometimes prefer to use other frameworks or tools that were built with Symfony, such as Laravel or Drupal 8, but unless you need more than what Symfony offers, then using Symfony directly is simple and powerful.