Zend And Cake PHP Frameworks: Which One To Choose?

Zend And Cake PHP

Recently, there has been an increased use of PHP framework for the development of web applications. A well chosen PHP framework offers appropriate file and code organization, a wide variety of tools and libraries that aid in database abstraction, form validation, session and cookie handling, high degree of security to the website, tools to improve the website performance and many more. Naïve web developers often remain confused in deciding which PHP framework suits them the best. Here is an overview of major differences between Zend and Cake PHP framework.


There certainly are a few striking differences between Zend and Cake PHP frameworks. Zend framework is an open-source object oriented web application framework that is designed by Zend technologies to enable PHP developers follow the best practices. Cake PHP framework is also an open source object oriented web application framework that is designed by Cake Software Foundation Inc. This framework can be said to be a replica to Ruby on Rails and is written in PHP.

Also Read: Why You Should Consider Python Web Development?

Differences between Zend and Cake PHP

1. Compatibility

Cake PHP is compatible with 4 and 5 PHP versions. Zend is compatible to 5.1.4 and later versions. Zend PHP compatibility to PHP 5 is considered to offer better performance compared to Cake.

2. Documentation

Both Zend and Cake PHP frameworks offer documentation of the various features available with the software. However, documentation of Zend is outstanding, clear with thorough explanation of various features.

3. Support with samples

Cake PHP offers a wide variety of samples that help users utilize the code efficiently. Zend too offers tutorials to help users but only those with MVC design experience can understand them.

4. Naming and coding organization

This is the major difference between the Zend and Cake PHP frameworks. Cake PHP requires users to follow exact naming and code organization rules. However, Zend offers a certain degree of flexibility except while using its MVC features.

5. Database

Cake offers PHP and PEAR while Zend offers PHP and PDO. There has been an increased use of PDO making Zend the favorite PHP framework. Data gets stored as .inifilein Zend that is not human readable. Cake on the other hand stores data in a more readable form.

Zend And Cake PHP Frameworks

Short code showing the differences in the process of using the configuration class in Zend and Cake PHP

  • $config = new Zend_Config($configArray);
  • $db = Zend_Db::factory($config->database->adapter,
  • $config->database->params->toArray();
  • $host = $config->database->get(‘host’, ‘localhost’)

Zend needs multiple steps to store data and then make it to a readable form. With Cake it can be done simply

  • Configure::write(‘Company.name’,’Pizza, Inc.’);
  • Configure::read(‘Company’);

6. Handling of data

Both the Zend and Cake PHP frameworks offer excellent data handling mechanisms. However, Zend offers varied validation features. Data sanitization process is also highly developed in Zend with various filters. Cake offers only one data sanitization process.

7. File caching

Zend offers various cache backends such as APC, SqlLite along with Zend platform.

8. Logging and debugging

Both Zend and Cake PHP frameworks provide efficient application logging process. The debugging feature in Zend is made excellent with the inclusion of Zend_Debug class.

9. Templating

Both the frameworks offer interesting templating feature. Zend framework demands more effort to put your template into work. The Zend_View and Zend_Layout files offer templating features. Novices with little knowledge of HTML can use Cake PHP as it offers an excellent HTML helper that is not seen in ZF. However, ZF has other help features.

10. Support for web services

Both the Zend and Cake PHP frameworks offer good support for REST, XCM-RPC and XML feed parsing. Zend has even more to add to its list of web services such as OpenID, Reflection, Flickr, Strikelron, Yahoo, Delicious and Technorati.

An overview of difference shows that Zend PHP has many excellent features compared to Cake PHP.


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