iScripts is developing a new PHP framework
When you develop an application in PHP you have the option of developing it Core PHP or a PHP framework. Core PHP is the language in its framework. It gives you maximum control, but you have to create everything from scratch. PHP frameworks, on the other hand, make application development faster by providing a basic structure for which to build web applications. These PHP frameworks help to rapid application development, which saves developers time by providing building blocks, and roadmaps to follow. Frameworks can also help developers to build more stable web applications as most of the bugs in the structure would be addressed already. The basic idea behind a PHP framework is called MVC ( Model View Controller). MVC isolates the business logic from the database layer and presentation layer. This is similar to tier architecture in other technologies like .net.
Historically, iScripts applications are developed in core PHP. Even though we use similar components, the development time for each application is significant. A big issue with the core PHP application is when a third party designer tries to modify an application. Without a basic understanding of PHP, it was difficult to make a modification. In early 2010, we completely separated designs and code in most of the application. This helped third-party design integrations to an extent. Anything you did in the design area was limited to the design area only. Design changes wouldn’t mess up the functionality or security of the application. We started this with iScripts Multicart, iScripts Socialware and then implemented it for other applications.
In early 2010, we started using frameworks. We decided to use CakePHP as the framework of choice after a long and exhaustive study. We designed a couple of products using CakePHP. Both iScripts VistaCart and iScripts Gostores uses the CakePHP framework. However, in the months after the release, it was apparent that there were many shortfalls to the frameworks. Another issue was that we had to train our growing development team in the CakePHP framework.
For the last few months, we have been working on a few MVC frameworks. Our goal is to port all the new applications and existing applications to the new iScripts framework. We hope this will make customization and improvements easier in terms of using the framework. Like most of our new applications, this framework will support multiple languages natively. As of now, we have 2 new products being developed in the new framework. We have a separate application also being developed in the framework. We expect to port the first existing iScripts product for a new version starting January 2011.
The current plan is to release iScripts framework to market April 2011. With this framework, we hope to create an ecosystem of developers and designers who can work with us on modifying iScripts products to meet customer demands.