CakePHP is intended for rapid development and continued preservation of designed applications, but is also much simpler than other data management systems. When developers use this fast-acting platform, they have control over their database and SQL queries while also generating user-friendly URLs.
How to Use CakePHP
Due to its uncomplicated website organization, many use CakePHP to create reliable content management systems for their evolving web applications. If you’re interested in using CakePHP and uncertain about how to begin, follow these steps.
CakePHP recommends using Composer to download and install the framework onto your computer. Composer is a dependency manager for PHP code that includes a typical format to organize and handle database software and libraries. If you don’t already have Composer, you can easily download and install it from your computer terminal.
Once you have Composer downloaded and installed on your computer, you can install CakePHP from the Composer terminal. Before you click download and install, make sure you’re looking at the right CakePHP application (based on what web content you’re trying to create). For example, if you’d like to create a content management system, type the following code into the terminal to find the correct CakePHP application in the CMS directory:
php composer.phar create-project --prefer-dist cakephp/app:4.* cms
Components, Behaviors and Helpers
Although tricky for novice users, CakePHP incorporates components, behaviors and helpers to make web development fun and easy once you get used to them.
Components contribute to controller logic. You can use them if there’s information you want to relay between applications.
Behaviors add common functionality between models, thereby allowing you to freely interact with your data in any way you please.
Helpers are a class that plays a role in view logic, which then permits you to share logic between views by reusing view code. All three objects provide versatility and flexibility when using the framework and you’ll need to use them to make your web application run as smoothly as desired.
What Is CakePHP Used For?
In 2005, CakePHP launched to community web developers with the intent to revolutionize web development. This framework is perfect for beginners looking to gain experience in designing web applications in PHP. Creator Michal Tatarynowicz took inspiration from the model-view-controller (MVC) framework, an architectural pattern that separates data into three logical components. The MVC framework is a simple approach to creating web applications and neatly presents each layer of data management to the user. The model handles data logic, the view handles data presentation and the controller handles request flow. Additionally, Tatarynowicz created CakePHP with the intent to build a PHP web application without the hassle of coding. While coding may come easy for some, it can be harder for others to get a handle on the complicated language.
What Are the Challenges of CakePHP?
CakePHP comes with an active community and consistent updates to give its users the best experience. Don’t be afraid to ask questions in official forums, especially since CakePHP can be a bit tricky for first-time users. While CakePHP is well known among novice web developers, there are some other data assets associated with this MVC framework that give it a steep learning curve.
Here are some common mishaps new users report upon their first experience with CakePHP.
1. Convention Over Configuration
A common mistake many beginner CakePHP users make is to overcomplicate tasks by not following convention. CakePHP gives its users free operationality, but also helps you avoid the hassle of having to track configuration files by limiting the amount of decisions you’ll have to make. When using CakePHP, remember that “convention over configuration” is the key to success. The convention over configuration software design paradigm is one CakePHP strictly follows to decrease the amount of decisions you’ll have to make as a developer without sacrificing flexibility.
2. Overly Complex Code
It’s easy to overcomplicate code as a novice CakePHP user, especially if you’re inexperienced and nervous about coding in general. It’s recommended to return often and early when writing code in CakePHP to make the learning process easier. As you start a function in the database, check to ensure there aren’t any mistakes in your code to avoid getting a CakePHP error and a false function return.
3. Repeating Yourself in Code
CakePHP has object-oriented code that’s easy for novice users to master in no time. For convenience, you only need one block of code, which doesn’t need to be repeated. Repeating code may result in a CakePHP error or a failed function. Follow the DRY (don’t repeat yourself) principle to prevent creating unnecessary work for yourself.