Components for building web based business applications


I come from a background of building pc based business applications with Delphi and Visual Studio. If you are familiar with either of these RAD systems you know that the use of components helps to rapidly build business applications. If I needed a calandar I used a calendar component, if I needed an advanced data grid then I used a component for this, if I needed a pivot table then I used a component for this. My point is I spent my time building business logic… NOT components.

Now I am dealing with web development in the LAMP world (not Microsoft's ASP.NET) so what I am running up against is HOW to utilize the same type of components to help speed up development so I can focus on business logic and not be tied down on building an advanced data grid or building a nice calendar.

I guess it would be helpful to give you some examples. The best thing I could point you to is and then on the right side of the screen under “Our Products” click on ASP.NET Components and you will see a list of components they have for ASP.NET. Now this company have some great components for the ASP.NET world, but I am wondering if there is anything similar for the PHP development world (or something that would work with any server side language). Another example of some views that look good and look to be from ASP.NET world can be seen here in the screenshots: http://www.officevp…sk-manager.aspx

I know with PHP you generally do not have a RAD environment (I think there are a couple… one being Delphi for PHP and another I think is PRADO). Anyway… in general I don't know many people at all that mention RAD with PHP. So what I am struggling with is finding solid client side "components" or tools that provide most of the framework so I can get to the business of coding business logic and less dealing with the details of making an nice component or tool.

I hope this makes sense.

One reason I am looking at Yii is because it is a framework to help speed up development… but I want to find something with that client side components / widgets or whatever you want to call them that give me a better looking and richer interface and allow me to focus on business logic.

Thanks in advance!

Good points. I have been dreaming about that type of thing for a while as well. Isn't it nice if programming is just like Lego-playing?

That said, I used to code in raw php for some projects that I need (nothing fancy). It is a pain in the ass to write all the query, pagination, cookie, session type of thing.

Now with Yii, I have rewritten a few projects using Yii. What a relief! I would say Yii is already 80% cooked for most projects. However, that 20% would rely on users like us to contribute. Yii is already open and free. I guess we cannot ask everything from the developers. :)

For your information, I studied this system for about two weeks (using evenings) and already developed an internal CRM type of system that might take me 6 months to develop (part time). I am not a programmer and you would laugh at my programming style, but anyway it got the job done for now.

I am not sure if I answered your question as I probably would be the last person and that can offer an answer for your question.  ;)

Lastly, welcome and let us help each other.


Thanks for the response and input.  I like the Lego-playing analogy… however in my case the business logic is still quite comprehensive and by no means simple.  I am used to writing 3 tier systems with complex business rules.  In the web based world I definitely would like some of those lego block components so I could avoid all the nitty gritty details of creating a nice grid user interface or a nice calendar and so forth.  I am sure there has got to be some stuff out there… utilizing AJAX as well.  It is hard to believe there isn't something like that out there from client side of things.

I am definitely going to look further into Yii from a php framework standpoint.

I have been reading about php frameworks for 2 weeks now and have been all over the place.  From Zend, CakePHP, Symphony, Agavi, QCode, QCubed, CodeIgnitor, Kohona, Yii, and back around again.

From a marketing standpoint it seems Zend, CakePHP, and Symphony were the ones I kept knocking up against in my research, but Yii kept sneaking its way in enough for me to want to check it out.  Because I come mostly from the win32 development world making the transition to PHP is a bit different.  I know I could go ASP.NET, but the fact is there are projects that need to do that are required to be LAMP based.

Anyway… my search continues and I will have to start testing some frameworks next week.

One thing is for sure… I don't want to head down the wrong path as I would like a long term solution that has a large community that wants to help one another.

Thanks again for your feedback… very appreciated.