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Java and PHP for Enterprise Solutions: is it More Efficient to Use Both?

For many years experts cited Web security as the key reason to use Java for enterprise solutions. However, the new PHP frameworks also allow entrepreneurs to build secure smooth-running apps. What is the best programming language for your company? Is it really necessary to choose between Java or PHP development? Could you possibly employ both languages? We’ve got the answers!

The concept of enterprise software solutions

The term “enterprise solution” refers to any software utilized by companies (small and medium-sized, corporations, non-commercial organizations) to drive work efficiency.

Enterprise software solutions benefits include:

  • Secure file sharing;
  • Improved operations management;
  • Business process integration;
  • Better user experience.

Among the must-have features of a great enterprise solution one should name:

  • Scalability (easily adjusts to the amount of work you handle);
  • Security (enhanced with numerous data loss prevention tools);
  • Interoperability (supports different applications and systems by default);
  • Portability (no OS or hardware restrictions).

There is no tried-and-true strategy for successful enterprise software development; the solutions you adopt must address the challenges of your business. As of now, the domain is largely occupied by Java applications (and PHP, although to a smaller extent).

The key advantages of PHP

PHP is the fourth most popular programming language in the world which was designed to exclusively tackle Web problems. Since the life of a typical user request is measured in nanoseconds, the language creators had to develop a code that would not contradict the Internet’s ever-changing nature.

PHP variables can loosely switch between data types, and that’s why the approach is often criticized by old-school programmers. The Hypertext apps represent a variety of scripts which run simultaneously; in order to build an enterprise solution, vendors implement Zend frameworks. The language is sometimes labeled as insecure; however, those insecurities that might bring a program down cannot be blamed on the code itself (it’s developers who make mistakes).

Once you’ve learned a few things about the language, you might think it’s a mess. Here are some facts to reassure you:

  • More than 22 million websites were built with PHP (including Facebook, Wikipedia, Flickr and 80% of all dynamic websites out there):
  • It is suitable for CRM (SugarCRM) and CMS (Joomla, WordPress);
  • It supports 19 databases (MySQL, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server – just to name a few);
  • It is compatible with other programming languages (including Java and .Net);
  • PHP runs on most operating systems;
  • It can be easily embedded into HTML and CSS;
  • With this language, it takes less time to lunch a minimum viable product ;
  • Azure, Google App Engine and other well-known cloud platforms support PHP applications.

PHP for Enterprise Solutions

This language provides simple, flexible solutions for personal blogs and user-oriented services. It is updated on a regular basis, and several business products (including PHP 7) have already hit the virtual shelves. However, these solutions may fail to coordinate multiple management tools and extensive database, that’s why large companies with complex enterprise systems seldom turn to custom PHP software development.

The advantages of Java

Since Java is widely used by Android, the language has once again landed atop the Tiobe index. It was designed for single computer and network applications, as well as the Web, and shares a number of similarities with C++.

The widespread utilization of Java-enhanced web browsers has recently spawned controversy among business owners: it turned out that only 5% of browser installations were actually using the latest version of Java plugins, which led to data breaches. However, it remains the most secure programming language for enterprise solutions.

What are the reasons to consider Java development?

  • The language is strongly-typed; it requires correct, properly written inputs and outputs, so the chances developers mess with the coding are pretty weak;
  • Java applications operate inside JVM (virtual machine). Once an untrusted file enters your system, you can always prevent data loss by quitting the program. The byte code concept also contributes to software security, that’s why Java enterprise solutions are perfect for e-commerce websites, banks, insurance agencies and other companies that deal with customer information;
  • The language is used by 90% of the Fortune 500 companies.

Java for Enterprise Solutions

Java plus PHP

We’ve enumerated several advantages and peculiarities of both Java and PHP, and now it’s time to make the final choice between the two languages. But what if we tell you that there’s a third variant – a combination of these two languages?

LiveProcess, an IT healthcare company from Massachusetts, published a curious case study covering their experience of integrating these programming languages. When David Berry, a Java developer, was appointed CTO at LiveProcess, the company was using a bulky user-managed PHP platform. In order to increase the platform’s efficiency, David decided to handle some of its functions as background tasks.

LiveProcess had to either rewrite the whole thing in Java (which would have taken too much time) or integrate the PHP content into a totally new environment. David Berry chose the second option and employed the Quercus program.

Quercus functions as a Java solution and compiles the PHP code; as a result, only 10% of the existing content needed revising. By taking advantages of Java EE container and PHP, LiveProcess improved code security and achieved better flexibility. Other benefits of the PHP-Java combination include the access to frameworks and third-party libraries, multithreading and connection pooling.

What we’re driving at is that sometimes you don’t have to choose between PHP and Java software development; instead, you could implement both solutions to drive work efficiency and bring your business to the next level.

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