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PHP is a popular web app framework widely used for building the most basic to most advanced websites with API integrations. It is comparatively easier to start with and has a massive repository of ready-made solutions in extensions, apps, plugins, frameworks, and micro-frameworks. However, the abundance of these frameworks can often be confusing and overwhelming when choosing the ideal PHP framework for your project requirements. Generally, Laravel is an ideal PHP framework used by millions of users. You can hire Laravel developers from a trusted app development agency for enterprise-grade web apps. PHP also has microservices frameworks that are worth your consideration.

What is a microservices framework?

App complexities have increased over time with the requirement of complex features and scalability potential needed to compete in the market. In response to this growth in demand, frameworks have also expanded their functionalities and capabilities. However, in the process, these frameworks have become essentially complicated and almost difficult to use when you need to create a basic or small project.

You would need to understand the framework as a whole and spend a lot of time learning its complicated features to build a basic app, which is not worth the time or effort. Hence, to overcome this situation, microservices came into the picture. You can now choose from a wide range of micro-PHP frameworks to ease your development and deployment process and boost your app time-to-market. Before we get to the list of PHP microservices frameworks lets, compare them to full-stack PHP frameworks.

Full-stack vs. Microservices PHP Frameworks

Full-stack PHP frameworks like Laravel helps engineering teams to develop an entire app from scratch. It includes provisions for generating user interfaces and managing databases and storage facilities. In contrast, if a framework doesn’t cover all such aspects and has a line of codes lesser than 5000, they are considered a PHP microservices.

Microservices in PHP might not include –

  • Web template engine
  • Database abstraction
  • Input Validation
  • Role, authentication, accounts

Full stack development provides you VIP access to all features but can be intensive and slow. Microservices is like a general entry pass that allows you to touch the basic features of an app but fastens the development and deployment process by a considerable amount.

When to use Microservices PHP Frameworks?

You should opt for the microservices PHP framework when you –

  • Have a small project and require specific features.
  • Have the technical knowledge to make decisions as Microservices leave most decisions to the developers.
  • You want to make changes to specific functionality that doesn’t impact the rest of the system.

Top Micro-PHP Frameworks to Use in 2023

Here are our favourite picks in PHP Microservices Frameworks that are worth trying in 2023 –

1.   Slim Micro PHP Framework

Slim is one of the top PHP microservices that is simple to write and edit yet is capable of delivering powerful API-driven websites. It dispatches the HTTP request and invokes a proper callback routine for returning an HTTP response. You can easily create functional APIs that repurpose, consume, and publish data. It is ideal for prototyping and building a basic web app with a decent UI.

Key Features of Slim

  • Uses HTTP caching to improve website speed
  • Easy testing with proper debugging and error-handling facilities
  • Dependency injections for controlling third-party tools
  • Security capabilities with secured cookies

2.   Lumen Microservices PHP Framework

If you have used Laravel before, you will find Lumen very easy to get used to. It uses many of the components used in Laravel. However, it is targeted toward microservices and not more towards developing user-based app solutions. It doesn’t have the flexibility to change or extend bootstrap files.  

Key Features of Lumen

  • Laravel-like caching implementation
  • Out-of-the-box routing support
  • Seamless Error and Logging capabilities
  • Laravel-like queueing services
  • Single file bootstrapping processes
  • Ability to add Events

3.   Bullet PHP

Bullet PHP is another practical PHP microservice framework mainly known for its ability to create REST API, which can automatically accept HTTP requests. It is URI-oriented and comes with out-of-the-box support for features like caching and content negotiation.

Key Features of Bullet PHP

  • Follows DRY principle
  • Provides extreme flexibility in routing
  • Extensive documentation
  • Event handling features
  • Dependency Injection capabilities

4.   Fat-Free Framework

The name pretty much describes the essence of microservices. This robust PHP microservice framework is straightforward to use simultaneously. It helps developers build robust and dynamic web apps in no time!

Key Features of Fat-Free PHP Microservices

  • Write less, do more
  • Mature codebase
  • High-performance URL routing
  • Multilingual i18n apps support
  • URL Routing

5.   Laravel Zero

Laravel Zero is one of the most modular and lightweight microservices frameworks for developing robust and fast console applications. It is also based on the popular full-stack PHP framework – Laravel. It lets users enjoy Laravel’s core features with a minimal architecture and lightweight experience. It is open source and can be accessed via a pull request on GitHub.

Key Features of Laravel Zero

  • Simple yet powerful syntax
  • Quick development support
  • Supports interactive menus and desktop notifications in Linux, Windows, and macOS

6.   LeafPHP

Leaf PHP has the aim of helping developers create clean, minimal, and simple web apps and API in the fastest time possible. It has a significantly decluttered structure while maintaining flexibility. It has a very shallow learning curve and can build highly performant APIs and web apps. Being a microframework, Leaf is full of surprises as it has many dedicated tools that help build scalable web app solutions more quickly.

Key Features of LeafPHP

  • Varied tools for various purposes
  • Best for rapid prototyping
  • Ability to build fantastic UI
  • Shallow learning curve

Tips on choosing the best PHP Microservices

Now that we know the top PHP microservices to use, we should have a look at the few checkpoints to select the ideal PHP microservices for your project requirements –

1.   Low Learning Curve

The purpose of microservices is to simplify the app development process and allow developers to deploy their apps in the market quickly. Hence the PHP microservice framework you opt for must have a low learning curve and proper documentation support to help you grasp it easily.

2.   Out-of-the-box Support

Yes, microservices are meant to be minimal packages with only the core essential packages inside to avoid clutter and complexity. However, some microservices come with integrated routing and authentication features, which ease the development experience by leaps and bounds. Hence, ensure you don’t end up with a framework where you need to add too many external dependencies.

3.   Git Repositories

A good indication of how well or popularly a PHP microservice framework performs can be its Git repository. You can get an understanding of their Star and Fork values, the number of pull requests, and the entire changelog. You should also look for the latest version and when that was rolled out to ensure the package is active and reliable.

Wrapping up

These are the best PHP microservices available for your next web app project. Make sure to understand these frameworks’ merits and limitations before deciding on the ideal one for your project and hire dedicated developers from a top PHP development company.

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