A visualization of how to build enterprise web applications.
May 28, 2020

How to Build Enterprise Web Applications

PHP Development

Building enterprise web applications is critical to your business’s success. But how do you do it? In this blog, we break down what enterprise web applications are and how to build an enterprise web application successfully.

What Is an Enterprise Web Application?

An enterprise web application is an application used for revenue or mission-critical purposes. Many enterprise web applications are built using PHP.

What’s the Difference Between a Web Application and Enterprise Application?

A web application is any application designed to run in a web browser. An enterprise application is a web application used for revenue or mission-critical purposes.

Like many leading-edge development teams, you’re likely using PHP to build an enterprise application. PHP accelerates your work. And it ensures web applications meet or exceed demands for:

These are all critical criteria for success.

Why Are Enterprise Web Applications Important?

Building enterprise web applications is important to satisfying customers and ensuring business success.

When it comes to web applications, customers demand instant gratification. They want to access what they want, when they want it. Your organization’s revenue and reputation are at risk if they can’t.

Enterprise web applications need to be always available. They need to scale to meet peak demand. And they need impressive performance.

PHP is the foundation for enterprise web applications for organizations of all shapes and sizes. But enterprise PHP demands a different set of standards for performance, security, and availability. Here we focus on how to meet these standards.

How to Build an Enterprise Web Application

So, how do you create an enterprise application?

PHP offers an easily accessible path to quickly building robust websites. But that accessibility also carries a price tag in the long-term.

Some PHP projects start small but quickly grow. This burdens development and IT teams. For instance, they’ll have to deal with administration and maintenance. And they might rely on community support for critical issues or security vulnerabilities.

Here we walk through how to build an enterprise web application successfully.

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1. Define Your PHP

Is the application used for revenue or other mission-critical purposes? If that answer is yes, you’re running enterprise PHP.

2. Consider Typical PHP Application Use Cases

Consider these typical PHP application use cases:

  • Compliance with internal mandates and external regulations (customer SLAs, PCI compliance).
  • Application complexity and distributed access.
  • Performance optimization and monitoring.
  • Managing peak demands without failure or risk.
  • Ongoing administration and maintenance without interruption.

These are the hallmarks of enterprise PHP. And they require an enterprise-grade solution that covers:

  • Application deployment and management.
  • Performance and availability.
  • Security and support.

3. Deploy and Manage Changes to Applications Effectively

It’s critical to deploy and manage changes to applications effectively. Many developers experience delays in rolling code out to production. Or they have applications work in test but not in production. And some experience difficulty in keeping up with the pace of deployment. They may sacrifice critical customer and business demands.

Configuration changes can dramatically impact the application. These changes even cause outages. Insulating these applications from outages or service disruptions requires non-stop vigilance. And it requires a supported, seamless technology stack.

Ongoing management and administration often involves run-rate development work. This takes time away from higher-value efforts. And it reduces developer satisfaction.

Automating this day-to-day work accelerates delivery, improves employee satisfaction, and removes any possibility of human error.

4. Ensure Performance and Availability

Web applications are expected to work, period. Across all time zones, and consistently through both slow and peak intervals.

Users demand instant responsiveness. In fact, a one-second delay in page loads results in a 7% decrease in purchase conversions.

Here’s an example:

An e-commerce site makes $100,000 per day. A 1-second page delay could potentially cost $2.5 million in lost sales every year.

There’s more to availability than keeping the servers running. You also need to avoid any issue that will cause an application to be unresponsive or fail.

This has real implications including:

  • Direct sales loss from people that are unable to complete their transactions.
  • Indirect sales loss from potential customers that will never get to the purchasing phase.
  • Increased operational costs of response.
  • Loss of data.

As a result, enterprise PHP performance and availability requires:

  • Preventing, pinpointing, and correcting issues before performance suffers.
  • Balancing workloads automatically to optimize performance.
  • One-click rollbacks to get back to the last working state.
  • Always-available expert support.

5. Build in Security & Enlist Support

Unsupported PHP versions often have many security vulnerabilities. And they provide a convenient hacker route. This is because hackers can sidestep the latest security patches and enhancements.

But, migrating to the current PHP versions isn’t easily done. It’s often delayed in favor of other user or business-driven improvements.

Staying current also applies to the latest patches and security updates. This is for both commercial and open source components.

[Related Blog: Why Upgrade From PHP 5.6 to PHP 7.1?]

 

What Are Examples of Enterprise Applications?

Enterprise application examples include Wikipedia, Vimeo, Etsy, Yahoo, Flickr, Mailchimp, and Badoo. And they all rely on PHP.

In fact, PHP drives more than 75% of all dynamic websites globally. It’s the foundation for source application frameworks such as Drupal, Magento, and WordPress.

And what do some enterprise applications examples have in common? They use Zend Server to build enterprise applications with PHP.

Here are some examples.

Simpel Uses Zend to Boost Performance

Simpel is a low-cost mobile telephony company offering SIM-only services.

They use Zend to boost the performance of their enterprise web application.

"We're now serving over half a million customers on a brand-new stack and with many benefits. Zend Server job queuing is really, really, important to this. It's been up for a year now with zero incidents."

— Kai Stevens, product owner at Enrise, a Zend partner used by Simpel

Read the full case study >>

 

CEFCU Uses Zend to Drive Innovation

CEFCU has been improving the financial well-being of its members for decades.

They use Zend to accelerate productivity and drive innovation with their enterprise web application.

“Every PHP application that we develop is deployed through Zend Server. At my last count, it was 60 to 70 applications. Four years ago it was just one application. PHP and Zend Server are the backbone of our internal websites at CEFCU.”

—Adam Kammeyer, Web Programming Project Leader at CEFCU

Read the full case study >>

 

Building Enterprise Web Applications With Zend

Building enterprise web applications that succeed requires the right tools. And that’s why many leading enterprise web applications are built using Zend.

Zend Server is the key to successful enterprise web applications using PHP.

With Zend, you can:

  • Create and run great applications faster.
  • Isolate bugs with Z-Ray and code tracing.
  • Automate deployment.
  • Monitor applications.
  • Optimize performance.
  • Gain deep insight into running code.
  • Scale on-demand.
  • Integrate with existing tools.

See for yourself how Zend Server will help your team build a successful enterprise web application. Get started with a free 30-day trial today.

Build Enterprise Web Apps With Zend