Software frameworks are reusable code libraries that give the developer a quick start to delivering usable business functionality. They include “out of the box” code for commonly used features. This code tends to be high quality. In addition, frameworks tend to guide the developer towards building well-organised structured applications. The combination of re-usable code and and clear structure, helps to shorten the time to assemble valuable business applications. It also helps to reduce the cost of their ongoing maintenance.
These are my current favourites:
Codeigniter For Web Applications
Although it has fallen out of fashion recently, perhaps being superseded by the more structured PHP framework Laraval, Codeigniter is a lightweight, straightforward and highly capable general purpose Model View Controller framework for web applications. Codeigniter is compact, extensible, lightweight, easy to learn, and is based on proven, mature code. It allows the developer to get on with building useful business functionality faster than writing code from scratch.
Zurb Foundation 5 for Web UI
Since discovering Zurb Foundation I have not looked back. Foundation is a web front end framework that gives you the ability to rapidly assemble responsive user interface. Again, it is a mature code library that is proven in most modern browsers, tablets and mobile devices. Why use it? Improve quality, reduce testing, deliver value and functionality faster.
Using Codeigniter and Foundation together increases developer productivity over and above development from scratch. Productivity rates of close to 100 FP per developer month are achievable, so it just makes good business sense.
(Beware: use of any framework, template language or similar re-usable code that claims to speed up development, will only do so once the developer has learned it. Allow 2-6 weeks of dedicated learning in your project schedule.)