Back-end Frameworks

I have an idea for an experimental project that I am going to do as a learning tool. I am going to do the front-end using a JavaScript framework, but I am still considering what to use for the back-end. Normally, I have done the back-end in PHP and created my own hodge-podge of a framework. It would work well for the project, but wasn’t necessarily the best organized.

For this project, I was going to use PostgreSQL for the database. It has been a while since I used it and I haven’t used some of the newest features available in the latest version. I haven’t settled on a back-end framework yet. Here are some of the ones I am considering:

  • Laravel – This is in PHP which I already know, but I have heard good things about it and it could help create a well-structured back-end. PHP is readily available on lots of hosting services, so it would be easy to set up anywhere. However, I know PHP already and I was wanting this to be a learning experience, so this would not add much to my existing knowledge.
  • Zato – This is written in Python and intended for use in developing back-end APIs which is what I am after. I have read some books and articles on Python and have always wanted to learn it. I also know of some local companies that use Python, so there would be some local help available. The admin interface is developed in Django, so this would also be a chance to get some exposure to Django. This is probably the most intriguing of the choices I am looking at.
  • Ruby – Ruby is actually just a language, but I am interested in looking at Rails and Sinatra as possible frameworks. Ruby gets a lot of press and sounds interesting. I have read a couple of articles and looked at some code. I am not aware of any local companies using it and I don’t know anyone who does use it, so I wouldn’t have as many resources available for help. However, I have always wanted to learn Ruby and Rails, so this is still an option to consider.
  • .NET – Once again, this is more a family of languages and interfaces pushed by Microsoft. They did recently release .NET as open-source so that makes it more intriguing. There is also a large .NET market in the Tulsa area, so that also makes it intriguing. However, I need to do more research to find a framework based on .NET so I would do the roll my own like I have done with PHP in the past.

I would appreciate any feedback or comments. It is still up in the air and getting other people’s opinions would help in narrowing my decision.

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