I was doing a small list of PHP MVC framework (like Zend, CakePHP, Yii etc...) and I noticed that all of them are open source.

Then I tried to find some proprietary framework, but my research was unsuccessful.

Is there any proprietary PHP MVC framework? Why they are so few(if there is any)?

  • 3
    I can be certain there are but you probably wouldn't find them easily...we have plenty of proprietary web frameworks nobody would know about at work...
    – Rig
    Commented Feb 18, 2012 at 21:22
  • Ok, it's wired... Is there any reason for such low informations about those kind of frameworks? Commented Feb 18, 2012 at 22:02
  • 2
    they are proprietary...intelectual property...business advantage. you don't get to know for a reason.
    – Rig
    Commented Feb 18, 2012 at 22:59
  • Seems like an interesting requirement to have for a project. What are you hoping to gain by selecting a proprietary framework over an open source one?
    – user34530
    Commented Feb 18, 2012 at 23:26
  • @Phoenix This is not the purpose now, I just want to know why they are so few and unknown. Commented Feb 19, 2012 at 10:08

2 Answers 2


The reason you're not finding anything is probably quite simply a matter of economics - existing open source frameworks are pretty decent these days, and they can be used (and extended) free of charge by the very nature of open source software. Any proprietary competition would have to offer significant extra value to make up for the cost and added inconvenience (no access to the source code, possibly license enforcement, legalities, etc.).

That's not to say no such frameworks exist, but they probably cater to quite specific niches.


To add to tdammers' answer...

There are a huge number of companies who insist to build everything from scratch. By doing so, it's likely to be kept private since they consider it their own valuable IP. They pay for all of the development on their internal code-base. There are pros and cons to this.

Open source on the other hand, which may even start out as proprietary, typically has a larger contributor base. This results in a pile of benefits for users, assuming the project is successful:

  • More resources have worked on it (more testing, planning, development, support, documentation, etc.)
  • Larger talent pool / ecosystem (consider hiring)
  • Less training for new hires
  • Less maintenance

Effectively you can delegate a large portion of your code-base to the free community, which, if the community works, is a lot more powerful than your own small team. It also adds the risks of too many eyes (more vulnerabilities found - which can be seen as good or bad).

It doesn't make sense to have commercial frameworks in PHP. PHP is open source by nature, so any commercial projects always seem a little foreign and it adds too much barrier to entry. A commercial framework may be good, but it's very high risk for anyone to use without some serious backing. The size of a project's community usually comes across as security or longevity. Additionally, without a large community backing, the company releasing it will likely gain very little.

Hope this helps.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.