When comparing Spring MVC vs Symfony, the Slant community recommends Spring MVC for most people. In the question“What are the best backend web frameworks?” Spring MVC is ranked 12th while Symfony is ranked 17th. The most important reason people chose Spring MVC is:
Being the oldest and most used JVM web framework, means that Spring MVC has a massive community of followers who are very helpful and have provided numerous tutorials and answers on SO. Spring even holds an annual conference called SpringOne. The Spring forums and SO are great places to ask and get help about anything Spring related. The website blog and newsletter keep developers informed on every news related with the framework.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Spring MVC has a massive community
Being the oldest and most used JVM web framework, means that Spring MVC has a massive community of followers who are very helpful and have provided numerous tutorials and answers on SO.
Spring even holds an annual conference called SpringOne. The Spring forums and SO are great places to ask and get help about anything Spring related. The website blog and newsletter keep developers informed on every news related with the framework.
Pro Spring apps are highly scalable
Applications are meant to scale as the framework is used in large-scale applications worldwide. Components like EhCache are used to scale memory cache and it also contains components used for parallel processing.
Batch enables processing of large volumes of records and job processing statistics.
Pro Great documentation that covers almost everything.
The official documentation covers virtually everything. The official website also has a series of great tutorials in video and text formats. There are links to Github repositories for Spring sample applications and there are also a lot of third-party tutorials out there for the fact that Spring MVC is so widely used by many experienced developers.
Pro Spring has an extensive ecosystem
It is based and is dependent on the Spring Framework, therefore it benefits from tools like for example Roo and Spring Tool Suite and many more tools included in the Spring Framework. All Maven dependencies are available in a public Maven repository.
There are also 3rd-party solutions for Spring, such as MyEclipse which includes scaffolding capability for Spring MVC.
Pro Open Source
Symfony is open source and released under the MIT license.
Pro Great plugin ecosystem
One of the greatest strengths of Symfony is it's amazing and large plugin ecosystem, which comes as a result of it's large and dedicated community. Having a large number of plugins means less development time and more productivity.
Pro Easy debugging with a built-in debug toolbar
Symfony comes with a built-in toolbar that helps developers debug their applications during the development phase.
The toolbar is also extendable and new components, called panels can be added if needed to help with the debugging process.
Pro Powerful event system
Symfony has a powerful built-in event system that allows you to add flexibility to applications and makes it easier to maintain the codebase down the road.
Pro Highly active community
Symfony has one of the most active communities out of all the PHP frameworks. This is shown by the high number of commits made every day in the GitHub repo.
Pro Teaches you good practices
Symfony makes you be a better programmer. You have to deal with the latest object-oriented design patterns such as service-oriented architecture, dependency injection, interface abstraction, and so on.
Pro Uses Doctrine ORM
Symfony makes use of the Doctrine ORM to add an abstraction layer over the database in order to maintain flexibility without having unnecessary code duplication.
Pro Great templating engine
Uses Twig, which is a simple and easy to learn templating language that can also be used as a standalone engine, outside the framework.
Pro Uses YAML/XML/PHP/Annotation
Symfony makes use of XML, YAML or PHP annotations to create configurations in order to tell Doctrine on how properties of a certain class should be.
Con Lacking in UI development
While actually very good and with a very complete and rich feature set to develop and maintain code on the server side, it still doesn't provide any rich framework for building good user interfaces.
Con Updating and code maintenance can be a grueling task if you are a beginner.
Updating your project is manageable if you’re already familiar with the framework and the project itself, but if you’re just diving in it can be a little overwhelming and hard.
Con Complex and not newbie friendly
Spring MVC architecture although simple has a lot of layers and abstractions which can be hard to debug if problems arise. It is also highly dependant on the Spring core.
It's an old and mature framework that has numerous amount of ways to extend and configure it – and this actually makes it fairly complex.
Con Bloated legacy DI API
Spring DI is bloated and rather complex in comparison to CDI.
Con Slow Prototyping
If you are looking to build a quick prototype fast and easy, Spring isn't going to help much. It's very large and quite hard to grasp if you are just beginning with it.
Con Promotes bad development practices
Such as annotations via comments.
Con Very hard to install
Setting it up on webhost without a console is difficult.
Con Doctrine ORM
Symfony Standard Edition, which is the most widely used distribution, comes integrated with Doctrine, the most resource hogging ORM library.
Con Bad documentation
The documentation is poorly written, so learning Symfony can be difficult, especially for beginners.
Con Low performance
Probably the slowest PHP framework out there.
Con Somewhat high overhead
Symfony can add overhead in terms of CPU and RAM usage as demonstrated by many benchmark tests.
Con You need a lot of files to display a single page
For a simple hello world page you need about 5 files.