Building out a custom ERP software solution is a grand and long-term development project. It requires precise planning and strategizing, and one of the most significant questions is the selection of choosing the right technologies to complete it. We usually offer two main back-end technologies for business software development: PHP and Node.js.
In this article, we will describe the main aspects you should know about ERP development on PHP and Node.js. With the help of our development team, we created a guide on when to select each of the technologies, and what are the pros and cons of such a selection from technical and business points of view.
PHP vs Node.js: Technical Comparison
PHP and Node.js are the two most common and popular back-end technologies we use for web enterprise resource planning systems and other business software development, and they have never let us down. However, both of these technologies have their own pros and cons. The final choice depends on how PHP or Node can contribute to the project and if there is a suitable match between them.
PHP: A Language That Withstood The Test of Time
PHP was invented in 1995, but it still prospers and holds a large market share of the web development market. Complex web platforms and applications like Etsy, Mailchimp, Slack, use this technology, in addition to WordPress, the infamous content management system.
The benefits of PHP include the following:
- large toolset for standard developing tasks;
- high performance;
- relatively high speed for server-side rendering;
- availability of a large number of frameworks like Laravel, Yii, Cake, Code Igniter, etc.
A lot of developers use Laravel for PHP ERP system development, and it gets praised for its database communication. But unfortunately, PHP has its own peculiarities, and cannot support asynchronous architecture. And here is where the other big back-end technology comes in handy.
Despite the common belief, Node.js isn’t a language or framework, it is a runtime environment that executes JS code for the back-end. Node appeared in 2009 and has been steadily gaining popularity among the programmer’s community and corporations all over the world.
The benefits of Node.js are that it is:
- asynchronous, event-driven in nature;
- has good scaling capacities;
- opens possibilities for using the single programming language both on the front- and back-end; we prefer to use MEAN stack;
- efficient cashing.
However, the biggest concern regarding Node is its inefficiency with CPU-intensive operations. But if you can’t give up heavy computations, you can still benefit from Node.js by choosing microservice architecture. As for ERP software development, it might be a very good step: instead of creating a monolithic application, you can divide it into different microservices connected by API. This way, the basic layer of the application can be done on Node.js (and show good performance for the application), and separate CPU-intensive services, for example, advanced analytics, may be done with the help of the other technologies.
Choosing PHP or Node.js for ERP System Development
You may hear that neither of the above-mentioned languages is suitable for ERP development for a number of reasons. However, it’s not true — PHP and Node.js are frequently used to build business applications, and using them is especially realistic if you involve experienced developers who know the technology and have been working with it for years.
According to our Head of Backend — Max, if your ERP system doesn’t demand a lot of client-server interactions and heavy operation, it’s better to create PHP based ERP system. On the other hand, if you are aiming for lots of real-time operations and excellent user experience, then Node.js should be your technology of choice.
Business Aspects of ERP development on PHP and Node.js
Tech capacities aren’t the only aspect to consider when you are choosing a technology for your back-end. The cost is one of the most deciding factors, along with hiring difficulties and overall efficiency and speed of development. Let’s compare our two technologies by these parameters.
On average, you may need six months to develop a custom ERP software, but depending on the size and difficulty of development, it may take even longer. So, you are looking at a long-term investment, and it will only be natural to explore different options. The rates of PHP and Node.js developers significantly differ. For your reference, here are our current rates for specialists in these technologies:
However, we won’t suggest choosing one technology over the other solely based on hourly rates considerations. Some technologies might be more suitable for certain types of enterprise resource planning software, while in the other cases we would recommend you the others because the development will likely be faster and smoother.
PHP has been on the scene for a long time, so it’s easier to hire experienced developers that have already seen and done it all. You are even more likely to find a PHP developer who has certain expertise like custom ERP software development and will know how to develop ERP software using PHP, what issues may arise and how to get around them.
On the other hand, Node is a rather young technology. No doubt there are skillful developers (and actually, we have all kinds of such developers in our company!), but the talent pool is slimmer and doesn’t have accumulated knowledge of the language with decades of developing and changing.
Speed of development
At this point, we need to highlight Node.js. A lot of companies have proved that development progresses faster on Node. In our case, we often resort to the MEAN stack (MongoDB, Express.js, Angular, and Node.js). The usage of the JS both on the front- and back-end simplifies cooperation, and thus, saves time for everyone.
How to Choose The Back-end Technology for Custom ERP Software?
So, how should you make the final decision? The most important thing here is to evaluate your whole project, understand requirements, and choose the most suitable path forward.
On the other hand, if you are in the first stages of your project, it might be hard to formulate a coherent final picture of your ideal ERP system. We can help you with that: our dedicated team of business analysts, solution architects, and designers can run a discovery stage to help you with that.
As a result, you will get full research on your application, including:
- complete requirements;
- full description of tech stack required (including back-end languages chosen for you specifically);
- infrastructure scheme and component diagram;
- functional and non-functional requirements;
- fully described product scope;
- UI/UX wireframes;
- recommended team structure and budget;
- description of the process management.
In our experience, the discovery stage helps with the project running smoothly, making sure that it conforms to the expectations in the minds of the development team and client. In the case of custom ERP software, this is especially relevant, as it demands a lot of synchronization and resources to be completed successfully.
Choosing back-end technology is essential, but it’s only the start of your ERP development journey. While researching the possible solutions, keep in mind the specifications of your software. Evaluate every technology in terms of how it can help your project.
Remember: there is no unequivocally good or bad programming language. It’s always a question of whether it’s being used for the right purpose as well as what the developers’ expertise and skills are. And you can always develop an efficient software piece, whether it is an ERP system in PHP or Node.js. Partner up with Altamira, a top ERP development company, and get access to quality development services!