The name Qobrix comes from the concatenation of two words: “Qobo” and “bricks“. Qobo is the company behind the Qobrix platform. And “bricks” are small blocks used for building and construction.
The shortest definition of Qobrix is:
Qobrix is a platform for rapid development of business applications.
The Qobrix platform is developed by Qobo. We have built a number of applications using it: Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, Back-Office and Business Process Management (BPM) systems, Intranets and portals.
The Qobrix platform is a collection of technologies (modules, libraries, tools) and methodologies (philosophies, processes, practices, naming conventions) for building web applications targeted at business users. By business users we understand companies, organizations, and teams. Qobrix is not limited to any particular industry or size of the company.
The platform allows fast-paced development, a short feedback loop, and continuous delivery of new features and improvements.
CakePHP is a modern, powerful framework for building PHP applications. The Qobrix platform is built on top of the CakePHP framework and a selection of plugins. Some of the plugins were developed by members of the CakePHP community, and some were built by us. Here are some of the benefits Qobrix platform gets as a result of using CakePHP:
- Model-View-Controller pattern. There are many different ways of building web applications, but there is one that proved to be the most successful – the Model-View-Controller (MVC) approach. Applications utilizing the MVC pattern separate data management concerns from business logic and presentation layers. This simplifies the code and allows to introduce features and improvements faster, while at the same time minimizing the potential for errors.
- Powerful Object-Relational Mapping. Almost every application works with some kind of the data source, be that a database, an external API, or a collection of files. In the old days, applications worked directly with records, lines, and fields. The modern world requirements are much more complex and need more powerful tools and approaches. Object-relational mapping (ORM) tools provide a way to convert lower level data units into more abstract objects and relationships between them. Objects and relationships are much easier to manipulate (validate, analyze, navigate, convert, etc). The more powerful the ORM tool you are using, the more you can do with data, and the lesser is the effort needed. CakePHP framework features one of the best ORMs available to PHP developers today.
- Security features. CakePHP provides a number of security features out of the box – access-control lists (ACL), hashing and encryption, data validation, and more. It also makes it very easy to extend and modify the behavior of these features.
Twitter Bootstrap and AdminLTE
Building and maintaining a modern web interface is not an easy task. Applications become more and more complex. Users become less and less technical. The number of web-enabled devices grows constantly. The time to market for new features and improvements continues to drop. In these conditions, it is important to have solid tools that allow quick and reliable development of web interfaces.
Bootstrap, a popular CSS framework, initially developed by Twitter, is just one such tool. Qobrix platform uses Bootstrap to develop features fast and make sure that web interface is consistent and usable on large desktop monitors, smaller tablet screens, and tiny smartphones.
On top of that, we have integrated AdminLTE theme for Bootstrap. AdminLTE focuses on user interface for admin-like back-end applications, which suits the Qobrix platform use case perfectly.
What’s so special?
So, with all these tools and libraries combined together, what is so special about the Qobrix platform? What does it add on top? And how does it differ from other platforms and solutions? These questions require lengthy and boring answers. But in short, here it is: many frameworks, platforms, and solutions focus on delivering the first version of the application. They make it easy to create prototypes, review them, change them, and get to the working application that satisfies the initial requirements.
Qobrix platform does that too. But what it brings on top and what makes it different is going beyond the first working version. With Qobrix platform, making continuous changes to the application in production use is as easy as to those first prototypes.