Zend Framework Factory performance: ReflectionBasedAbstractFactory vs ConfigAbstractFactory vs NativeFactory

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Here is comment of @weierophinney about Factory performance in Zend Framework.

Summary of the benchmarks:

The ConfigAbstractFactory runs at around the same speed as any other factory that pulls at least one dependency from the container.
The ReflectionBasedAbstractFactory adds 2-3μs to service creation for a service that pulls at least one dependency from the container; this is essentially the cost of using reflection on the constructor.
The ConfigAbstractFactory runs essentially the same speed whether used as an abstract factory or mapped as a factory; these speeds will, of course, change based on how many abstract factories are in use.
The ReflectionBasedAbstractFactory consistently runs 0.5μs faster when mapped as a factory, regardless of number of dependencies.

The takeaways are:

The ReflectionBasedAbstractFactory is more convenient (less configuration required), but comes at a performance cost.
The ConfigAbstractFactory is faster, but comes with more configuration; it also has the benefit that you can specify alternate services (e.g., mapping config sub-arrays to a configuration abstract factory).
A factory that does not do reflection, and does not need to first pull the config service in order to determine dependencies is still the fastest solution.

My take is that an application will evolve over time:

The developer can use the ReflectionBasedAbstractFactory as a catch-all to begin application development.
They can then generate configuration for the ConfigAbstractFactory for a performance boost, to specify alternate dependencies, or to disambiguate dependencies.
Finally, when ready to go to production, they can generate actual factory classes, and map them into configuration.


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