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This tutorial is an introduction to the Hierarchical Model View Controller(HMVC) pattern, and how it applies to web application development. For this tutorial, I will use examples provided from the CodeIgniter from Scratch series and demonstrate how HMVC can be a valuable modification to your development process. This introduction assumes you have an understanding of the Model View Controller (MVC) pattern. We suggest you read our introduction to MVC to get acquainted with the topic before tackling this tutorial
CodeIgniter is an open-source PHP MVC framework used for building dynamic web applications. Providing the benefit of extended libraries and tools, it allows you to connect to your databases which further helps you perform various tasks. Easy to customize the CodeIgniter framework provides your business websites easy configuration.
Codeigniter HMVC known for its speed, its goal is to complete your projects in much lesser time. Minimizing the amount of the code its main aim is to focus on the creativity of your website. Use of CodeIgniter benefits its users with simple, elegant, lightweight, and easy to use quality features. Using HMVC you can easily integrate CodeIgniter form validation into your webpages.
MVC is a Model View Controller (MVC) system. Where Model here refers to the data, View refers to the presentation layer and Controller to the application logic. MVC breaking the development process of applications isolates business logic from UI. Due to its advantages, many software frameworks prefer using this.
Integrating with your own existing scripts it helps your developers build core libraries for the system. CodeIgniter allows its users to follow the MVC route instead of other procedural ways. Using MVC architecture, CodeIgniter development can easily build and manage large applications.
CodeIgniter is loosely based and works on MVC (Model-View-Development) pattern. It can also use the Hierarchical Model View Controller (HMVC). Added as an extra benefit it helps your applications with lots of modular functions.
In CodeIgniter HMVC, HMVC stands for Hierarchical Model View Controller. It is a further new version of the MVC pattern used for web applications. Providing solutions to many problems it helps you solve the scalability of applications.
Here are some of the Advantages of HMVC developers can use while developing their application.
Modularization – This helps in reducing the dependencies between the disparate parts of the application.
Organization – It helps you organize your work folder-wise to make your workload lesser.
Reusability – This feature of HMVC gives you the benefit to reuse your code multiple times. Also as per the creativity of developers they can use different codes for the same kind of work design.
Extendibility – It makes your application more extensible without sacrificing the ease of maintenance.
HMVC architecture was developed with one thing in mind. It was developed to solve one problem that the MVC architecture had. The HMVC architecture falls short when it comes to controlling the GUI elements or components. HMVC cannot handle the following complexities:
Management of Data, Management of events and the overall flow of data in the applications.
The HMVC architecture groups each MVC module into a triad and enables the communication between the controllers of each triad.
In the above diagram, each MVC component or triad can communicate externally between the controllers of other MVC triads. Thus enabling a parent-child relationship between the modules.
Also, a programmer can incorporate up to n number of modules and enables the communication between each of them using the above architecture.
When it comes to addressing individual elements, HMVC scales the MVC architecture by providing a powerful yet easy to grasp and understand, hierarchical or layered design methodology that helps to develop a complete presentation layer.
Here are some of the key features of a responsibility based on layered architecture :
- The user gets to define the multi-tiered or Intra layered communication as well as isolate the individual layers from the higher layers.
- One can easily define interlayer communication with minimum coupling or dependency.
- Easily localize your exposure to any third-party code.
Using HMVC the interlayered controller enables the communication between each layered module, thus enabling interlayered communication.
This enables the communication between the modules that define parent-child communication.
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The following advantages are provided by HMVC over MVC –
- Reduces interdependency between disparate parts of the software program
- Encourages reuse of modules or components or any part of the code
- The architecture increases extensibility while encourages maintainability.
- You get to organize your code into modules and each module can perform a different assigned task.
- It provides a robust and scalable pattern that reduces risk.
- Provides a readymade design foundation on which you can build software.
You can use HMVC to create a client-tier framework or architecture. The HMVC pattern clearly provides a definition of responsibility among the predefined layers or components.
- HMVC architecture enables web applications to be standardized.
- The framework devices a visual entity into different panes or blocks and helps each block to define consistent functions, responsibilities, and functionalities.
- The interaction between the subcomponents is clearly defined and it provides a customizable base class.
Q. What is Modular HMVC, why should I use it?
A. Modular HMVC = Hierarchy of multiple MVC triads
Firstly, This is most useful when you need to load a view and its data within a view. Think about adding a shopping cart to a page. The shopping cart needs its own controller which may call a model to get cart data. Then the controller needs to load the data into a view. So instead of the main controller handling the page and the shopping cart, the shopping cart MVC can be loaded directly in the page. The main controller doesn’t need to know about it, and is totally isolated from it.
Particularly, In CI we can’t call more than 1 controller per request. Therefore, to achieve HMVC, we have to simulate controllers. It can be done with libraries, or with this “Modular Extensions HMVC” contribution.
Subsequently, The differences between using a library and a “Modular HMVC” HMVC class is: 1. No need to get and use the CI instance within an HMVC class 2. HMVC classes are stored in a modules directory as opposed to the libraries directory.
Q. Is Modular Extensions HMVC the same as Modular Separation?
A. Yes and No. Like Modular Separation, Modular Extensions makes modules “portable” to other installations. For example, if you make a nice self-contained model-controller-view set of files you can bring that MVC into another project by copying just one folder – everything is in one place instead of spread around model, view and controller folders.
Modular HMVC means modular MVC triads. Modular Separation and Modular Extensions allows related controllers, models, libraries, views, etc. to be grouped together in module directories and used like a mini application. But, Modular Extensions goes one step further and allows those modules to “talk” to each other. You can get controller output without having to go out through the http interface again.
- The MVC architecture had some shortcomings which were overcome by the Hierarchical-MVC or HMVC extension.
- The architecture defines the communication between each interlayered module and enables a parent-child relationship between them. It also reduces the interdependency between the modules or layers.
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