Laravel Ecosystem Tools – A stitch in time saves nine

Laravel is a simple yet robust model-view-controller (MVC) framework created for PHP web application development. It became one of the most popular PHP framework thanks to the rich set of functionalities that optimize the development process. Laravel environment facilitates fast development cycles and so delivers the business value relatively quickly.

Laravel architecture was designed for MVC web applications which makes it very powerful in terms of business logic and data presentation. The development teams benefit from its vast built-in functionalities, extensive documentation, and facility of optimization.

The Laravel ecosystem provides powerful security features, such as checking active users, bcrypt hashing, password reset, and encryption, within the framework.

The Power of Laravel: Tools and Community

The popularity of Laravel developers tools wouldn’t be on the rise without the extensive community support it provides. You can find anything from learning materials like Laracasts (free and paid video tutorials that explain how to use Laravel), through engaged GitHub community, to numerous tools that make PHP development in Laravel more efficient.

Developers can choose from a variety of open source and commercial Laravel tools and libraries. The following are recommended by the creator of the framework, Taylor Otwell, and will be a good starting point to the Laravel ecosystem.

Manage Servers with Laravel Forge

Forge is a tool that automates the deployment and configuration of web applications that use PHP servers. It was developed by the Laravel makers to streamline the server management by providing a simple control panel to easily configure unlimited domains and subdomains, create multiple sites on a server, or manage SSL certificates.

It gives the development teams space to focus on the business logic and deliver the functionalities to the users, rather than spend time and money on server management.

Forge monthly subscription costs from $12 to $39, depending on the number of servers you want to manage and whether you want to share the servers with other team members.

Laravel Forge

Laravel Envoyer for Zero Downtime Deployments

Laravel Envoyer enables application deployment with zero downtime. It is focused on providing a fully functional application to the end users while performing PHP deployments. The tool supports unlimited and customizable deployments to multiple servers together with application health checks.

The loss of service due to a downtime may result in a hit on cash flow, and it has always a negative impact on the UX. Envoyer was created to make sure the users never hit the maintenance page when you deploy the application, or a fatal error when you are installing Composer updates.

To provide the best server performance in the Laravel environment, it is recommended to use Laravel Envoyer together with Forge. You build and manage PHP servers in Forge with no hassle and deploy your code with Envoyer with no downtime.

Depending on the number of projects you want Laravel Envoyer to manage, the price is $10-50.

Laravel Horizon – Robust Queue Monitoring

Horizon is a queue manager for projects created in the Laravel environment. The configuration and work with the application are supposed to be extremely easy and provide full control over your Redis queues. This Laravel tool allows the development team to easily configure and monitor how the queues are processed, as well as access the relevant metrics.

Good news for all the UX purists, Laravel Horizon features an exquisite user interface.

The product is totally free. It’s an open source project created by the developers of the Laravel framework for the Laravel community.

Fast Microservices Development in Laravel Lumen

Lumen is a microframework that enables creating microservices in the Laravel environment. Simply put it’s a lighter and faster version of the Laravel framework.

Lumen has the same foundation as Laravel with most of the similar components. It features the convenience and power of the main framework, with an enhanced response time that boosts the performance and speed of the components. In exchange, it sacrifices some configuration features. For example, it is not compatible with any additional Laravel libraries like Cashier or Scout. Laravel Lumen is a go-to for developing smaller components supporting the core project.

laravel lumen

Laravel Lumen is a free, open source solution.

Let Laravel Nova Enhance Your Productivity

Nova is an administration panel for Laravel projects. It is highly customizable and provides intelligent out-of-the-box configuration options.

For each model in your Laravel project, it has a corresponding resource that defines fields, actions, filters, and cards. The configuration is powered by simple PHP classes so that the tool does not store the configuration settings in the database. Laravel Nova comes with three standard built-in metrics (value, trend, and partition).

Laravel Nova is not only robust when it comes to the technical features, but it is also extremely user-friendly, which makes resource management easy like Sunday morning.

The tool is sold per project and costs $99 for solo developers or $199 for teams.

Laravel Spark for SaaS Projects

Spark is a Laravel package aimed at SaaS application providers. Its main purpose is to simplify the scaffolding for billing systems. Laravel Spark handles user management and billing by providing functionalities like authentication (including two-factor authentication), password resets, subscription billing, and invoicing.

What it means for the development process, it that the team can spend more time working on the unique functionalities of the application, saving time on the time-consuming and often tedious elements that repeat in most of the SaaS applications.

Laravel Spark charges per license. A single license is $99, and the price goes up to $299 for the unlimited plan. Tthe license is used (and the user is charged for it) only after the site is deployed on a server. So you can develop multiple sites locally and will pay the Spark fee only for the deployed projects.

Automate Upgrades with Laravel Shift

Shift is an automated upgrade service for the Laravel projects.

Upgrading outdated Laravel apps with Shift is like shelling peas. You log in to your GitHub or Bitbucket account, purchase the upgrade package, and the Laravel Shift account is added as a collaborator to your repo. The next time you hear from Shift is when a new branch with the update is pushed to your repo with a pull request for you to review. Once you make sure you are fine with the PR, you merge it, and the work is done.

The tool charges per each shift separately. The prices vary from $3 to $25, depending on the upgrade you choose.

Laravel Quote


Laravel Ecosystem is on the Rise

The abovementioned Laravel developers tools are only the very basics of the vast Laravel ecosystem. We have observed a continuous increase in the framework popularity in 2018 and in the first quarter of 2019, which results in more and more Laravel tools being launched. Being up to date with the new tools and packages speeds up the development process, and optimizes the quality of the projects.

As mentioned above, engaged community is one of Laravel’s big assets. And it is constantly growing. Being easy to learn and develop code on it, makes it an attractive solution for both the developers and the businesses.

Laravel is an optimal solution not only for developing new business ideas but also for existing projects that can shift from their previous frameworks thanks to relatively low barriers to entry.

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