When researching about web development, a lot of voices speak a lot about different technologies and when the web development swing is on its peak, the evolution of new web technologies has become so obvious.
Since a very long time, the world has been relying a lot on Java and C# for high scale and robust web application which is now shared by modern-day technologies like Go and NodeJS. But what about the old school PHP? Is it still being used? or Is PHP all dead if we go by most of the articles on the web? Well, not really! In this article we will identify where PHP stands and how the web development still relies a lot on PHP. Let’s find that out.
Over the past few decades, a lot of frameworks have been built on top of PHP. Cake PHP and Symfony are to name a few. Here in this article, we will talk about Laravel, which is yet another PHP framework which is not just robust, scalable and secure, but also very powerful and popular when it comes to performance and strong typing.
What is Laravel?
Laravel is a complete MVC Framework based on PHP to simplify the development of a full-featured web application. It provides a very modular packaging system with a dedicated dependency manager and provides many ways to access relational databases.
Laravel is mainly designed to provide simplified solutions to many web development needs which can either be the complex chore or some of the most commonly used programmes to focus more towards business logic. Though many other PHP or non PHP frameworks have their own advantages, Laravel on the other side provides some very useful out of the box advantages which are actually the lifesavers and the reason for making Laravel a popular choice among dedicated Laravel developers.
Advantages of Laravel
Laravel comes with a default and a very powerful templating engine, Blade, which is so simple and flexible as it does not restrict you to write plain PHP in the views.
It is consistent, structured and has its own loops and conditional statement features to provide dynamic content by also providing easy readability to its syntax.
This is the master sidebar.
(A basic layout of the master page in Laravel Blade)
The above code of basic layout of blade templating engine follows the same HTML standards. Although, to generate dynamic content, we have used yield directive above whereas section directive used here is nothing but a section of the content.
@section(‘title’, ‘Page Title’)
This is my body content.
Example of child view.
The above example is of a child view which used extends directive which defines the layout that needs to be inherited. Doesn’t this syntaxing looks so easier and beautiful?
Laravel comes along with its own very powerful command line interface to bring in use during development to help simplify most of the tedious programming tasks during application development which many developers finds trouble doing or avoid doing manually.
Artisan is not just limited to a few good features but also helps in creating the database structure, generate basic MVC files with all its general configuration and helps developers create their own commands which can speed up things based on every developer’s needs.
Some basic commands are listed below,
PHP artisan list // List all available artisan commands
PHP artisan help migrate // Provide help about migrate command
PHP artisan make:command allowService // To create a new command
Eloquent ORM (Object-Relational Mapping)
When talking about simplicity, Eloquent ORM is a very useful and amazing feature of Laravel which helps writing code with fun.
The Eloquent ORM in Laravel provides a very simple PHP Active Record implementation which helps in generating database queries by itself without writing any SQL code manually by also taking care of PHP syntax. The performance speed of Eloquent ORM is much faster than any other PHP framework.
To create a new model, simply use the “make artisan” and give your model a name.
php artisan make:model User
class User extends Model
This is how a basic User model looks. This can then be used to fetch and retrieve information from the database regarding any specific model.
Libraries and Modules
Libraries and modules can be considered as a Laravel’s giveaway to be loved as it provides an amazing set of object-oriented libraries along with its own pre-built libraries and Guess what? These pre-built libraries are an experience of sorrow for other frameworks as these are not available for any other PHP framework.
These libraries make the life of dedicated Laravel developers easier by facilitating easy implementation features like active user checking, Bcrypt hash, password reset, CSRF(Cross Site Request Falsification) Protection, Encryption and many more.
This is how the composer.json file looks in Laravel. This file allows managing all the packages and providers to be installed in the project when someone wants to run the project instead of manually installing providers one after another.
With the modern day coding pattern, Laravel also supports MVC architecture with different logical areas for models, views and controllers. This help in writing cleaner code along with a properly managed project by also improving readability.
When working on a large scale application, MVC pattern becomes more useful as compared to the client-server architecture, layered architecture or the peer-to-peer architecture.
Migration System for Databases
Need to manually add a new column in your local database? No issues, Laravel is filled with a lot to make life easier. Migration system in Laravel allows modification and expansion of the database whenever there is a need to make any structural change in database without re-creating it every time.
This helps in lowering the risk of data loss and most amazingly, it does it all using PHP code without any use of SQL.
PHP artisan make:migration create_profile_table
Run the following command above to create a new migration
public function down()
Shown above, is a migration structure consisting of 2 methods up and down. To add any new table or a column, we use the up” method while to reverse the operation performed by the up method, we use the down method.
PHP Artisan Migrate
To run the migration, use the above command and all your outstanding migration will be executed for operation.
To make sure that any code that is written does not break anytime, Laravel provides a better approach towards it by facilitating unit test writing. Laravel is quite certain to make the code work properly as it is aware of known bugs and code failure scenarios.
php artisan make:test ProfileTest
The above command helps to create a new test case
class ExampleTest extends TestCase
* A basic test example.
* @return void
public function testBasicTest()
Here, we have a general skeleton of a unit test where we can define any method we want to test to find and fix any known bug or things that do not match our definition.
“phpunit” command executes the test case defined.
Laravel development services includes many security features like authentication system, reduce vulnerabilities From CSRF (cross-site request forgery), protection against XSS (cross-site scripting), SQL Injection, secured cookies, forcing HTTPS when exchanging sensitive data and more. Also, due to its large and active community support, any loophole found in security is handled immediately by the skilled members.
So, we have talked a lot about Laravel and understood as to why Laravel is a good choice in 2019. To know more about Laravel and any of its advantages we mentioned above, do visit their official doc where you will find everything you need to know about Laravel in more detail.
So now have you changed your perception about PHP and it’s so powerful framework? I have tried to cover most of the part about this beautiful framework and its advantages using the official documentation. If you think there is something, in particular, you would like to know about Laravel, feel free to contact us.