What is Laravel?

Laravel is an open-source PHP web framework, originally built by Taylor Otwell. The framework simplifies many of the common tasks you do and allows you to create a web application easily.

Since its launch in 2011, Laravel has been a very popular framework that is loved among software developers. It has embraced an model-view-controller architecture and it includes many things that’ll be needed when building a web-based application, such as an ORM, authentication, authorization, view engine, queue management and more. Thanks to this tight integration and large ecosystem around the framework, it makes is trivial to build any kind of web application on top of Laravel.

What can I do with Laravel?

Laravel comes with a lot of stuff that simplifies building a full-stack software product. It is a scalable and extensible framework and it is proven to be helpful for many companies to build scalable software applications. Starting simple, you can build unlimited things with Laravel:

  • Simple CRUD applications
  • E-commerce stores
  • SaaS products
  • Developer tools
  • Deployment solutions
  • Server management
  • Accounting applications
  • Inventory management
  • And many more

Since it is a general-purpose framework, you can build pretty much anything in Laravel. It has been proven to be scalable using tools like SaaS Starter Kit deployed on top of Kubernetes, or Vapor deployed on AWS Lambda.

By default, Laravel comes configured with the tools like:

  • Authentication
  • Blade view engine
  • Caching
  • Database access
  • Validation
  • Error handling
  • Session management
  • Logging
  • File storage
  • HTTP client
  • Mail sending
  • Queues
  • Notifications
  • Scheduling

What is the latest Laravel version?

Laravel is currently on v8 as of December 2020. The framework is following semantic versioning, and there’s a new major version published every 6 months. The release notes for the framework can be found here.

Getting started with Laravel

In order to get started with Laravel you can go through the installation steps defined in the Laravel documentation, and install all the required tools as well as the dependencies needed.

Alternatively, if you already have the SaaS Starter Kit, you can just unzip the package and run docker-compose up, which will run everything for automatically without the need of installing anything. The whole setup will be completed in a few minutes and you can see your application running on localhost:8000.

SaaS Starter Kit comes pre-configured with:

  • Ready-made dashboard template
  • TailwindCSS & FontAwesome
  • Pre-built auth pages using Tailwind
  • Settings pages that allow things like
    • Changing name / surname
    • Changing password
    • Managing subscription details
    • Listing invoices
  • Subscription management using Stripe
    • Including support for SCA payments
    • Price management directly through the Stripe dashboard
  • Docker & Docker Compose support
    • Run the whole project with all the dependencies using a single command
    • Allowing reproducible builds of the product
    • Simplifying the whole flow of adding more developers to the process
    • Simplifying the deployment options
  • Full unit and feature tests for various pages/modules
  • CI/CD Setup that works with the first push
    • Lints the configuration
    • Build the Docker image for the project
    • Runs the tests on every push
    • Deploys to live when the changes are merged to master
  • Kubernetes & Helm support for live deployments
    • Push to deploy directly to any Kubernetes cluster
    • Standardize the deployment process

You can jump to the SaaS Starter Kit website to learn more about the details, it has up to 75% discount nowadays.

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