Laravel PHP Framework

Laravel PHP Framework

Laravel is a free, open-source PHP web framework, created by Taylor Otwell and initially released in 2011. Known for its expressive, elegant syntax, Laravel attempts to make the process of web development both enjoyable and fulfilling for the developer, without sacrificing application functionality.

Intro to Laravel

Laravel provides a robust set of tools and an expressive syntax that allows developers to quickly build web applications. It follows the MVC (Model-View-Controller) architectural pattern, making it easier for developers to handle complex application features, maintain code, and optimize performance.

Laravel Quick Facts

  1. Release Date: Laravel was created by Taylor Otwell and first released in June 2011.
  2. Popularity: Laravel is one of the most popular PHP frameworks, thanks to its elegant syntax and extensive feature set.
  3. MVC Architecture: Laravel uses the Model-View-Controller (MVC) pattern, which enables better organization and management of code.
  4. Eloquent ORM: Laravel provides a powerful and expressive object-relational mapper called Eloquent. This makes it easy to interact with your database using object-oriented syntax.
  5. Blade Templating Engine: Laravel uses the Blade templating engine, which allows you to write plain PHP in your views and compile them into cached PHP code for fast execution. Blade also offers convenient shortcuts for common PHP control structures.

Laravel Routing and Middleware

Laravel offers a clean, simple API over the most common tasks for a web application such as routing, sessions, caching, and authentication. Laravel’s routing is quite powerful and allows developers to quickly and easily define routes for their applications, and even includes a user-friendly way to create API endpoints.

Middleware offers a convenient mechanism for filtering HTTP requests entering your application. For example, Laravel includes a middleware that verifies the user of your application is authenticated. If the user is not authenticated, the middleware will redirect the user to the login screen. However, if the user is authenticated, the middleware will allow the request to proceed further into the application.

Laravel Routing and Controller Example

In Laravel, you can easily define routes and link them to controllers. Here’s a simple example:

phpCopy code// Routes/web.php
Route::get('/greeting', 'GreetingController@greet');

// App/Http/Controllers/GreetingController.php
class GreetingController extends Controller
    public function greet()
        return view('greeting', ['name' => 'John Doe']);

In this example, a GET request to ‘/greeting’ will trigger the ‘greet’ method in the ‘GreetingController’. This method returns a view named ‘greeting’ and passes a variable named ‘name’ to it.

Eloquent ORM and Database Migrations

One of Laravel’s standout features is Eloquent ORM (Object Relational Mapping), which provides a beautiful, simple ActiveRecord implementation for working with your database. This allows you to interact with your database objects and relationships using expressive syntax.

Database migrations are like version control for your database, allowing your team to define and share the application’s database schema definition. Laravel’s Schema facade provides database agnostic support for creating and manipulating tables across all of Laravel’s supported database systems.

Laravel Eloquent ORM Example

Eloquent ORM allows you to work with your database using object-oriented syntax. Here’s how you might use Eloquent to interact with a ‘users’ table:

phpCopy code// Retrieving all users
$users = App\Models\User::all();

foreach ($users as $user) {
    echo $user->name;

// Finding a user by its primary key
$user = App\Models\User::find(1);
echo $user->name;

Blade Templating

Laravel’s Blade templating engine allows you to write plain PHP in your views and doesn’t restrict you from using plain PHP code. All Blade views are compiled into plain PHP code and cached until they are modified, meaning Blade adds essentially zero overhead to your application.

Laravel Blade Templating Example

Blade is a powerful and clean templating engine provided with Laravel. Here’s how you might display data passed to a view from a controller:

bladeCopy code<!-- greeting.blade.php -->
<!DOCTYPE html>
    <h1>Hello, {{ $name }}</h1>

In this example, ‘{{ $name }}’ is a Blade echo statement. This will display the ‘name’ variable that was passed to the view from the ‘greet’ method in the ‘GreetingController’. Blade statements are automatically sent through PHP’s ‘htmlspecialchars’ function to prevent XSS attacks.

Laravel vs Other Similar Frameworks

Compared to other PHP frameworks such as Symfony, CodeIgniter, and CakePHP, Laravel stands out for its elegant syntax, robust feature set, and strong community. Here’s a brief comparison:

  • Symfony: Laravel and Symfony are both full-stack frameworks, but Laravel is often praised for its excellent documentation and ease of use for beginners. However, Symfony is known for its high flexibility and is great for large, enterprise-level projects.
  • CodeIgniter: CodeIgniter is a lightweight PHP framework in comparison to Laravel. While it’s faster in terms of performance due to less overhead, Laravel’s extensive features and functionality make it a better choice for more complex applications.
  • CakePHP: CakePHP is easy to learn and set up, which makes it a great choice for beginners. However, Laravel’s Eloquent ORM, easy routing, job queue, and other features make Laravel a more powerful and flexible choice.

Getting Started with Laravel

Getting started with Laravel involves a few essential steps, including setting up your development environment, installing Laravel, and creating a new Laravel project. Here is a step-by-step guide:

Setting Up Your Environment

Before you can start using Laravel, you need to ensure that your development environment meets its requirements. Laravel requires:

  • PHP >= 7.3
  • BCMath PHP Extension
  • Ctype PHP Extension
  • Fileinfo PHP extension
  • JSON PHP Extension
  • Mbstring PHP Extension
  • OpenSSL PHP Extension
  • PDO PHP Extension
  • Tokenizer PHP Extension
  • XML PHP Extension

You can install these packages separately, or use a pre-packaged environment like Laravel Homestead, which is a Vagrant box that has everything you need to get started with Laravel.

Installing Composer

Laravel uses Composer to manage its dependencies. Before using Laravel, make sure you have Composer installed on your machine. You can download Composer from

Installing Laravel

After installing Composer, you can install Laravel globally on your machine using the following command:

javascriptCopy codecomposer global require laravel/installer

Creating a New Laravel Project

You can create a new Laravel project using the following command:

arduinoCopy codelaravel new project-name

Replace “project-name” with the name you want to give to your project. This will create a new directory with the specified name, download the latest Laravel version, and install all its dependencies.

Starting the Laravel Development Server:

You can now navigate into your project directory using the command cd project-name and start the Laravel development server using the following command:

Copy codephp artisan serve

You can now access your new Laravel application by visiting http://localhost:8000 in your web browser.

Exploring Laravel

You’re now ready to start building with Laravel! A good starting point is exploring the project’s directory structure to understand where different types of files are located. You should also check out the routes file (routes/web.php), controllers (app/Http/Controllers), and views (resources/views) to understand how a typical Laravel application is structured.

Remember, the Laravel documentation is a powerful resource when you’re getting started, and will be a helpful companion as you explore more advanced features of the framework.

Laravel provides an elegant, feature-rich platform for web development. With its expressive syntax, extensive capabilities like Eloquent ORM, Blade templating, and easy routing, it remains a popular choice among developers building everything from small projects to large-scale enterprise applications. Its ongoing growth and strong community support underline its staying power in the world of PHP frameworks.

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