The Newest Release of Laravel and What It Means for Programmers

Numerous software developers, amid their career development, are often unsure of the frameworks they should concentrate on. Despite having narrowed their options to a few languages, the regular release of alluring frameworks and updates to current ones make the decision-making process challenging.

Laravel has been a favourite among developers for more than ten years and is still highly applicable with consistent updates and a rising number of users.

Laravel: What exactly is it?

Laravel is a PHP framework that is open-source and free of cost and includes numerous advantageous features for web application developers. Initially, Laravel was created as a substitute for the well-known Codeigniter in 2021 by Taylor Otwell. To date, eight major versions have been released, with frequent minor advancements.

For those who are not familiar, Laravel is a framework written in PHP and can be utilised on the backend for full-stack application development, eliminating the requirement for a conventional backend. This enables functionalities like account management, data exportation, and order processing.

The popularity of Laravel among developers is mainly thanks to the following features:

  • The modular packaging and dependency management of Laravel enable developers to add functionalities to their apps smoothly without having to start from the beginning. Developers can either create modules for their recurring needs or use pre-existing ones.
  • The Comprehensive Authentication Package
  • Object-relational mapping: Laravel’s built-in Eloquent ORM applies a class-based technique to save and recover data from the database.
  • Automated Test Execution
  • Command Line Interface (CLI) with an Extensive Range of Pre-Defined Instructions, Optimised for User Experience
  • A Portable Environment for Simulated Development

What has Changed and Improved in Laravel 8 Compared to its Previous Versions?

The much-popular web development framework Laravel 8 was launched in late 2023, providing developers with the chance to study the new version and evaluate whether the wait was worthwhile.

The new functionalities of Laravel 8 include:

Laravel Jetstream: A Breakthrough Feature

Jetstream offers two scaffolding options to its users: Inertia and Livewire. In addition to this, it provides several valuable features “out of the box,” including login, registration, email verification, session tracking, two-factor authentication and team management.

Livewire offers developers a responsive and dynamic library, reducing the need for a JavaScript framework such as Vue.js. It also empowers developers to choose between leaving Blade and using Vue.js. Inertia uses Vue.js as its templating language, providing the full potential of the framework without the requirement of client-side routing.

Categorization of Models and Models in the Model Factory

The launch of Laravel 8 brought class-based eloquent model factories into the picture. This allowed enhanced support for inter-factory connections.

This development has empowered developers to regulate object states by merely calling the state() method (present in the Laravel base factory class) with an array of assigned attributes.

Laravel 8’s application skeleton also incorporates an app/Models directory. Though Laravel’s generator commands assume that models exist, the framework assumes models are located in the app/ folder if the directory is absent.

The Namespace No Longer Contains “Controllers” Prefix

Earlier versions of Laravel allowed developers to utilize the $namespace property to have the controller’s namespace prefixed with App/Https/Controllers. Previous to version 5.2, the callable syntax in the code of web.php route could occasionally produce namespace prefix duplications in Laravel.

Halting Database Migration

The process of consolidating multiple migration files into a single SQL file is now available for developers. The first file to be processed during migrations is this SQL file, followed by any remaining migration files. By reducing the size of migration files and enhancing the testing process, this custom of compressing migration files has become an effective solution.

Performing Work Orders in Batches

The latest version of Laravel comes equipped with an incredibly helpful new feature that facilitates concurrent launch of multiple tasks. This feature allows developers to perform a multitude of tasks simultaneously.

Developers have the option to monitor the progress of batched or grouped jobs by defining completion callbacks using the then, catch, and finally methods. All callback methods contain the $batch object, which is preloaded with several functions such as failure detection, batch cancelling, status checking, and more.

Proactive Maintenance

By utilizing the ‘allow’ list, Laravel 7 grants developers the ability to specify IP addresses allowed to access the application during maintenance mode. In Laravel 8, the process has been simplified by allowing developers to define the bypass token as a ‘secret‘.

While the app is in maintenance mode, developers can access application URLs and Laravel passes the bypass cookie automatically to the browser. After issuing the cookie, devs can access the app as they would in non-maintenance mode.

To avoid users accidentally using PHP artisan down during deployment, Laravel 8 also provides an option for a maintenance mode view and returning it whenever a request is made.

Revised Rate Limiting

The latest version of Laravel has enhanced rate limiting capabilities that work seamlessly with the current throttle middleware. With these improvements, developers have more flexibility at their disposal than ever before.

These are just some of the new and beneficial features that Laravel 8 has to offer. With the introduction of improved features for developers, better migration and batching, and the addition of the new scaffolding feature, it is highly likely that this framework will remain one of the most widely used in the industry.

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