Laracon US 2019, probably the biggest Laravel conference, wrapped up yesterday. Its creator, Tylor Otwell kick-started the event by talking about the next major release, Laravel 6. He also showcased a project that he has been working on called Laravel Vapor, a full-featured serverless management and deployment dashboard for PHP/Laravel.
With Vapor, I want people to be proud of PHP. This is the first serverless platform for any language with this feature set (assets, databases, cache, queues, mail) all integrated into one cohesive picture. Trying to do my part to make the next 25 years of PHP glorious 🔥
— Taylor Otwell 🏝 (@taylorotwell) July 24, 2019
This was a two-day event from July 24-25 hosted at Time Square, NYC. The event brings together people passionate about creating applications with Laravel, the open-source PHP web framework. Many exciting talks were hosted at this game-themed event. Evan You, the creator of Vue, was there presenting what’s coming in Vue.js 3.0. Caleb Porzio, a developer at Tighten Co., showcased a Laravel framework named Livewire that enables you to build dynamic user interfaces with vanilla PHP. Keith Damiani, a Principal Programmer at Tighten, talked about graph database use cases.
You can watch this highlights video compiled by Romega Digital to get a quick overview of the event:
Laravel 6 coming next month
Since its birth, Laravel has followed a custom versioning system. It has been on 5.x release version for the past four years now. The team has now decided to switch to semantic versioning system. The framework currently stands at version 5.8, and instead of calling the new release 5.9 the team has decided to go with Laravel 6, which is scheduled for the next month.
Otwell emphasized that they have decided to make this change to bring more consistency in the ecosystem as all optional Laravel components such as Cashier, Dusk, Valet, Socialite use semantic versioning. This does not mean that there will be any “paradigm shift” and developers have to rewrite their stuff. “This does mean that any breaking change would necessitate a new version which means that the next version will be 7.0,” he added.
With the new version comes new branding
Laravel gets a fresh look with every major release ranging from updated logos to a redesigned website. Initially, this was a volunteer effort with different people pitching in to help give Laravel a fresh look. Now that Laravel has got some substantial backing, Otwell has worked with Focus Lab, one of the top digital design agencies in the US.
They have together come up with a new logo and a brand new website. The website looks easy to navigate and also provides improved documentation to give developers a good reading experience.
Laravel Vapor, a robust serverless deployment platform for Laravel
After giving a brief on version 6 and the updated branding, Otwell showcased his new project named Laravel Vapor. Currently, developers use Forge for provisioning and deploying their PHP applications on DigitalOcean, Linode, AWS, and more. It provides painless Virtual Private Server (VPS) management. It is best suited for medium and small projects and performs well with basic load balancing.
However, it does lack a few features that could have been helpful for building bigger projects such as autoscaling. Also, developers have to worry about updating their operating systems and PHP versions. To address these limitations, Otwell created this deployment platform.
Here are some of the advantages Laravel Vapor comes with:
- Better scalability: Otwell’s demo showed that it can handle over half a million requests with an average response time of 12 ms.
- Facilitates collaboration: Vapor is built around teams. You can create as many teams as you require by just paying for one single plan.
- Fine-grained control: It gives you fine-grained control over what each team member can do. You can set what all they can do across all the resources Vapor manages.
- A “vanity URL” for different environments: Vapor gives you a staging domain, which you can access with what Otwell calls a “vanity URL.” It enables you to immediately access your applications with “a nice domain that you can share with your coworkers until you are ready to assign a custom domain,“ says Otwell.
- Environment metrics: Vapor provides many environment metrics that give you an overview of an application environment. These metrics include how many HTTP requests have the application got in the last 24 hours, how many CLI invocations, what’s the average duration of those things, how much these cost on lambda, and more.
- Logs: You can review and search your recent logs right from the Vapor UI. It also auto-updates when any new entry comes in the log.
- Databases: With Vapor, you can provision two types of databases: fixed-sized database and serverless database. The fixed-sized database is the one where you have to pick its specifications like VCPU, RAM, etc. In the serverless one, however, if you do not select these specifications and it will automatically scale according to the demand.
- Caches: You can create Redis clusters right from the Vapor UI with as many nodes as you want. It supports the creation and management of elastic Redis cache clusters, which can be scaled without experiencing any downtime. You can attach them to any of the team’s projects and use them with multiple projects at the same time.
To watch the entire demonstration by Otwell check out this video: