According to the annual SitePoint framework popularity survey, Laravel is more popular than Symfony, Yii, CodeIgniter, CakePHP, Phalcon, Zend and other PHP frameworks. According to the usage statistics posted on BuiltWith.com, Laravel is currently being used by more than 255,246 websites. Despite being hugely popular among web developers, Laravel is a relatively new PHP framework. However, the open source framework is being updated at regular intervals to meet the emerging trends in web application development. Here is a comparison of Laravel 4 vs Laravel 5: we can see that the framework gets updates on a regular basis. We will do Laravel framework review and try to analyze the innovative features that help Laravel score over other PHP frameworks.

Laravel Framework Review: Features that Make Laravel More Popular than Other PHP Frameworks

Intuitive Syntax:

Nowadays developers are required to readable, structured and maintainable code. The syntax of Laravel helps programmers to write simple an easy-to-understand code. The quality of code makes it easier for them to maintain and update the application without putting extra time and effort. At the same time, they can focus on the application’s features and functionality.

Composer:

Laravel delivers additional functionality through various external packages. But it makes it easier for programmers to manage the external packages efficiently by using Composer as a dependency manager. Composer enables beginners to set up new Laravel projects easily without downloading zip files and cloning packages from Github. The developers can further install and update Composer through simple commands. They can further add new packages to the Laravel application simply by making changes to the composer.json file.

Artisan:

While using Laravel, the PHP developers can take advantage of a command line tool called Artisan to run a variety of tasks. The powerful command line tool allows programmers to access multiple options simply by typing “php artisan” in the terminal window. In addition to using the exiting commands, the programmers also have option to create custom command line tools.

Seamless Database Migration:

Laravel further enables programmers to work with databases through the simple ActiveRecord implementation provided by Eloquent ORM. They can perform common database operations through models. Each database table will further have a corresponding model. Hence, the programmers can simply define models, and perform database operations without writing lengthy SQL queries. At the same time, they also have option to sync databases between multiple development machines through Laravel database migrations.

Blade Templating Engine:

Laravel allows web programmers to take advantage of the simple and elegant Blade templating engine. Blade allows developers to include plain PHP code in the views. Also, it compiles all views into PHP code, and cache the PHP code till the views are modified. The developers can further use Blade to define and extend a layout and display data without adding extra overheads to the web application.

RESTful Routing:

Most web programmers nowadays access and use web services through REST. So they have to focus on key components of REST like client server, uniform interface and layer system. As Laravel supports RESTful routing, it becomes easier for developers to take advantage of various request methods of HTTP Verbs like GET, POST, DELETE and PUT. They can further create route resources directly through the routes.php file. Also, they can register multiple routes through Laravel more quickly, and deliver relevant information to each user without any delay. Here is a guide to building Restful APIs with Laravel.

Simplified Authentication:

Laravel helps programmers to make the web application secure by implementing a variety of authentication easily. They can simply make changes to the well documented options included in the authentication configuration file to customize the behavior of authentication services according to their specific needs. At the same time, they also have option to authenticate all important aspects of the application including database, routing, views and storage.

Unit Testing:

Laravel further comes with a popular unit testing framework like PHPUnit. The programmers can use PHPUnit to assess a specific unit of source code or check a specific feature or functionality of the application. Laravel set up the phpunit.xml file for the application by default. So the programmers can perform unit testing simply by creating test cases. PHPUnit further allows users to define custom test methods according to their requirements.

The PHP developers can always use Laravel 5 to avail a number of new features. For instance, the latest version of the PHP framework makes it easier for programmers to maintain web applications by scheduling and executing routine tasks through a package called Scheduler. Likewise, they can also use specific packages to use remote storage just like local file systems and simplify externally handled authentications.

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