A large percentage of web developers nowadays prefer Laravel 5 to other PHP frameworks to avail a number of robust features. Laravel simplifies development of large and complex web applications by providing a built-in template engine, object relational mapper (ORM) system, authentication library, and native security features.In one of our previous blogs: Laravel vs CodeIgniter, we had compared Laravel with another popular PHP Framework CodeIgniter. Laravel has been evolving consistently to meet the all possible needs of modern web application developers. Today, we will compare Laravel 4 vs Laravel 5 and see how Laravel has been continuously improving itself.
In May 2013, Laravel 4 came with several new and improved features including expanded Eloquent ORM operation, expanded routing feature, changes syntax, expanded events feature, and option to use containers to speed up processor heavy tasks. Also, Laravel 4 came with over 7000 new packages and 2000 new unit tests. In February 2015, Laravel was released with over 22 new features. These new feature make Laravel superior to and different from Laravel 4.
Laravel 4 vs Laravel 5: New and Improved Features that Differentiate Laravel 5 from Laravel 4
Redesigned Directory Structure
The redesigned directory structure included in Laravel 5 makes it different from Laravel 4. The redesigned directory structure implements PSR-4 autoloading standard and makes each class namespaced. App is the default namespace for each web application. However, the programmers can easily change the default namespace by running specific commands. They can even use the the.env file stored in the root of the project to manage various elements of the application environment efficiently.
Simplified Method Injection
Unlike Laravel 4, Laravel 5 does not require programmers to provide a class instance by requesting Inversion of Control (IoC) container. It simplifies method injection by allowing programmers to declare the type hinted class instance directly in the signature of the controller method. The developers even have option to include multiple parameters in the controller method’s signature. The type hinted class instance declared by the developers will be handled automatically by the IoC container.
Improved Route Caching and Registration
Laravel 5 improves route caching speed significantly by leveraging Artisan’s route caching feature. The improved route caching helps developers to speed up PHP applications by accelerating route registration. The developers even have option to turn the route caching option on or off by running specific commands. However, they can notice the improvement in performance of PHP applications only when they have a large number of routes.
Option to Add Extra Layers to HTTP Routes
Unlike Laravel 4, Laravel 5 allows programmers to add extra layers to the HTTP routes through route middleware. The developers now have option to include specific code in the middleware class which will be executed before particular routes in the application. The developer can further use a specific file to add the middleware to @middleware array. Likewise, they can add middleware to various routes in the Laravel 5 application.
The core components of Laravel 5 use contracts extensively. The contracts are designed as a set of interfaces and define a number of services. Laravel 5 detects the implementation of individual contracts automatically. The developers can leverage contracts to keep various components of the web framework loosely coupled by eliminating class dependencies. At the same time, contracts also help programmers to manage packages without putting extra time and effort.
Unlike Laravel 4, Laravel 5 allows programmers to convert business logic into command objects. Each command object is designed as self contained code. The programmers can further queue the command objects to run the business logic in the background in an asynchronous way. The command objects further make it easier for developers to perform unit testing by performing chunks of code in controller systems.
Native Multi File System Support
The version 5 of Laravel supports multiple file system natively. However, it requires programmers to implement multiple file system support through a third-party package – Flysystem. The developers can use Flysystem to automate underlying file system operations. Also, Flysystem makes it easier for programmers to build custom web applications with local or cloud storage simply by changing the default configuration. The developers even have option to configure a number of storage options.
Like Laravel 4, Laravel 5 also provides built-in authentication services. But the PHP programmers can avail ready-to-use authentication services while working Laravel 5. The authentication service enables programmers to avoid authentication boilerplate by providing models, view, controllers, and database migration. The users even have option to implement the desired authentication by changing configuration of models, view, controllers, and database migration.
Laravel 5 does not require PHP developers to declare application events as strings. The developers now have option to create both event objects and event handler objects by running simple commands. The event objects and event handler objects need to be stored separately in specific folders. The developers can even run commands to fire various events directly.
Laravel 5 allows programmers to avail a customizable queue. They can use the queue without using any third-party packages. They can make changes to the default queue provided by the web framework, and use the reconfigured queue to schedule and manage a variety of tasks efficiently. Laravel programmers can even execute various jobs efficiently by creating custom queable commands.
While working with Laravel 5, developers can take advantage of a social media authentication interface provided by Socialite. They can use Socialite to integrate the social media authentication interface seamlessly into the Laravel 5 application. They can even use Socialite to authenticate with popular social networking websites like Facebook, Twitter, Google and Github. However, they have to use Composer to integrate Socialite with Laravel 5.
On the whole, Laravel 5, as the successor to Laravel 4, came with a number of new features and improvements. These new and improved features make Laravel 5 different from Laravel 4. Laravel programmers must remember that Laravel, despite being an open source PHP framework, has been evolving consistently.
For instance, Laravel 5.4 came with new browser automation and testing framework – Laravel Dusk, in addition to supporting markdown based emails and notifications. Likewise, Laravel 5.4.22 comes with patches for a security vulnerability found on Laravel 5.4. Hence, it is always important for PHP programmers to use the most recent version of Laravel to avail a number of new features and enhancements.
PHP Developers at Mindfire Solutions, have worked across various PHP frameworks e.g. CakePHP, CodeIgniter, Yii, Agavi, Zend, Kohana, Symfony, Laravel etc. Talk to us for your custom PHP application development needs.