An Introduction to Functional JavaScript

Functional Programming is available in many programming languages today. You probably know that FP is possible in JavaScript - but did you know that writing FP style JavaScript will lead to cleaner, more maintainable code? In this session, we'll explore writing FP style JavaScript and cover the basics, and intermediate techniques.

We’ll do a functional refactor and explain the reasoning along the way. We’ll use mostly basic JavaScript and the underscore library for code examples to demonstrate Functional Programming in a simple to understand, and more practical, way.

Key takeaways

How to write idiomatic Functional JavaScript How to write clean JS for better testing Techniques for understanding how to write maintainable Functional JavaScript

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Learn More

The Complete JavaScript Course 2019: Build Real Projects!

Vue JS 2 - The Complete Guide (incl. Vue Router & Vuex)

JavaScript Bootcamp - Build Real World Applications

The Web Developer Bootcamp

Asynchronous JavaScript

The Pitfalls of Async/Await in Array Loops

Vuejs 2 Authentication Tutorial

Javascript and Functional Programming: An Introduction

JavaScript — from callbacks to async/await

Understand JavaScript’s async/await

How to Copying Javascript Objects in an efficient way

How to Copying Javascript Objects in an efficient way

Copying Javascript objects can be tricky. Most of the time, we will do shallow copy of an object in javascript.

But, there are few problems associated with that approach. But getting into that topic, we will see what is shallow and deep copy in javsacript.

Shallow vs Deep Copy

In javascript, shallow copy only clones the top level of an object. if an object contains the nested or reference object. it will copy only the reference to it.

Shallow Copy

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For example, let’s say you have an object like this

let data = {
  "id" : 1,
  "name" : "john",
  "address" : {
    "street" : "Sample",
    "country" : "Earth",
    "Street" : "Madison street"
  }
}

you are copying the object to a new variable using Object.assign

copydata = Object.assign({},data);

After that, if you console log the copydata variable. you will get the output like
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Now, you are changing the variable data’s object

data.address.street = "Changed Street";

if you console log copydata again, you will get output like,

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it changes the copied object value too because the copied object will refer to the same object.

To solve this problem, deep copying is used in javascript.

Deep Copy

Meanwhile, deep copying in javascript clones the nested objects too and stores it in the different memory location.

So, changing the original object doesn’t affect the cloned object.
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Deep Clone in Javascript

it can be achieved using lodash util library in javascript which is one of the popular library in javascript ecosystem.

Install lodash in your machine to use it. After that, there is a method called clonedeep in lodash which is used to achieve the deep copying in javascript.

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Thanks for reading !

Go Top Programming Languages in 2020 from Authentic Surveys

Go Top Programming Languages in 2020 from Authentic Surveys

Comparing Programming Languages is a very complex thing and so there are many graphical illustration/jokes trying to symbolize Programming language. I found few and I am starting this article with those.

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In simple words, Programming Language empowers human to instruct and control machine. So, it is natural that there will be so many languages which try to make this process more powerful and simple. For this very reason there are hundreds of programming languages, many of those programming languages are now out of active use, few are going to be obsolete in coming years and then there are languages which is going to continue and prove its usage in coming years and then there are new programming language fighting for it acceptance.

This article going to present the trends of top Programming Languages which will continue in the coming year 2020. To predict the trend of the programming language in 2020 this article uses data from authentic surveys, various collected statistics, search results and salary trends according to programming languages. This article will help the new learner to pick a programming language to learn and for expert, it will help to decide either to switch to another language or to continue with his expertise language.

In the next section, I have prepared two tables which summarize the popularity trend of Programming Languages in the last five years (2015-19). The data is taken from Stackoverflow popularity survey 2015-2019. For a clear and accurate understanding, the programming languages are divided into two groups, first, languages which have origin before 2000 and the second group has languages which came after 2000. The selection of 2000 as the boundary is just random but very helpful to understand the programming trend under these two groups. The table also lists origin year and main or documented purpose of these programming/scripting languages.

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Observations:

There is a decrease in the popularity of all languages from 2018 to 2019 except Python.

Python

Python is the only language continuously on rising since last five years. It is a general-purpose language, so someone wants to learn just one programming in 2020 and want to cover more area of software development then Python could be chosen**.**

Java

Java was on rising but fall in 2019, the reason could Kotlin gaining popularity on the Android platform. Java is a good choice for a programming language but now it is under Oracle and Google is promoting Kotlin so it is in the conflicted zone. As a matter of fact still, the large number of the company is using Java and going to continue with Java due to its developers base, framework, and legacy application.

C/C++

C and C++ are still holding with approx 20% and it will be there due to its inherent features and legacy system.

JavaScript

JavaScript popularity can be attributed to the growth of popular JavaScript library and framework like node.js, etc. JS is the language for the dynamic website and this going to be top for coming years because of its active development, support from Mozilla and penalty of libraries and frameworks. So, if someone wants to be web development, javascript is a must.

R

R is gaining popularity in recent years and reason would be growth and popularity of data analysis. It is used by data scientist but again much behind in comparison to Python which has established as general-purpose languages and enjoy active developers with lots of data science libraries and modules. So, one can prefer Python over R if they have to choose only one otherwise if wanted carrier in Data Sciences then learning both will a good option.

<div class="5tjAASx1"><script type="bfa163966612c2c2fba9ece2-text/javascript">(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});</script></div>

Ruby

Like PHP, Ruby is also facing tough competition from JavaScript and even Python to establish as back-end web development programming language. So, again for web development javascript and Python (server-side (Flask, Django, etc.) would be a good choice and will offer more domain flexibility than Ruby.

PHP

There is a sharp decline in PHP popularity in 2019 and it can be traced back to server-side acceptance of javascript and Python. So, if someone wants to go to server-side web development then still PHP is a good choice with a large number of popular framework like CakePHP, Codeigniter, etc. otherwise choosing a general-purpose programming language would be better.

Objective-C

Objective-C was the main language for Apple’s software such as macOS, iOS, etc. before Apple moved to Swift language. So this transition is reflected in the popularity of both languages, i.e. there is a fall in popularity for Objective-C and the popularity of Swift is rising. So, again if someone wants to be a developer for Apple’s products then Swift should be the language of choice.

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Observations:

Swift

Swift has replaced the Objective-C as the main language for Apple-related software and application. Since it is supported and promoted by Apple so there is an increase in popularity since its inception and as Apple is going to continue with it so if someone is looking for Apple-specific development platform then Swift is going to be a must-know programming language. This is mostly vendor and product-specific language with very less usage outside Apple’s eco-system.

Go

Go (Golang) is getting popularity as maintain, use and promoted by Google. The motivation of Go development was to address criticism of some of the popular languages and keeping the best of them in one place. Since 2017, Go is moving upward in popularity and with Google support, it is going to enjoy this in coming years. Google is also making Go as a primary language for new projects and replacing other languages with Go, this trend going to make useful and important to learn in coming years so one can pick Go as a new programming language.

Kotlin

Kotlin is being offered as an alternative of Java for Android development and again it is supported and promoted by Google so it is also picking up by developers and gaining popularity in recent years. So, with the growth of Android, support of Google and with clean and short syntax it is going to be a choice of Android application developers and is a good choice to learn for Android App developer. Kotlin going to be shine as a prominent programming environment for Android development.

Scala

Scala tries to establish as an alternative to Java but didn’t get very well among developers. It doesn’t have big support from any multi-national company, perceive as functional languages and dependency on JVM doesn’t provide much scope to rise in popularity. There could be steady growth but very slow and surely not a language to learn as a beginner.

Julia

Julia aims to bring the speed of ‘C’ and simplicity of Python but it is strange that didn’t found any popularity in Stackoverflow survey but gaining popularity among data science domain and being seen as a challenger for R and Python in long run. Surely, there will be growth in Julia but still, Python or R is better for job and growth.

C#

C# is the language for the .NET framework and developed by Microsoft. Its popularity is approx constant over past years and going to continue with a similar trend. This is vendor-specific language so one can pick this language if want to work in the Microsoft development environment. Recently, Microsoft has open-sourced the .NET so there would be some upward trend but again it is vendor-specific so there won’t be much affected.

Rust

Rust, Clojure, etc. are languages which have a user-base but not so popular so surely not going to have an upward swing in popularity.


A Picture Says a Thousand Words

To understand a clear trend and picture of top programming language growth let keep a picture of it by the various chart. The figure 1 and figure2 gives a very clear picture that in old language stack JavaScript is far ahead than others and credit goes to boom in web development, then C and C++ together competing very closer to Java. Python is moving upward in popularity and only language which popularity is constantly increasing in the last 5 years. New languages are getting popularity and most of them are supported by the multi-national company and bit IT giant like Microsoft, Google and Apple.

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Loved and Wanted Languages

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From above Table and Figure, few observations are very obvious, Love of Rust is growing in last five years whereas Swift is loosing love from developers and Python is in between these two and last two years have gain for Python. One more unique observation is that out of 5 loved languages 4 are from post 2000 group while only Python is the older language and Kotlin love started with addition of Kotlin for Android development post 2017.

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From above table, wish of developing in javascript and Python is growing in last years and this reflect in popularity and love for the language. There is a sharp decline in Java and this is due to the addition of Kotlin as alternative for Android app development and also change of policy by Oracle who own Java now.

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Technologies and Programming Languages

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In this figure, one can see that the largest cluster is for Web development and JavaScript and its various framework is dominating the cluster this is USP of JavaScript growth. The second-largest cluster is of Microsoft technologies and Python technologies which again clear the popularity and love for the language. Python cluster is linked with data science technologies which highlight the growth story of Python.

TIOBE Index

TIOBE index rank programming language based on search engine search result. The selection of search engines and programming language is defined in its page. The ratings are calculated by counting hits of the most popular search engines. The search query that is used is +”<language> programming”. In TIOBE index Java is dominating the ranking in the last two decades where C is holding the 1st and 2nd rank for the last 30 years. Python has come a long way in the last two decades i.e. 24th in 1999 to 3rd in 2019. If someone merges the C and C++ then it would hold the 1st positions forever.

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In the new languages (post-2000), Rust moved up in ranking i.e. from 33rd to 28th, and Julia from 50th to 39th. It is also interesting to note that Kotlin doesn’t seem to come closer to the top 20.

Popularity of Programming Language (PYPL) Index

The PYPL index is created by analyzing how often language tutorials are searched on Google. The more a language tutorial is searched, the more popular the language is assumed to be. It is a leading indicator. The raw data comes from Google Trends.

Below Figure verifies that the top 3 languages are Python, Java, and JavaScript. C#, PHP, C/C++ also secure top position, this trend is again similar to stack-overflow, and TIOBE index.

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Above Figure indicates that among new programming Language i.e. post 2000 Kotlin, Go, Rust, and Julia is moving up in the ranking.

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Job Market and Salary

Salary depends upon the geographical area and demand of the products, a programming language based salary comparison is just a tool to predict or estimate the salary trend. We have summarized salary based on programming language from popular survey i.e. Dice salary survey 2018 and Stack-overflow survey 2018 and 2019.

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From the above table, it is very clear from both survey that Go/Golang is a very high paid job in the market and even stands 1st rank in a high paid job in stack-overflow 2019 survey and Dice Salary Survey 2018.

Language Predictability

So, as closing remarks, It is easy to predict a language trend but choosing only one language to learn is a really difficult choice and totally depend upon the individual choice and their future plans, for example, if you want to work in Web Development you can’t afford neglecting Javascript, if you want to work with Apple’s products you can’t neglect Swift now, if your taste is in system-level programming then C and C++ is your friend, Python makes you run faster in many domains and currently darling in Data science. You see each language takes you on a different journey. Choose your destination and then drive with the language of that path.

You may also like: Programming Languages - Trend Predictions in 2020 and Next Years.

We’ll love to know your opinion. What is the Best Programming Language for you?

Thank for reading! If you enjoyed this article, please share it with others who may enjoy it as well.!

The perfect architecture flow for your next Node.js project

The perfect architecture flow for your next Node.js project

A good start is half the battle, said someone wiser than me. And I can’t think of any quote that would better describe the situation every developer gets into whenever starting a new project. Laying out a project’s structure in a practical way is one of the hardest points of the development process and, indeed, a delicate one.

We can define a path about discussing Node.js technologies, how to choose what front-end framework to use, and now we can try to dig deeper on how to structure our web apps once we have decided on the tech stack to use.

The importance of good architecture

Having a good starting point when it comes to our project architecture is vital for the life of the project itself and how you will be able to tackle changing needs in the future. A bad, messy project architecture often leads to:

  • Unreadable and messy code, making the development process longer and the product itself harder to test

  • Useless repetition, making code harder to maintain and manage

  • Difficulty implementing new features. Since the structure can become a total mess, adding a new feature without messing up existing code can become a real problem

With these points in mind, we can all agree that our project architecture is extremely important, and we can also declare a few points that can help us determine what this architecture must help us do:

  • Achieve clean and readable code

  • Achieve reusable pieces of code across our application

  • Help us to avoid repetitions

  • Make life easier when adding a new feature into our application

Establishing a flow

Now we can discuss what I usually refer to as the application structure flow. The application structure flow is a set of rules and common practices to adopt while developing our applications. These are the results of years of experience working with a technology and understanding what works properly and what doesn’t.

The goal of this article is to create a quick reference guide to establishing the perfect flow structure when developing Node.js applications. Let’s start to define our rules:

Rule #1: Correctly organize our files into folders

Everything has to have its place in our application, and a folder is the perfect place to group common elements. In particular, we want to define a very important separation, which brings us to rule number #2:

Rule #2: Keep a clear separation between the business logic and the API routes

See, frameworks like Express.js are amazing. They provide us with incredible features for managing requests, views, and routes. With such support, it might be tempting for us to put our business logic into our API routes. But this will quickly make them into giant, monolithic blocks that will reveal themselves to be unmanageable, hard to read, and prone to decomposition.

Please also don’t forget about how the testability of our application will decrease, with consequently longer development times. At this point, you might be wondering, “How do we solve this problem, then? Where can I put my business logic in a clear and intelligent way?” The answer is revealed in rule number #3.

Rule #3: Use a service layer

This is the place where all our business logic should live. It’s basically a collection of classes, each with its methods, that will be implementing our app’s core logic. The only part you should ignore in this layer is the one that accesses the database; that should be managed by the data access layer.

Now that we have defined these three initial rules, we can graphically represent the result like this:
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Separating our business logic from our API routes.

And the subsequent folder structure sending us back to rule #1 can then become:
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By looking at this last image, we can also establish two other rules when thinking about our structure.

Rule #4: Use a config folder for configuration files

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Rule #5: Have a scripts folder for long npm scripts

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Rule #6: Use dependency injection

Node.js is literally packed with amazing features and tools to make our lives easier. However, as we know, working with dependencies can be quite troublesome most of the time due to problems that can arise with testability and code manageability.

There is a solution for that, and it’s called dependency injection.

Dependency injection is a software design pattern in which one or more dependencies (or services) are injected, or passed by reference, into a dependent object.

By using this inside our Node applications, we:

  • Have an easier unit testing process, passing dependencies directly to the modules we would like to use instead of hardcoding them

  • Avoid useless modules coupling, making maintenance much easier

  • Provide a faster git flow. After we defined our interfaces, they will stay like that, so we can avoid any merge conflicts.
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    Using Node.js without dependency injection.

Simple but still not very flexible as an approach to our code. What happens if we want to alter this test to use an example database? We should alter our code to adapt it to this new need. Why not pass the database directly as a dependency instead?
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Rule #7: Use unit testing

Now that we know we have got dependency injection under our belt, we can also implement unit testing for our project. Testing is an incredibly important stage in developing our applications. The whole flow of the project — not just the final result — depends on it since buggy code would slow down the development process and cause other problems.

A common way to test our applications is to test them by units, the goal of which is to isolate a section of code and verify its correctness. When it comes to procedural programming, a unit may be an individual function or procedure. This process is usually performed by the developers who write the code.

Benefits of this approach include:

Improved code quality

Unit testing improves the quality of your code, helping you to identify problems you might have missed before the code goes on to other stages of development. It will expose the edge cases and makes you write better overall code

Bugs are found earlier

Issues here are found at a very early stage. Since the tests are going to be performed by the developer who wrote the code, bugs will be found earlier, and you will be able to avoid the extremely time-consuming process of debugging

Cost reduction

Fewer flaws in the application means less time spent debugging it, and less time spent debugging it means less money spent on the project. Time here is an especially critical factor since this precious unit can now be allocated to develop new features for our product

Rule #8: Use another layer for third-party services calls

Often, in our application, we may want to call a third-party service to retrieve certain data or perform some operations. And still, very often, if we don’t separate this call into another specific layer, we might run into an out-of-control piece of code that has become too big to manage.

A common way to solve this problem is to use the pub/sub pattern. This mechanism is a messaging pattern where we have entities sending messages called publishers, and entities receiving them called subscribers.

Publishers won’t program the messages to be sent directly to specific receivers. Instead, they will categorize published messages into specific classes without knowledge of which subscribers, if any, may be dealing with them.

In a similar way, the subscribers will express interest in dealing with one or more classes and only receive messages that are of interest to them — all without knowledge of which publishers are out there.

The publish-subscribe model enables event-driven architectures and asynchronous parallel processing while improving performance, reliability, and scalability.

Rule #9: Use a linter

This simple tool will help you to perform a faster and overall better development process, helping you to keep an eye on small errors while keeping the entire application code uniform.
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Example of using a linter.

Rule #10: Use a style guide

Still thinking about how to properly format your code in a consistent way? Why not adapt one of the amazing style guides that Google or Airbnb have provided to us? Reading code will become incredibly easier, and you won’t get frustrated trying to understand how to correctly position that curly brace.
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Google’s JavaScript style guide.

Rule #11: Always comment your code

Writing a difficult piece of code where it’s difficult to understand what you are doing and, most of all, why? Never forget to comment it. This will become extremely useful for your fellow developers and to your future self, all of whom will be wondering why exactly you did something six months after you first wrote it.

Rule #12: Keep an eye on your file sizes

Files that are too long are extremely hard to manage and maintain. Always keep an eye on your file length, and if they become too long, try to split them into modules packed in a folder as files that are related together.

Rule #13: Always use gzip compression

The server can use gzip compression to reduce file sizes before sending them to a web browser. This will reduce latency and lag.
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An example of using gzip compression with Express.

Rule #14: Use promises

Using callbacks is the simplest possible mechanism for handling your asynchronous code in JavaScript. However, raw callbacks often sacrifice the application control flow, error handling, and semantics that were so familiar to us when using synchronous code. A solution for that is using promises in Node.js.

Promises bring in more pros than cons by making our code easier to read and test while still providing functional programming semantics together with a better error-handling platform.
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A basic example of a promise.

Rule #15: Use promises’ error handling support

Finding yourself in a situation where you have an unexpected error or behavior in your app is not at all pleasant, I can guarantee. Errors are impossible to avoid when writing our code. That’s simply part of being human.

Dealing with them is our responsibility, and we should always not only use promises in our applications, but also make use of their error handling support provided by the catch keyword.
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Conclusion

Creating a Node.js application can be challenging, I hope this set of rules helped you to put yourself in the right direction when establishing what type of architecture you are going to use, and what practices are going to support that architecture.

Originally published by Piero Borrelli at blog.logrocket.com

Angular Architecture Patterns and Best Practices (that help to scale)

Angular Architecture Patterns and Best Practices (that help to scale)
<p class="ql-align-center">Originally published by Bartosz Pietrucha at angular-academy.com</p><p> In order to deal with mentioned factors to maintain a high quality of delivery and prevent technical debt, robust and well-grounded architecture is necessary. Angular itself is a quite opinionated framework, forcing developers to do things the proper way, yet there are a lot of places where things can go wrong. In this article, I will present high-level recommendations of well-designed Angular application architecture based on best practices and battle-proven patterns. Our ultimate goal in this article is to learn how to design Angular application in order to maintain sustainable development speed and ease of adding new features in the long run. To achieve these goals, we will apply:</p>
    <li>proper abstractions between application layers,</li><li>unidirectional data flow,</li><li>reactive state management,</li><li>modular design,</li><li>smart and dumb components pattern.</li>
<p></p>

Problems of scalability in front-end

<p>Let's think about problems in terms of scalability we can face in the development of modern front-end applications. Today, front-end applications are not "just displaying" data and accepting user inputs. Single Page Applications (SPAs) are providing users with rich interactions and use backend mostly as a data persistence layer. This means, far more responsibility has been moved to the front-end part of software systems. This leads to a growing complexity of front-end logic, we need to deal with. Not only the number of requirements grows over time, but the amount of data we load into the application is increasing. On top of that, we need to maintain application performance, which can easily be hurt. Finally, our development teams are growing (or at least rotating - people come and go) and it is important for new-comers to get up to speed as fast as possible.</p><p></p><p>One of the solutions to the problems described above is solid system architecture. But, this comes with the cost, the cost of investing in that architecture from day one. It can be very tempting for us developers, to deliver new features very quickly, when the system is still very small. At this stage, everything is easy and understandable, so development goes really fast. But, unless we care about the architecture, after a few developers rotations, tricky features, refactorings, a couple of new modules, the speed of development slows down radically. Below diagram presents how it usually looked like in my development career. This is not any scientifical study, it's just how I see it.</p><p></p>

Software architecture

<p>To discuss architecture best practices and patterns, we need to answer a question, what the software architecture is, in the first place. Martin Fowlerdefines architecture as "highest-level breakdown of a system into its parts". On top of that, I would say that software architecture describes how the software is composed of its parts and what are the rules and constraints of the communication between those parts. Usually, the architectural decisions that we make in our system development, are hard to change as the system grows over time. That's why it is very important to pay attention to those decisions from the very beginning of our project, especially if the software we build is supposed to be running in production for many years. Robert C. Martin once said: the true cost of software is its maintenance. Having well-grounded architecture helps to reduce the costs of the system's maintenance.</p>
Software architecture is the way the software is composed of its parts and the rules and constraints of the communication between those parts

High-level abstraction layers

<p>The first way, we will be decomposing our system, is through the abstraction layers. Below diagram depicts the general concept of this decomposition. The idea is to place the proper responsibility into the proper layer of the system: coreabstraction or presentation layer. We will be looking at each layer independently and analyzing its responsibility. This division of the system also dictates communication rules. For example, the presentation layer can talk to the core layer only through the abstractionlayer. Later, we will learn what are the benefits of this kind of constraint.</p><p></p>

Presentation layer

<p>Let's start analyzing our system break-down from the presentation layer. This is the place where all our Angular components live. The only responsibilities of this layer are to present and to delegate. In other words, it presents the UI and delegates user's actions to the core layer, through the abstraction layer. It knows what to display and what to do, but it does not know how the user's interactions should be handled.</p><p>Below code snippet contains CategoriesComponent using SettingsFacadeinstance from abstraction layer to delegate user's interaction (via addCategory() and updateCategory()) and present some state in its template (via isUpdating$).</p><pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false">@Component({ selector: 'categories', templateUrl: './categories.component.html', styleUrls: ['./categories.component.scss'] }) export class CategoriesComponent implements OnInit {

@Input() cashflowCategories$: CashflowCategory[];
newCategory: CashflowCategory = new CashflowCategory();
isUpdating$: Observable<boolean>;

constructor(private settingsFacade: SettingsFacade) {
this.isUpdating$ = settingsFacade.isUpdating$();
}

ngOnInit() {
this.settingsFacade.loadCashflowCategories();
}

addCategory(category: CashflowCategory) {
this.settingsFacade.addCashflowCategory(category);
}

updateCategory(category: CashflowCategory) {
this.settingsFacade.updateCashflowCategory(category);
}

}
</pre>

Abstraction layer

<p>The abstraction layer decouples the presentation layer from the core layer and also has it's very own defined responsibilities. This layer exposes the streams of state and interface for the components in the presentation layer, playing the role of the facade. This kind of facade sandboxes what components can see and do in the system. We can implement facades by simply using Angular class providers. The classes here may be named with Facade postfix, for example SettingsFacade. Below, you can find an example of such a facade.</p><pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false">@Injectable()
export class SettingsFacade {

constructor(private cashflowCategoryApi: CashflowCategoryApi, private settingsState: SettingsState) { }

isUpdating$(): Observable<boolean> {
return this.settingsState.isUpdating$();
}

getCashflowCategories$(): Observable<CashflowCategory[]> {
// here we just pass the state without any projections
// it may happen that it is necessary to combine two or more streams and expose to the components
return this.settingsState.getCashflowCategories$();
}

loadCashflowCategories() {
return this.cashflowCategoryApi.getCashflowCategories()
.pipe(tap(categories => this.settingsState.setCashflowCategories(categories)));
}

// optimistic update
// 1. update UI state
// 2. call API
addCashflowCategory(category: CashflowCategory) {
this.settingsState.addCashflowCategory(category);
this.cashflowCategoryApi.createCashflowCategory(category)
.subscribe(
(addedCategoryWithId: CashflowCategory) => {
// success callback - we have id generated by the server, let's update the state
this.settingsState.updateCashflowCategoryId(category, addedCategoryWithId)
},
(error: any) => {
// error callback - we need to rollback the state change
this.settingsState.removeCashflowCategory(category);
console.log(error);
}
);
}

// pessimistic update
// 1. call API
// 2. update UI state
updateCashflowCategory(category: CashflowCategory) {
this.settingsState.setUpdating(true);
this.cashflowCategoryApi.updateCashflowCategory(category)
.subscribe(
() => this.settingsState.updateCashflowCategory(category),
(error) => console.log(error),
() => this.settingsState.setUpdating(false)
);
}
}
</pre>

Abstraction interface

<p>We already know the main responsibilities for this layer; to expose streams of state and interface for the components. Let's start with the interface. Public methods loadCashflowCategories()addCashflowCategory() and updateCashflowCategory() abstract away the details of state management and the external API calls from the components. We are not using API providers (like CashflowCategoryApi) in components directly, as they live in the core layer. Also, how the state changes is not a concern of the components. The presentation layer should not care about how things are done and components should just call the methods from the abstraction layer when necessary (delegate). Looking at the public methods in our abstraction layer should give us a quick insight about high-level use casesin this part of the system.</p><p>But we should remember that the abstraction layer is not a place to implement business logic. Here we just want to connect the presentation layer to our business logic, abstracting the way it is connected.</p>

State

<p>When it comes to the state, the abstraction layer makes our components independent of the state management solution. Components are given Observables with data to display on the templates (usually with async pipe) and don't care how and where this data comes from. To manage our state we can pick any state management library that supports RxJS (like NgRx) or simple use BehaviorSubjects to model our state. In the example above we are using state object that internally uses BehaviorSubjects (state object is a part of our core layer). In the case of NgRx, we would dispatch actions for the store.</p><p>Having this kind abstraction gives us a lot of flexibility and allows to change the way we manage state not even touching the presentation layer. It's even possible to seamlessly migrate to a real-time backend like Firebase, making our application real-time. I personally like to start with BehaviorSubjects to manage the state. If later, at some point in the development of the system, there is a need to use something else, with this kind of architecture, it is very easy to refactor.</p>

Synchronization strategy

<p>Now, let's take a closer look at the other important aspect of the abstraction layer. Regardless of the state management solution we choose, we can implement UI updates in either optimistic or pessimistic fashion. Imagine we want to create a new record in the collection of some entities. This collection was fetched from the backend and displayed in the DOM. In a pessimistic approach, we first try to update the state on the backend side (for example with HTTP request) and in case of success we update the state in the frontend application. On the other hand, in an optimistic approach, we do it in a different order. First, we assume that the backend update will succeed and update frontend state immediately. Then we send request to update server state. In case of success, we don't need to do anything, but in case of failure, we need to rollback the change in our frontend application and inform the user about this situation.</p>
Optimistic update changes the UI state first and attempts to update the backend state. This provides a user with a better experience, as he does not see any delays, because of network latency. If backend update fails, then UI change has to be rolled back.
Pessimistic update changes the backend state first and only in case of success updates the UI state. Usually, it is necessary to show some kind of spinner or loading bar during the execution of backend request, because of network latency.

Caching

<p>Sometimes, we may decide that the data we fetch from the backend will not be a part of our application state. This may be useful for read-only data that we don't want to manipulate at all and just pass (via abstraction layer) to the components. In this case, we can apply data caching in our facade. The easiest way to achieve it is to use shareReplay() RxJS operator that will replay the last value in the stream for each new subscriber. Take a look at the code snippet below with RecordsFacade using RecordsApi to fetch, cache and filter the data for the components.</p><pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false">@Injectable()
export class RecordsFacade {

private records$: Observable<Record[]>;

constructor(private recordApi: RecordApi) {
this.records$ = this.recordApi
.getRecords()
.pipe(shareReplay(1)); // cache the data
}

getRecords() {
return this.records$;
}

// project the cached data for the component
getRecordsFromPeriod(period?: Period): Observable<Record[]> {
return this.records$
.pipe(map(records => records.filter(record => record.inPeriod(period))));
}

searchRecords(search: string): Observable<Record[]> {
return this.recordApi.searchRecords(search);
}
}
</pre><p>To sum up, what we can do in the abstraction layer is to:</p>

    <li>expose methods for the components in which we:</li><li class="ql-indent-1">delegate logic execution to the core layer,</li><li class="ql-indent-1">decide about data synchronization strategy (optimistic vs. pessimistic),</li><li>expose streams of state for the components:</li><li class="ql-indent-1">pick one or more streams of UI state (and combine them if necessary),</li><li class="ql-indent-1">cache data from external API.</li>
<p>As we see, the abstraction layer plays an important role in our layered architecture. It has clearly defined responsibilities what helps to better understand and reason about the system. Depending on your particular case, you can create one facade per Angular module or one per each entity. For example, the SettingsModule may have a single SettingsFacade, if it's not too bloated. But sometimes it may be better to create more-granular abstraction facades for each entity individually, like UserFacade for Userentity.</p>

Core layer

<p>The last layer is the core layer. Here is where core application logic is implemented. All data manipulation and outside world communicationhappen here. If for state management, we were using a solution like NgRx, here is a place to put our state definition, actions and reducers. Since in our examples we are modeling state with BehaviorSubjects, we can encapsulate it in a convenient state class. Below, you can find SettingsState example from the core layer.</p><pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false">@Injectable()
export class SettingsState {

private updating$ = new BehaviorSubject<boolean>(false);
private cashflowCategories$ = new BehaviorSubject<CashflowCategory[]>(null);

isUpdating$() {
return this.updating$.asObservable();
}

setUpdating(isUpdating: boolean) {
this.updating$.next(isUpdating);
}

getCashflowCategories$() {
return this.cashflowCategories$.asObservable();
}

setCashflowCategories(categories: CashflowCategory[]) {
this.cashflowCategories$.next(categories);
}

addCashflowCategory(category: CashflowCategory) {
const currentValue = this.cashflowCategories$.getValue();
this.cashflowCategories$.next([...currentValue, category]);
}

updateCashflowCategory(updatedCategory: CashflowCategory) {
const categories = this.cashflowCategories$.getValue();
const indexOfUpdated = categories.findIndex(category => category.id === updatedCategory.id);
categories[indexOfUpdated] = updatedCategory;
this.cashflowCategories$.next([...categories]);
}

updateCashflowCategoryId(categoryToReplace: CashflowCategory, addedCategoryWithId: CashflowCategory) {
const categories = this.cashflowCategories$.getValue();
const updatedCategoryIndex = categories.findIndex(category => category === categoryToReplace);
categories[updatedCategoryIndex] = addedCategoryWithId;
this.cashflowCategories$.next([...categories]);
}

removeCashflowCategory(categoryRemove: CashflowCategory) {
const currentValue = this.cashflowCategories$.getValue();
this.cashflowCategories$.next(currentValue.filter(category => category !== categoryRemove));
}
}
</pre><p>In the core layer, we also implement HTTP queries in the form of class providers. This kind of class could have Api or Service name postfix. API services have only one responsibility - it is just to communicate with API endpoints and nothing else. We should avoid any caching, logic or data manipulation here. A simple example of API service can be found below.</p><pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false">@Injectable()
export class CashflowCategoryApi {

readonly API = '/api/cashflowCategories';

constructor(private http: HttpClient) {}

getCashflowCategories(): Observable<CashflowCategory[]> {
return this.http.get<CashflowCategory[]>(this.API);
}

createCashflowCategory(category: CashflowCategory): Observable<any> {
return this.http.post(this.API, category);
}

updateCashflowCategory(category: CashflowCategory): Observable<any> {
return this.http.put(${this.API}/${category.id}, category);
}

}
</pre><p>In this layer, we could also place any validators, mappers or more advanced use-cases that require manipulating many slices of our UI state.</p><p>We have covered the topic of the abstraction layers in our frontend application. Every layer has it's well-defined boundaries and responsibilities. We also defined the strict rules of communication between layers. This all helps to better understand and reason about the system over time as it becomes more and more complex.</p><p></p><p>If you need help with your project, check out Angualar Academy Workshops or write an email to [email protected].</p>

Unidirectional data flow and reactive state management

<p>The next principle we want to introduce in our system is about the data flow and propagation of change. Angular itself uses unidirectional data flow on presentation level (via input bindings), but we will impose a similar restriction on the application level. Together with reactive state management (based on streams), it will give us the very important property of the system - data consistency. Below diagram presents the general idea of unidirectional data flow.</p><p></p><p>Whenever any model value change in our application, Angular change detection system takes care of the propagation of that change. It does it via input property bindings from the top to bottom of the whole component tree. It means that a child component can only depend on its parent and never vice versa. This is why we call it unidirectional data flow. This allows Angular to traverse the components tree only once (as there are no cycles in the tree structure) to achieve a stable state, which means that every value in the bindings is propagated.</p><p>As we know from previous chapters, there is the core layer above the presentation layer, where our application logic is implemented. There are the services and providers that operate on our data. What if we apply the same principle of data manipulation on that level? We can place the application data (the state) in one place "above" the components and propagate the values down to the components via Observable streams (Redux and NgRx call this place a store). The state can be propagated to multiple components and displayed in multiple places, but never modified locally. The change may come only "from above" and the components below only "reflect" the current state of the system. This gives us the important system's property mentioned before - data consistency - and the state object becomes the single source of truth. Practically speaking, we can display the same data in multiple places and not be afraid that the values would differ.</p><p>Our state object exposes the methods for the services in our core layer to manipulate the state. Whenever there is a need to change the state, it can happen only by calling a method on the state object (or dispatching an action in case of using NgRx). Then, the change is propagated "down", via streams, the to presentation layer (or any other service). This way, our state management is reactive. Moreover, with this approach, we also increase the level of predictability in our system, because of strict rules of manipulating and sharing the application state. Below you can find a code snippet modeling the state with BehaviorSubjects.</p><pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false">@Injectable()
export class SettingsState {

private updating$ = new BehaviorSubject<boolean>(false);
private cashflowCategories$ = new BehaviorSubject<CashflowCategory[]>(null);

isUpdating$() {
return this.updating$.asObservable();
}

setUpdating(isUpdating: boolean) {
this.updating$.next(isUpdating);
}

getCashflowCategories$() {
return this.cashflowCategories$.asObservable();
}

setCashflowCategories(categories: CashflowCategory[]) {
this.cashflowCategories$.next(categories);
}

addCashflowCategory(category: CashflowCategory) {
const currentValue = this.cashflowCategories$.getValue();
this.cashflowCategories$.next([...currentValue, category]);
}

updateCashflowCategory(updatedCategory: CashflowCategory) {
const categories = this.cashflowCategories$.getValue();
const indexOfUpdated = categories.findIndex(category => category.id === updatedCategory.id);
categories[indexOfUpdated] = updatedCategory;
this.cashflowCategories$.next([...categories]);
}

updateCashflowCategoryId(categoryToReplace: CashflowCategory, addedCategoryWithId: CashflowCategory) {
const categories = this.cashflowCategories$.getValue();
const updatedCategoryIndex = categories.findIndex(category => category === categoryToReplace);
categories[updatedCategoryIndex] = addedCategoryWithId;
this.cashflowCategories$.next([...categories]);
}

removeCashflowCategory(categoryRemove: CashflowCategory) {
const currentValue = this.cashflowCategories$.getValue();
this.cashflowCategories$.next(currentValue.filter(category => category !== categoryRemove));
}
}

</pre><p>Let's recap the steps of handling the user interaction, having in mind all the principles we have already introduced. First, let's imagine that there is some event in the presentation layer (for example button click). The component delegates the execution to the abstraction layer, calling the method on the facade settingsFacade.addCategory(). Then, the facade calls the methods on the services in the core layer - categoryApi.create() and settingsState.addCategory(). The order of invocation of those two methods depends on synchronization strategy we choose (pessimistic or optimistic). Finally, the application state is propagated down to the presentation layer via the observable streams. This process is well-defined.</p><p></p>

Modular design

<p>We have covered the horizontal division in our system and the communication patterns across it. Now we are going to introduce a vertical separation into feature modules. The idea is to slice the application into feature modules representing different business functionalities. This is yet another step to deconstruct the system into smaller pieces for better maintainability. Each of the features modules share the same horizontal separation of the core, abstraction, and presentation layer. It is important to note, that these modules could be lazily loaded (and preloaded) into the browser increasing the initial load time of the application. Below you can find a diagram illustrating features modules separation.</p><p></p><p>Our application has also two additional modules for more technical reasons. We have a CoreModule that defines our singleton services, single-instance components, configuration, and export any third-party modules needed in AppModule. This module is imported only once in AppModule. The second module is SharedModule that contains common components/pipes/directives and also export commonly used Angular modules (like CommonModule). SharedModule can be imported by any feature module. The diagram below presents the imports structure.</p><p></p>

Module directory structure

<p>Below diagram presents how we can place all the pieces of our SettingsModule inside the directories. We can put the files inside of the folders with a name representing their function.</p><p></p>

Smart and dumb components

<p>The final architectural pattern we introduce in this article is about components themselves. We want to divide components into two categories, depending on their responsibilities. First, are the smart components (aka containers). These components usually:</p>
    <li>have facade/s and other services injected,</li><li>communicate with the core layer,</li><li>pass data to the dumb components,</li><li>react to the events from dumb components,</li><li>are top-level routable components (but not always!).</li>
<p>Previously presented CategoriesComponent is smart. It has SettingsFacadeinjected and uses it to communicate with the core layer of our application.</p><p>In the second category, there are dumb components (aka presentational). Their only responsibilities are to present UI element and to delegate user interaction "up" to the smart components via events. Think of a native HTML element like <button>Click me</button>. That element does not have any particular logic implemented. We can think of the text 'Click me' as an input for this component. It also has some events that can be subscribed to, like click event. Below you can find a code snippet of a simple presentational component with one input and no output events.</p><pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false">@Component({
selector: 'budget-progress',
templateUrl: './budget-progress.component.html',
styleUrls: ['./budget-progress.component.scss'],
changeDetection: ChangeDetectionStrategy.OnPush
})
export class BudgetProgressComponent {

@Input()
budget: Budget;
today: string;

}
</pre>

Summary

<p>We have covered a couple of ideas on how to design the architecture of an Angular application. These principles, if applied wisely, can help to maintain sustainable development speed over time, and allow new features to be delivered easily. Please don't treat them as some strict rules, but rather recommendations that could be employed when they make sense.</p><p>We have taken a close look at the abstractions layers, unidirectional data flow, and reactive state management, modular design, and smart/dumb components pattern. I hope that these concepts will be helpful in your projects and, as always, if you have any questions, I am more than happy to chat with you.</p><p class="ql-align-center">Originally published by Bartosz Pietrucha at angular-academy.com</p><p>==========================================</p><p>Thanks for reading :heart: If you liked this post, share it with all of your programming buddies! Follow me on Facebook | Twitter</p>

Learn More

<p>☞ Angular 8 (formerly Angular 2) - The Complete Guide</p><p>☞ Complete Angular 8 from Zero to Hero | Get Hired</p><p>☞ Learn and Understand AngularJS</p><p>☞ The Complete Angular Course: Beginner to Advanced</p><p>☞ Angular Crash Course for Busy Developers</p><p>☞ Angular Essentials (Angular 2+ with TypeScript)</p><p>☞ Angular (Full App) with Angular Material, Angularfire & NgRx</p><p>☞ Angular & NodeJS - The MEAN Stack Guide</p>

Build a CMS with Laravel and Vue

Build a CMS with Laravel and Vue

Build a CMS with Laravel and Vue - Part 1: Setting up

The birth of the internet has since redefined content accessibility for the better, causing a distinct rise in content consumption across the globe. The average user of the internet consumes and produces some form of content formally or informally.

An example of an effort at formal content creation is when an someone makes a blog post about their work so that a targeted demographic can easily find their website. This type of content is usually served and managed by a CMS (Content Management System). Some popular ones are WordPress, Drupal, and SilverStripe.

A CMS helps content creators produce content in an easily consumable format. In this tutorial series, we will consider how to build a simple CMS from scratch using Laravel and Vue.

Our CMS will be able to make new posts, update existing posts, delete posts that we do not need anymore, and also allow users make comments to posts which will be updated in realtime using Pusher. We will also be able to add featured images to posts to give them some visual appeal.

When we are done, we will be able to have a CMS that looks like this:


Prerequisites

To follow along with this series, a few things are required:

  • Basic knowledge of PHP.
  • Basic knowledge of the Laravel framework.
  • Basic knowledge of JavaScript (ES6 syntax).
  • Basic knowledge of Vue.
  • Postman installed on your machine.
The source code for this project is available here on GitHub.

Installing the Laravel CLI

If you already have the Laravel CLI installed on your machine, please skip this section.

The first thing we need to do is install the Laravel CLI, and the Laravel dependencies. The CLI will be instrumental in creating new Laravel projects whenever we need to create one. Laravel requires PHP and a few other tools and extensions, so we need to first install these first before installing the CLI.

Here’s a list of the dependencies as documented on the official Laravel documentation:

Let’s install them one at a time.


Installing PHP

An equivalent for Windows users could be to download and install XAMPP here. XAMPP comes with a UI for installing most of the other things you have to install manually below. Hence, Windows users may skip the next few steps until the Installing Composer sub-heading.

Open a fresh instance of the terminal and paste the following command:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> # Linux Users $ sudo apt-get install php7.2
# Mac users
$ brew install php72

</pre>

As at the time of writing this article, PHP 7.2 is the latest stable version of PHP so the command above installs it on your machine.

On completion, you can check that PHP has been installed to your machine with the following command:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> $ php -v

</pre>

Installing the Mbstring extension

To install the mbstring extension for PHP, paste the following command in the open terminal:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> # Linux users
$ sudo apt-get install php7.2-mbstring

# Mac users
# You don't have to do anything as it is installed automatically.

</pre>

To check if the mbstring extension has been installed successfully, you can run the command below:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> $ php -m | grep mbstring

</pre>

Installing the XML PHP extension

To install the XML extension for PHP, paste the following command in the open terminal:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> # Linux users
$ sudo apt-get install php-xml

# Mac users
# You don't have to do anything as it is installed automatically.

</pre>

To check if the xml extension has been installed successfully, you can run the command below:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> $ php -m | grep xml

</pre>

Installing the ZIP PHP extension

To install the zip extension for PHP, paste the following command in your terminal:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> # Linux users
$ sudo apt-get install php7.2-zip

# Mac users
# You don't have to do anything as it is installed automatically.

</pre>

To check if the zip extension has been installed successfully, you can run the command below:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> $ php -m | grep zip

</pre>

Installing curl

Windows users may need to download curl from here.

To install curl, paste the following command in your terminal:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> # Linux users
$ sudo apt-get install curl

# Mac users using Homebrew (https://brew.sh)
$ brew install curl

</pre>

To verify that curl has been installed successfully, run the following command:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> $ curl --version

</pre>

Installing Composer

Windows users can download and install Composer here. After the installation is complete, start a fresh instance of the command prompt as administrator and run this command anytime you need composer:
php composer.phar

Now that we have curl installed on our machine, let’s pull in Composer with this command:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> $ curl -sS https://getcomposer.org/installer | sudo php -- --install-dir=/usr/local/bin --filename=composer

</pre>

For us to run Composer in the future without calling sudo, we may need to change the permission, however you should only do this if you have problems installing packages:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> $ sudo chown -R $USER ~/.composer/

</pre>

Installing the Laravel installer

At this point, we can already create a new Laravel project using Composer’s create-project command, which looks like this:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> $ composer create-project --prefer-dist laravel/laravel project-name

</pre>

But we will go one step further and install the Laravel installer using composer:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> $ composer global require "laravel/installer"

</pre>

If you are on Windows, you may need to run the previous command in an advanced terminal such as PowerShell or the Gitbash terminal. Windows users can also skip the steps below.

After the installation, we will need to add the PATH to the bashrc file so that our terminal can recognize the laravel command:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> $ echo 'export PATH="$HOME/.composer/vendor/bin:$PATH"' >> ~/.bashrc
$ source ~/.bashrc

</pre>

Creating the CMS project

Now that we have the official Laravel CLI installed on our machine, let’s create our CMS project using the installer. In your terminal window, cd to the project directory you want to create the project in and run the following command:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> $ laravel new cms

</pre>

At the time of writing this article, the latest version of Laravel is 5.6

We will navigate into the project directory and serve the application using PHP’s web server:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> $ cd cms
$ php artisan serve

</pre>

Now, when we visit http://127.0.0.1:8000/, we will see the default Laravel template:


Setting up the database

In this series, we will be using MySQL as our database system so a prerequisite for this section is that you have MySQL installed on your machine.

You can follow the steps below to install and configure MySQL:

  • Linux users - check here for a detailed guide.
  • Mac users, you can just run the command brew install mysql.
  • Windows users who installed XAMPP, as suggested earlier, do not need to install MySQL as it comes preinstalled.

You will also need a special driver that makes it possible for PHP to work with MySQL, you can install it with this command:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> # Linux users
$ sudo apt-get install php7.2-mysql

# Mac Users
# You don't have to do anything as it is installed automatically.

</pre>

Load the project directory in your favorite text editor and there should be a .env file in the root of the folder. This is where Laravel stores its environment variables.

Create a new MySQL database and call it laravelcms. In the .env file, update the database configuration keys as seen below:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> DB_CONNECTION=mysql
DB_HOST=127.0.0.1
DB_PORT=3306
DB_DATABASE=laravelcms
DB_USERNAME=YourUsername
DB_PASSWORD=YourPassword

</pre>

Replace the DB_USERNAME and DB_PASSWORD with your MySQL database credentials.

Setting up user roles

Like most content management systems, we are going to have a user role system so that our blog can have multiple types of users; the admin and regular user. The admin should be able to create a post and perform other CRUD operations on a post. The regular user, on the other hand, should be able to view and comment on a post.

For us to implement this functionality, we need to implement user authentication and add a simple role authorization system.


Setting up user authentication

Laravel provides user authentication out of the box, which is great, and we can key into the feature by running a single command:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> $ php artisan make:auth

</pre>

The above will create all that’s necessary for authentication in our application so we do not need to do anything extra.


Setting up role authorization

We need a model for the user roles so let’s create one and an associated migration file:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> $ php artisan make:model Role -m

</pre>

In the database/migrations folder, find the newly created migration file and update the CreateRolesTable class with this snippet:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> <?php // File: ./database/migrations/*_create_roles_table.php

// [...]

class CreateRolesTable extends Migration
{
    public function up()
    {
        Schema::create('roles', function (Blueprint $table) {
            $table-&gt;increments('id');
            $table-&gt;string('name');
            $table-&gt;string('description');
            $table-&gt;timestamps();
        });
    }

    public function down()
    {
        Schema::dropIfExists('roles');
    }
}

</pre>

We intend to create a many-to-many relationship between the User and Role models so let’s add a relationship method on both models.

Open the User model and add the following method:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> // File: ./app/User.php
public function roles()
{
return $this->belongsToMany(Role::class);
}
</pre>

Open the Role model and include the following method:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> // File: ./app/Role.php
public function users()
{
return $this->belongsToMany(User::class);
}
</pre>

We are also going to need a pivot table to associate each user with a matching role so let’s create a new migration file for the role_user table:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> $ php artisan make:migration create_role_user_table

</pre>

In the database/migrations folder, find the newly created migration file and update the CreateRoleUserTable class with this snippet:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> // File: ./database/migrations/*_create_role_user_table.php
<?php

// [...]

class CreateRoleUserTable extends Migration
{

    public function up()
    {
        Schema::create('role_user', function (Blueprint $table) {
            $table-&gt;increments('id');
            $table-&gt;integer('role_id')-&gt;unsigned();
            $table-&gt;integer('user_id')-&gt;unsigned();
        });
    }

    public function down()
    {
        Schema::dropIfExists('role_user');
    }
}

</pre>

Next, let’s create seeders that will populate the users and roles tables with some data. In your terminal, run the following command to create the database seeders:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> $ php artisan make:seeder RoleTableSeeder
$ php artisan make:seeder UserTableSeeder

</pre>

In the database/seeds folder, open the RoleTableSeeder.php file and replace the contents with the following code:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> // File: ./database/seeds/RoleTableSeeder.php
<?php

use App\Role;
use Illuminate\Database\Seeder;

class RoleTableSeeder extends Seeder
{
    public function run()
    {
        $role_regular_user = new Role;
        $role_regular_user-&gt;name = 'user';
        $role_regular_user-&gt;description = 'A regular user';
        $role_regular_user-&gt;save();

        $role_admin_user = new Role;
        $role_admin_user-&gt;name = 'admin';
        $role_admin_user-&gt;description = 'An admin user';
        $role_admin_user-&gt;save();
    }
}

</pre>

Open the UserTableSeeder.php file and replace the contents with the following code:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> // File: ./database/seeds/UserTableSeeder.php
<?php

use Illuminate\Database\Seeder;
use Illuminate\Support\Facades\Hash;
use App\User;
use App\Role;

class UserTableSeeder extends Seeder
{

    public function run()
    {
        $user = new User;
        $user-&gt;name = 'Samuel Jackson';
        $user-&gt;email = '[email protected]';
        $user-&gt;password = bcrypt('samuel1234');
        $user-&gt;save();
        $user-&gt;roles()-&gt;attach(Role::where('name', 'user')-&gt;first());

        $admin = new User;
        $admin-&gt;name = 'Neo Ighodaro';
        $admin-&gt;email = '[email protected]';
        $admin-&gt;password = bcrypt('neo1234');
        $admin-&gt;save();
        $admin-&gt;roles()-&gt;attach(Role::where('name', 'admin')-&gt;first());
    }
}

</pre>

We also need to update the DatabaseSeeder class. Open the file and update the run method as seen below:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> // File: ./database/seeds/DatabaseSeeder.php
<?php

// [...]

class DatabaseSeeder extends Seeder
{
    public function run()
    {
        $this-&gt;call([
            RoleTableSeeder::class, 
            UserTableSeeder::class,
        ]);
    }
}

</pre>

Next, let’s update the User model. We will be adding a checkRoles method that checks what role a user has. We will return a 404 page where a user doesn’t have the expected role for a page. Open the User model and add these methods:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> // File: ./app/User.php
public function checkRoles($roles)
{
if ( ! is_array($roles)) {
$roles = [$roles];
}

    if ( ! $this-&gt;hasAnyRole($roles)) {
        auth()-&gt;logout();
        abort(404);
    }
}

public function hasAnyRole($roles): bool
{
    return (bool) $this-&gt;roles()-&gt;whereIn('name', $roles)-&gt;first();
}

public function hasRole($role): bool
{
    return (bool) $this-&gt;roles()-&gt;where('name', $role)-&gt;first();
}

</pre>

Let’s modify the RegisterController.php file in the Controllers/Auth folder so that a default role, the user role, is always attached to a new user at registration.

Open the RegisterController and update the create action with the following code:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> // File: ./app/Http/Controllers/Auth/RegisterController.php
protected function create(array $data)
{
$user = User::create([
'name' => $data['name'],
'email' => $data['email'],
'password' => bcrypt($data['password']),
]);

    $user-&gt;roles()-&gt;attach(\App\Role::where('name', 'user')-&gt;first());

    return $user;
}

</pre>

Now let’s migrate and seed the database so that we can log in with the sample accounts. To do this, run the following command in your terminal:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> $ php artisan migrate:fresh --seed

</pre>

In order to test that our roles work as they should, we will make an update to the HomeController.php file. Open the HomeController and update the index method as seen below:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> // File: ./app/Http/Controllers/HomeController.php
public function index(Request $request)
{
$request->user()->checkRoles('admin');

    return view('home');
}

</pre>

Now, only administrators should be able to see the dashboard. In a more complex application, we would use a middleware to do this instead.

We can test that this works by serving the application and logging in both user accounts; Samuel Jackson and Neo Ighodaro.

Remember that in our UserTableSeeder.php file, we defined Samuel as a regular user and Neo as an admin, so Samuel should see a 404 error after logging in and Neo should be able to see the homepage.


Testing the application

Let’s serve the application with this command:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> $ php artisan serve

</pre>

When we try logging in with Samuel’s credentials, we should see this:

On the other hand, we will get logged in with Neo’s credentials because he has an admin account:

We will also confirm that whenever a new user registers, he is assigned a role and it is the role of a regular user. We will create a new user and call him Greg, he should see a 404 error right after:

It works just as we wanted it to, however, it doesn’t really make any sense for us to redirect a regular user to a 404 page. Instead, we will edit the HomeController so that it redirects users based on their roles, that is, it redirects a regular user to a regular homepage and an admin to an admin dashboard.

Open the HomeController.php file and update the index method as seen below:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> // File: ./app/Http/Controllers/HomeController.php
public function index(Request $request)
{
if ($request->user()->hasRole('user')) {
return redirect('/');
}

    if ($request-&gt;user()-&gt;hasRole('admin')){
        return redirect('/admin/dashboard');
    }
}

</pre>

If we serve our application and try to log in using the admin account, we will hit a 404 error because we do not have a controller or a view for the admin/dashboard route. In the next article, we will start building the basic views for the CMS.


Conclusion

In this tutorial, we learned how to install a fresh Laravel app on our machine and pulled in all the needed dependencies. We also learned how to configure the Laravel app to work with a MySQL database. We also created our models and migrations files and seeded the database using database seeders.

In the next part of this series, we will start building the views for the application.

The source code for this project is available on Github.


Build a CMS with Laravel and Vue - Part 2: Implementing posts

In the previous part of this series, we set up user authentication and role authorization but we didn’t create any views for the application yet. In this section, we will create the Post model and start building the frontend for the application.

Our application allows different levels of accessibility for two kinds of users; the regular user and admin. In this chapter, we will focus on building the view that the regular users are permitted to see.

Before we build any views, let’s create the Post model as it is imperative to rendering the view.

The source code for this project is available here on GitHub.

Prerequisites

To follow along with this series, a few things are required:

  • Basic knowledge of PHP.
  • Basic knowledge of the Laravel framework.
  • Basic knowledge of JavaScript (ES6 syntax).
  • Basic knowledge of Vue.
  • Postman installed on your machine.

Setting up the Post model

We will create the Post model with an associated resource controller and a migration file using this command:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> $ php artisan make:model Post -mr

</pre>

We added the r flag because we want the controller to be a resource controller. The m flag will generate a migration for the model.

Let’s navigate into the database/migrations folder and update the CreatePostsTable class that was generated for us:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> // File: ./app/database/migrations/*_create_posts_table.php
<?php

// [...]

class CreatePostsTable extends Migration
{
    public function up()
    {
        Schema::create('posts', function (Blueprint $table) {
            $table-&gt;increments('id');
            $table-&gt;integer('user_id')-&gt;unsigned();
            $table-&gt;string('title');
            $table-&gt;text('body');
            $table-&gt;binary('image')-&gt;nullable();
            $table-&gt;timestamps();
        });
    }

    public function down()
    {
        Schema::dropIfExists('posts');
    }
}

</pre>

We included a user_id property because we want to create a relationship between the User and Post models. A Post also has an image field, which is where its associated image’s address will be stored.


Creating a database seeder for the Post table

We will create a new seeder file for the posts table using this command:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> $ php artisan make:seeder PostTableSeeder

</pre>

Let’s navigate into the database/seeds folder and update the PostTableSeeder.php file:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> // File: ./app/database/seeds/PostsTableSeeder.php
<?php

use App\Post;
use Illuminate\Database\Seeder;

class PostTableSeeder extends Seeder
{
    public function run()
    {
        $post = new Post;
        $post-&gt;user_id = 2;
        $post-&gt;title = "Using Laravel Seeders";
        $post-&gt;body = "Laravel includes a simple method of seeding your database with test data using seed classes. All seed classes are stored in the database/seeds directory. Seed classes may have any name you wish, but probably should follow some sensible convention, such as UsersTableSeeder, etc. By default, a DatabaseSeeder class is defined for you. From this class, you may use the  call method to run other seed classes, allowing you to control the seeding order.";
        $post-&gt;save();

        $post = new Post;
        $post-&gt;user_id = 2;
        $post-&gt;title = "Database: Migrations";
        $post-&gt;body = "Migrations are like version control for your database, allowing your team to easily modify and share the application's database schema. Migrations are typically paired with Laravel's schema builder to easily build your application's database schema. If you have ever had to tell a teammate to manually add a column to their local database schema, you've faced the problem that database migrations solve.";
        $post-&gt;save();
    }
}

</pre>

When we run this seeder, it will create two new posts and assign both of them to the admin user whose ID is 2. We are attaching both posts to the admin user because the regular users are only allowed to view posts and make comments; they can’t create a post.

Let’s open the DatabaseSeeder and update it with the following code:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> // File: ./app/database/seeds/DatabaseSeeder.php
<?php

use Illuminate\Database\Seeder;

class DatabaseSeeder extends Seeder
{
    public function run()
    {
        $this-&gt;call([
            RoleTableSeeder::class,
            UserTableSeeder::class,
            PostTableSeeder::class,
        ]);
    }
}

</pre>

We created the RoleTableSeeder and UserTableSeeder files in the previous chapter.

We will use this command to migrate our tables and seed the database:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> $ php artisan migrate:fresh --seed

</pre>

Defining the relationships

Just as we previously created a many-to-many relationship between the User and Role models, we need to create a different kind of relationship between the Post and User models.

We will define the relationship as a one-to-many relationship because a user will have many posts but a post will only ever belong to one user.

Open the User model and include the method below:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> // File: ./app/User.php
public function posts()
{
return $this->hasMany(Post::class);
}
</pre>

Open the Post model and include the method below:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> // File: ./app/Post.php
public function user()
{
return $this->belongsTo(User::class);
}
</pre>

Setting up the routes

At this point in our application, we do not have a front page with all the posts listed. Let’s create so anyone can see all of the created posts. Asides from the front page, we also need a single post page in case a user needs to read a specific post.

Let’s include two new routes to our routes/web.php file:

  • The first route will match requests to the root of our application and will be handled by the [email protected] action:
<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> Route::get('/', '[email protected]');
</pre>
In the routes/web.php file, there will already be a route definition for the / address, you will have to replace it with the new route definition above.
  • The second route will handle requests for specific Post items and will be handled by the [email protected] action:
<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> Route::get('/posts/{post}', '[email protected]');
</pre>

With these two new routes added, here’s what the routes/web.php file should look like this:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> // File: ./routes/web.php
<?php

Auth::routes();
Route::get('/posts/{post}', '[email protected]');
Route::get('/home', '[email protected]')-&gt;name('home');
Route::get('/', '[email protected]');

</pre>

Setting up the Post controller

In this section, we want to define the handler action methods that we registered in the routes/web.php file so that our application know how to render the matching views.

First, let’s add the all() method:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> // File: ./app/Http/Controllers/PostController.php
public function all()
{
return view('landing', [
'posts' => Post::latest()->paginate(5)
]);
}
</pre>

Here, we want to retrieve five created posts per page and send to the landing view. We will create this view shortly.

Next, let’s add the single() method to the controller:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> // File: ./app/Http/Controllers/PostController.php
public function single(Post $post)
{
return view('single', compact('post'));
}
</pre>

In the method above, we used a feature of Laravel named route model binding to map the URL parameter to a Post instance with the same ID. We are returning a single view, which we will create shortly. This will be the view for the single post page.


Building our views

Laravel uses a templating engine called Blade for its frontend. We will use Blade to build these parts of the frontend before switching to Vue in the next chapter.

Navigate to the resources/views folder and create two new Blade files:

  1. landing.blade.php
  2. single.blade.php

These are the files that will load the views for the landing page and single post page. Before we start writing any code in these files, we want to create a simple layout template that our page views can use as a base.

In the resources/views/layouts folder, create a Blade template file and call it master.blade.php. This is where we will define the inheritable template for our single and landing pages.

Open the master.blade.php file and update it with this code:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> <!-- File: ./resources/views/layouts/master.blade.php -->
<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
<head>
<meta charset="utf-8">
<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1, shrink-to-fit=no">
<meta name="description" content="">
<meta name="author" content="Neo Ighodaro">
<title>LaravelCMS</title>
<link rel="stylesheet" href="https://stackpath.bootstrapcdn.com/bootstrap/4.1.3/css/bootstrap.min.css">
<style>
body {
padding-top: 54px;
}
@media (min-width: 992px) {
body {
padding-top: 56px;
}
}
</style>
</head>
<body>
<nav class="navbar navbar-expand-lg navbar-dark bg-dark fixed-top">
<div class="container">
<a class="navbar-brand" href="/">LaravelCMS</a>
<div class="collapse navbar-collapse" id="navbarResponsive">
<ul class="navbar-nav ml-auto">
@if (Route::has('login'))
@auth
<li class="nav-item">
<a class="nav-link" href="{{ url('/home') }}">Home</a>
</li>
<li class="nav-item">
<a class="nav-link" href="{{ route('logout') }}"
onclick="event.preventDefault();
document.getElementById('logout-form').submit();">
Log out
</a>
<form id="logout-form" action="{{ route('logout') }}" method="POST" style="display: none;">
@csrf
</form>
</li>
@else
<li class="nav-item">
<a class="nav-link" href="{{ route('login') }}">Login</a>
</li>
<li class="nav-item">
<a class="nav-link" href="{{ route('register') }}">Register</a>
</li>
@endauth
@endif
</ul>
</div>
</div>
</nav>

    &lt;div id="app"&gt;
        @yield('content')
    &lt;/div&gt;

    &lt;footer class="py-5 bg-dark"&gt;
      &lt;div class="container"&gt;
        &lt;p class="m-0 text-center text-white"&gt;Copyright &amp;copy; LaravelCMS 2018&lt;/p&gt;
      &lt;/div&gt;
    &lt;/footer&gt;
  &lt;/body&gt;
&lt;/html&gt;

</pre>

Now we can inherit this template in the landing.blade.php file, open it and update it with this code:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> {{-- File: ./resources/views/landing.blade.php --}}
@extends('layouts.master')

@section('content')
&lt;div class="container"&gt;
  &lt;div class="row align-items-center"&gt;
    &lt;div class="col-md-8 mx-auto"&gt;
      &lt;h1 class="my-4 text-center"&gt;Welcome to the Blog &lt;/h1&gt;

      @foreach ($posts as $post)
      &lt;div class="card mb-4"&gt;
        &lt;img class="card-img-top" src=" {!! !empty($post-&gt;image) ? '/uploads/posts/' . $post-&gt;image :  'http://placehold.it/750x300' !!} " alt="Card image cap"&gt;
        &lt;div class="card-body"&gt;
          &lt;h2 class="card-title text-center"&gt;{{ $post-&gt;title }}&lt;/h2&gt;
          &lt;p class="card-text"&gt; {{ str_limit($post-&gt;body, $limit = 280, $end = '...') }} &lt;/p&gt;
          &lt;a href="/posts/{{ $post-&gt;id }}" class="btn btn-primary"&gt;Read More &amp;rarr;&lt;/a&gt;
        &lt;/div&gt;
        &lt;div class="card-footer text-muted"&gt;
          Posted {{ $post-&gt;created_at-&gt;diffForHumans() }} by
          &lt;a href="#"&gt;{{ $post-&gt;user-&gt;name }} &lt;/a&gt;
        &lt;/div&gt;
      &lt;/div&gt;
      @endforeach

    &lt;/div&gt;
  &lt;/div&gt;
&lt;/div&gt;
@endsection

</pre>

Let’s do the same with the single.blade.php file, open it and update it with this code:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> {{-- File: ./resources/views/single.blade.php --}}
@extends('layouts.master')

@section('content')
&lt;div class="container"&gt;
  &lt;div class="row"&gt;
    &lt;div class="col-lg-10 mx-auto"&gt;
      &lt;h3 class="mt-4"&gt;{{ $post-&gt;title }} &lt;span class="lead"&gt; by &lt;a href="#"&gt; {{ $post-&gt;user-&gt;name }} &lt;/a&gt;&lt;/span&gt; &lt;/h3&gt;
      &lt;hr&gt;
      &lt;p&gt;Posted {{ $post-&gt;created_at-&gt;diffForHumans() }} &lt;/p&gt;
      &lt;hr&gt;
      &lt;img class="img-fluid rounded" src=" {!! !empty($post-&gt;image) ? '/uploads/posts/' . $post-&gt;image :  'http://placehold.it/750x300' !!} " alt=""&gt;
      &lt;hr&gt;
      &lt;p class="lead"&gt;{{ $post-&gt;body }}&lt;/p&gt;
      &lt;hr&gt;
      &lt;div class="card my-4"&gt;
        &lt;h5 class="card-header"&gt;Leave a Comment:&lt;/h5&gt;
        &lt;div class="card-body"&gt;
          &lt;form&gt;
            &lt;div class="form-group"&gt;
              &lt;textarea class="form-control" rows="3"&gt;&lt;/textarea&gt;
            &lt;/div&gt;
            &lt;button type="submit" class="btn btn-primary"&gt;Submit&lt;/button&gt;
          &lt;/form&gt;
        &lt;/div&gt;
      &lt;/div&gt;
    &lt;/div&gt;
  &lt;/div&gt;
&lt;/div&gt;
@endsection

</pre>

Testing the application

We can test the application to see that things work as we expect. When we serve the application, we expect to see a landing page and a single post page. We also expect to see two posts because that’s the number of posts we seeded into the database.

We will serve the application using this command:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> $ php artisan serve

</pre>

We can visit this address to see the application:

We have used simple placeholder images here because we haven’t built the admin dashboard that allows CRUD operations to be performed on posts.

In the coming chapters, we will add the ability for an admin to include a custom image when creating a new post.


Conclusion

In this chapter, we created the Post model and defined a relationship on it to the User model. We also built the landing page and single page.

In the next part of this series, we will develop the API that will be the medium for communication between the admin user and the post items.

The source code for this project is available here on Github.


Build a CMS with Laravel and Vue - Part 3: Building an API

In the previous part of this series, we initialized the posts resource and started building the frontend of the CMS. We designed the front page that shows all the posts and the single post page using Laravel’s templating engine, Blade.

In this part of the series, we will start building the API for the application. We will create an API for CRUD operations that an admin will perform on posts and we will test the endpoints using Postman.

The source code for this project is available here on GitHub.

Prerequisites

To follow along with this series, a few things are required:

  • Basic knowledge of PHP.
  • Basic knowledge of the Laravel framework.
  • Basic knowledge of JavaScript (ES6 syntax).
  • Basic knowledge of Vue.
  • Postman installed on your machine.

Building the API using Laravel’s API resources

The Laravel framework makes it very easy to build APIs. It has an API resources feature that we can easily adopt in our project. You can think of API resources as a transformation layer between Eloquent models and the JSON responses that will be sent back by our API.


Allowing mass assignment on specified fields

Since we are going to be performing CRUD operations on the posts in the application, we have to explicitly specify that it’s permitted for some fields to be mass-assigned data. For security reasons, Laravel prevents mass assignment of data to model fields by default.

Open the Post.php file and include this line of code:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> // File: ./app/Post.php
protected $fillable = ['user_id', 'title', 'body', 'image'];
</pre>

Defining API routes

We will use the apiResource()method to generate only API routes. Open the routes/api.php file and add the following code:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> // File: ./routes/api.php
Route::apiResource('posts', 'PostController');

</pre>

Because we will be handling the API requests on the /posts URL using the PostController, we will have to include some additional action methods in our post controller.

Creating the Post resource

At the beginning of this section, we already talked about what Laravel’s API resources are. Here, we create a resource class for our Post model. This will enable us to retrieve Post data and return formatted JSON format.

To create a resource class for our Post model run the following command in your terminal:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> $ php artisan make:resource PostResource

</pre>

A new PostResource.php file will be available in the app/Http/Resources directory of our application. Open up the PostResource.php file and replace the toArray() method with the following:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> // File: ./app/Http/Resources/PostResource.php
public function toArray($request)
{
return [
'id' => $this->id,
'title' => $this->title,
'body' => $this->body,
'image' => $this->image,
'created_at' => (string) $this->created_at,
'updated_at' => (string) $this->updated_at,
];
}
</pre>

The job of this toArray() method is to convert our P``ost resource into an array. As seen above, we have specified the fields on our Post model, which we want to be returned as JSON when we make a request for posts.

We are also explicitly casting the dates, created_at and update_at, to strings so that they would be returned as date strings. The dates are normally an instance of Carbon.

Now that we have created a resource class for our Post model, we can start building the API’s action methods in our PostController and return instances of the PostResource where we want.


Adding the action methods to the Post controller

The usual actions performed on a post include the following:

  1. Create - the process of creating a new post.
  2. Read - the process of reading one or more posts.
  3. Update - the process of updating an already published post.
  4. Delete - the process of deleting a post.

In the last article, we already implemented a kind of ‘Read’ functionality when we defined the all and single methods. These methods allow users to browse through posts on the homepage.

In this section, we will define the methods that will resolve our API requests for creating, reading, updating and deleting posts.

The first thing we want to do is import the PostResource class at the top of the PostController.php file:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> // File: ./app/Http/Controllers/PostController.php
use App\Http\Resources\PostResource;
</pre>
Because we created the PostController as a resource controller, we already have the resource action methods included for us in the PostController.php file, we will be updating them with fitting snippets of code.

Building the handler action for the create operation

In the PostController update the store() action method with the code snippet below. It will allow us to validate and create a new post:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> // File: ./app/Http/Controllers/PostController.php
public function store(Request $request)
{
$this->validate($request, [
'title' => 'required',
'body' => 'required',
'user_id' => 'required',
'image' => 'required|mimes:jpeg,png,jpg,gif,svg',
]);

    $post = new Post;

    if ($request-&gt;hasFile('image')) {
        $image = $request-&gt;file('image');
        $name = str_slug($request-&gt;title).'.'.$image-&gt;getClientOriginalExtension();
        $destinationPath = public_path('/uploads/posts');
        $imagePath = $destinationPath . "/" . $name;
        $image-&gt;move($destinationPath, $name);
        $post-&gt;image = $name;
    }

    $post-&gt;user_id = $request-&gt;user_id;
    $post-&gt;title = $request-&gt;title;
    $post-&gt;body = $request-&gt;body;
    $post-&gt;save();

    return new PostResource($post);
}

</pre>

Here’s a breakdown of what this method does:

  1. Receives a new request.
  2. Validates the request.
  3. Creates a new post.
  4. Returns the post as a PostResource, which in turn returns a JSON formatted response.

Building the handler action for the read operations

What we want here is to be able to read all the created posts or a single post. This is possible because the apiResource() method defines the API routes using standard REST rules.

This means that a GET request to this address, http://127.0.0.1:800/api/posts, should be resolved by the index() action method. Let’s update the index method with the following code:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> // File: ./app/Http/Controllers/PostController.php
public function index()
{
return PostResource::collection(Post::latest()->paginate(5));
}
</pre>

This method will allow us to return a JSON formatted collection of all of the stored posts. We also want to paginate the response as this will allow us to create a better view on the admin dashboard.

Following the RESTful conventions as we discussed above, a GET request to this address, http://127.0.0.1:800/api/posts/id, should be resolved by the show() action method. Let’s update the method with the fitting snippet:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> // File: ./app/Http/Controllers/PostController.php
public function show(Post $post)
{
return new PostResource($post);
}
</pre>

Awesome, now this method will return a single instance of a post resource upon API query.


Building the handler action for the update operation

Next, let’s update the update() method in the PostController class. It will allow us to modify an existing post:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> // File: ./app/Http/Controllers/PostController.php
public function update(Request $request, Post $post)
{
$this->validate($request, [
'title' => 'required',
'body' => 'required',
]);

    $post-&gt;update($request-&gt;only(['title', 'body']));

    return new PostResource($post);
}

</pre>

This method receives a request and a post id as parameters, then we use route model binding to resolve the id into an instance of a Post. First, we validate the $request attributes, then we update the title and body fields of the resolved post.


Building the handler action for the delete operation

Let’s update the destroy() method in the PostController class. This method will allow us to remove an existing post:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> // File: ./app/Http/Controllers/PostController.php
public function destroy(Post $post)
{
$post->delete();

    return response()-&gt;json(null, 204);
}

</pre>

In this method, we resolve the Post instance, then delete it and return a 204 response code.

Our methods are complete. We have a method to handle our CRUD operations, however, we haven’t built the frontend for the admin dashboard.

At the end of the second article, we defined the [email protected]() action method like this:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> public function index(Request $request)
{
if ($request->user()->hasRole('user')) {
return view('home');
}

    if ($request-&gt;user()-&gt;hasRole('admin')) {
        return redirect('/admin/dashboard');
    }
}

</pre>

This allowed us to redirect regular users to the view home, and admin users to the URL /admin/dashboard. At this point in this series, a visit to /admin/dashboard will fail because we have neither defined it as a route with a handler Controller nor built a view for it.

Let’s create the AdminController with this command:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> $ php artisan make:controller AdminController

</pre>

We will add the /admin/ route to our routes/web.php file:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> Route::get('/admin/{any}', '[email protected]')->where('any', '.*');
</pre>
Note that we wrote /admin/{any} here because we intend to serve every page of the admin dashboard using the Vue router. When we start building the admin dashboard in the next article, we will let Vue handle all the routes of the /admin pages.

Let’s update the AdminController.php file to use the auth middleware and include an index() action method:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> // File: ./app/Http/Controllers/AdminController.php
<?php

namespace App\Http\Controllers;

class AdminController extends Controller
{
    public function __construct()
    {
        $this-&gt;middleware('auth');
    }

    public function index()
    {
        if (request()-&gt;user()-&gt;hasRole('admin')) {
            return view('admin.dashboard');
        }

        if (request()-&gt;user()-&gt;hasRole('user')) {
            return redirect('/home');
        }
    }
}

</pre>

In the index()action method, we included a snippet that will ensure that only admin users can visit the admin dashboard and perform CRUD operations on posts.

We will not start building the admin dashboard in this article but will test that our API works properly. We will use Postman to make requests to the application.


Testing the application

Let’s test that our API works as expected. We will, first of all, serve the application using this command:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> $ php artisan serve

</pre>

We can visit http://localhost:8000 to see our application and there should be exactly two posts available; these are the posts we seeded into the database during the migration:

When testing with Postman always set the Content-Type header to application/json.

Now let’s create a new post over the API interface using Postman. Send a POST request as seen below:

Now let’s update this post we just created. In Postman, we will pass only the title and body fields to a PUT request.

To make it easy, you can just copy the payload below and use the raw request data type for the Body:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> {
"title": "We made an edit to the Post on APIs",
"body": "To a developer, 'What's an API?' might be a straightforward - if not exactly simple - question. But to anyone who doesn't have experience with code. APIs can come across as confusing or downright intimidating."
}

</pre>

We could have used the PATCH method to make this update, the PUT and PATCH HTTP verbs both work well for editing an already existing item.

Finally, let’s delete the post using Postman:

We are sure the post is deleted because the response status is 204 No Content as we specified in the PostController.


Conclusion

In this chapter, we learned about Laravel’s API resources and we created a resource class for the Post model. We also used the apiResources() method to generate API only routes for our application. We wrote the methods to handle the API operations and tested them using Postman.

In the next part, we will build the admin dashboard and develop the logic that will enable the admin user to manage posts over the API.

The source code for this project is available here on Github.


Build a CMS with Laravel and Vue - Part 4: Building the dashboard

In the last article of this series, we built the API interface and used Laravel API resources to return neatly formatted JSON responses. We tested that the API works as we defined it to using Postman.

In this part of the series, we will start building the admin frontend of the CMS. This is the first part of the series where we will integrate Vue and explore Vue’s magical abilities.

When we are done with this part, our application will have some added functionalities as seen below:

The source code for this project is available here on GitHub.

Prerequisites

To follow along with this series, a few things are required:

  • Basic knowledge of PHP.
  • Basic knowledge of the Laravel framework.
  • Basic knowledge of JavaScript (ES6 syntax).
  • Basic knowledge of Vue.

Building the frontend

Laravel ships with Vue out of the box so we do not need to use the Vue-CLI or reference Vue from a CDN. This makes it possible for us to have all of our application, the frontend, and backend, in a single codebase.

Every newly created instance of a Laravel installation has some Vue files included by default, we can see these files when we navigate into the resources/assets/js/components folder.


Setting up Vue and VueRouter

Before we can start using Vue in our application, we need to first install some dependencies using NPM. To install the dependencies that come by default with Laravel, run the command below:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> $ npm install

</pre>

We will be managing all of the routes for the admin dashboard using vue-router so let’s pull it in:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> $ npm install --save vue-router

</pre>

When the installation is complete, the next thing we want to do is open the resources/assets/js/app.js file and replace its contents with the code below:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> // File: ./resources/assets/js/app.js
require('./bootstrap');

import Vue from 'vue'
import VueRouter from 'vue-router'
import Homepage from './components/Homepage'
import Read from './components/Read'

Vue.use(VueRouter)

const router = new VueRouter({
    mode: 'history',
    routes: [
        {
            path: '/admin/dashboard',
            name: 'read',
            component: Read,
            props: true
        },
    ],
});

const app = new Vue({
    el: '#app',
    router,
    components: { Homepage },
});

</pre>

In the snippet above, we imported the VueRouter and added it to the Vue application. We also imported a Homepage and a Read component. These are the components where we will write our markup so let’s create both files.

Open the resources/assets/js/components folder and create four files:

  1. Homepage.vue - this will be the parent component for the admin dashboard frontend.
  2. Read.vue - this will be component that displays all the available posts on the admin dashboard.
  3. Create.vue - this will be the component where an admin user can create a new post.
  4. Update.vue - this will be the component that displays the view where an admin user can update an existing post.
Note that we didn’t create a component file for the delete operation, this is because it is going to be possible to delete a post from the Read component. There is no need for a view.

In the resources/assets/js/app.js file, we defined a routes array and in it, we registered a read route. During render time, this route’s path will be mapped to the Read component.

In the previous article, we specified that admin users should be shown an admin.dashboard view in the index method, however, we didn’t create this view. Let’s create the view. Open the resources/views folder and create a new folder called admin. Within the new resources/views/admin folder, create a new file and called dashboard.blade.php. This is going to be the entry point to the admin dashboard, further from this route, we will let the VueRouter handle everything else.

Open the resources/views/admin/dashboard.blade.php file and paste in the following code:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> <!-- File: ./resources/views/admin/dashboard.blade.php -->
<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
<head>
<meta charset="UTF-8">
<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">
<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="ie=edge">
<title> Welcome to the Admin dashboard </title>
<link rel="stylesheet" href="https://stackpath.bootstrapcdn.com/bootstrap/4.1.3/css/bootstrap.min.css">
<style>
html, body {
background-color: #202B33;
color: #738491;
font-family: "Open Sans";
font-size: 16px;
font-smoothing: antialiased;
overflow: hidden;
}
</style>
</head>
<body>

  &lt;script src="{{ asset('js/app.js') }}"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;
&lt;/body&gt;
&lt;/html&gt;

</pre>

Our goal here is to integrate Vue into the application, so we included the resources/assets/js/app.js file with this line of code:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> <script src="{{ asset('js/app.js') }}"></script>

</pre>

For our app to work, we need a root element to bind our Vue instance unto. Before the <script> tag, add this snippet of code:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> <div id="app">
<Homepage
:user-name='@json(auth()->user()->name)'
:user-id='@json(auth()->user()->id)'
></Homepage>
</div>
</pre>

We earlier defined the Homepage component as the wrapping component, that’s why we pulled it in here as the root component. For some of the frontend components to work correctly, we require some details of the logged in admin user to perform CRUD operations. This is why we passed down the userName and userId props to the Homepage component.

We need to prevent the CSRF error from occurring in our Vue frontend, so include this snippet of code just before the <title> tag:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> <meta name="csrf-token" content="{{ csrf_token() }}">
<script> window.Laravel = { csrfToken: 'csrf_token() ' } </script>
</pre>

This snippet will ensure that the correct token is always included in our frontend, Laravel provides the CSRF protection for us out of the box.

At this point, this should be the contents of your resources/views/admin/dashboard.blade.php file:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> <!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
<head>
<meta charset="UTF-8">
<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">
<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="ie=edge">
<meta name="csrf-token" content="{{ csrf_token() }}">
<script> window.Laravel = { csrfToken: 'csrf_token() ' } </script>
<title> Welcome to the Admin dashboard </title>
<link rel="stylesheet" href="https://stackpath.bootstrapcdn.com/bootstrap/4.1.3/css/bootstrap.min.css">
<style>
html, body {
background-color: #202B33;
color: #738491;
font-family: "Open Sans";
font-size: 16px;
font-smoothing: antialiased;
overflow: hidden;
}
</style>
</head>
<body>
<div id="app">
<Homepage
:user-name='@json(auth()->user()->name)'
:user-id='@json(auth()->user()->id)'>
</Homepage>
</div>
<script src="{{ asset('js/app.js') }}"></script>
</body>
</html>
</pre>

Setting up the Homepage view

Open the Homepage.vue file that we created some time ago and include this markup template:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> <!-- File: ./resources/app/js/components/Homepage.vue -->
<template>
<div>
<nav>
<section>
<a style="color: white" href="/admin/dashboard">Laravel-CMS</a> &nbsp; || &nbsp;
<a style="color: white" href="/">HOME</a>
<hr>
<ul>
<li>
<router-link :to="{ name: 'create', params: { userId } }">
NEW POST
</router-link>
</li>
</ul>
</section>
</nav>
<article>
<header>
<header class="d-inline">Welcome, {{ userName }}</header>
<p @click="logout" class="float-right mr-3" style="cursor: pointer">Logout</p>
</header>
<div>
<router-view></router-view>
</div>
</article>
</div>
</template>
</pre>

We added a router-link in this template, which routes to the Create component.

We are passing the userId data to the create component because a userId is required during Post creation.

Let’s include some styles so that the page looks good. Below the closing template tag, paste the following code:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> <style scoped>
@import url(https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Dosis:300|Lato:300,400,600,700|Roboto+Condensed:300,700|Open+Sans+Condensed:300,600|Open+Sans:400,300,600,700|Maven+Pro:400,700);
@import url("https://netdna.bootstrapcdn.com/font-awesome/4.2.0/css/font-awesome.css");
* {
-moz-box-sizing: border-box;
-webkit-box-sizing: border-box;
box-sizing: border-box;
}
header {
color: #d3d3d3;
}
nav {
position: absolute;
top: 0;
bottom: 0;
right: 82%;
left: 0;
padding: 22px;
border-right: 2px solid #161e23;
}
nav > header {
font-weight: 700;
font-size: 0.8rem;
text-transform: uppercase;
}
nav section {
font-weight: 600;
}
nav section header {
padding-top: 30px;
}
nav section ul {
list-style: none;
padding: 0px;
}
nav section ul a {
color: white;
text-decoration: none;
font-weight: bold;
}
article {
position: absolute;
top: 0;
bottom: 0;
right: 0;
left: 18%;
overflow: auto;
border-left: 2px solid #2a3843;
padding: 20px;
}
article > header {
height: 60px;
border-bottom: 1px solid #2a3843;
}
</style>
</pre>
We are using the scoped attribute on the <style> tag because we want the CSS to only be applied on the Homepage component.

Next, let’s add the <script> section that will use the props we passed down from the parent component. We will also define the method that controls the log out feature here. Below the closing style tag, paste the following code:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> <script>
export default {
props: {
userId: {
type: Number,
required: true
},
userName: {
type: String,
required: true
}
},
data() {
return {};
},
methods: {
logout() {
axios.post("/logout").then(() => {
window.location = "/";
});
}
}
};
</script>
</pre>

Setting up the Read view

In the resources/assets/js/app.js file, we defined the path of the read component as /admin/dashboard, which is the same address as the Homepage component. This will make sure the Read component always loads by default.

In the Read component, we want to load all of the available posts. We are also going to add Update and Delete options to each post. Clicking on these options will lead to the update and delete views respectively.

Open the Read.vue file and paste the following:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> <!-- File: ./resources/app/js/components/Read.vue -->
<template>
<div id="posts">
<p class="border p-3" v-for="post in posts">
{{ post.title }}
<router-link :to="{ name: 'update', params: { postId : post.id } }">
<button type="button" class="p-1 mx-3 float-right btn btn-light">
Update
</button>
</router-link>
<button
type="button"
@click="deletePost(post.id)"
class="p-1 mx-3 float-right btn btn-danger"
>
Delete
</button>
</p>
<div>
<button
v-if="next"
type="button"
@click="navigate(next)"
class="m-3 btn btn-primary"
>
Next
</button>
<button
v-if="prev"
type="button"
@click="navigate(prev)"
class="m-3 btn btn-primary"
>
Previous
</button>
</div>
</div>
</template>
</pre>

Above, we have the template to handle the posts that are loaded from the API. Next, paste the following below the closing template tag:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> <script>
export default {
mounted() {
this.getPosts();
},
data() {
return {
posts: {},
next: null,
prev: null
};
},
methods: {
getPosts(address) {
axios.get(address ? address : "/api/posts").then(response => {
this.posts = response.data.data;
this.prev = response.data.links.prev;
this.next = response.data.links.next;
});
},
deletePost(id) {
axios.delete("/api/posts/" + id).then(response => this.getPosts())
},
navigate(address) {
this.getPosts(address)
}
}
};
</script>
</pre>

In the script above, we defined a getPosts() method that requests a list of posts from the backend server. We also defined a posts object as a data property. This object will be populated whenever posts are received from the backend server.

We defined next and prev data string properties to store pagination links and only display the pagination options where it is available.

Lastly, we defined a deletePost() method that takes the id of a post as a parameter and sends a DELETE request to the API interface using Axios.


Testing the application

Now that we have completed the first few components, we can serve the application using this command:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> $ php artisan serve

</pre>

We will also build the assets so that our JavaScript is compiled for us. To do this, will run the command below in the root of the project folder:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> $ npm run dev

</pre>

We can visit the application’s URL http://localhost:8000 and log in as an admin user, and delete a post:


Conclusion

In this part of the series, we started building the admin dashboard using Vue. We installed VueRouter to make the admin dashboard a SPA. We added the homepage view of the admin dashboard and included read and delete functionalities.

We are not done with the dashboard just yet. In the next part, we will add the views that lets us create and update posts.

The source code for this project is available here on Github.


Build a CMS with Laravel and Vue - Part 5: Completing our dashboards

In the previous part of this series, we built the first parts of the admin dashboard using Vue. We also made it into an SPA with the VueRouter, this means that visiting the pages does not cause a reload to the web browser.

We only built the wrapper component and the Read component that retrieves the posts to be loaded so an admin can manage them.

Here’s a recording of what we ended up with, in the last article:

In this article, we will build the view that will allow users to create and update posts. We will start writing code in the Update.vue and Create.vue files that we created in the previous article.

When we are done with this part, we will have additional functionalities like create and updating:

The source code for this project is available here on Github.

Prerequisites

To follow along with this series, a few things are required:

  • Basic knowledge of PHP.
  • Basic knowledge of the Laravel framework.
  • Basic knowledge of JavaScript (ES6 syntax).
  • Basic knowledge of Vue.

Including the new routes in VueRouter

In the previous article, we only defined the route for the Read component, we need to include the route configuration for the new components that we are about to build; Update and Create.

Open the resources/assets/js/app.js file and replace the contents with the code below:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> require('./bootstrap');

import Vue from 'vue'
import VueRouter from 'vue-router'
import Homepage from './components/Homepage'
import Create from './components/Create'
import Read from './components/Read'
import Update from './components/Update'

Vue.use(VueRouter)

const router = new VueRouter({
    mode: 'history',
    routes: [
        {
            path: '/admin/dashboard',
            name: 'read',
            component: Read,
            props: true
        },
        {
            path: '/admin/create',
            name: 'create',
            component: Create,
            props: true
        },
        {
            path: '/admin/update',
            name: 'update',
            component: Update,
            props: true
        },
    ],
});

const app = new Vue({
    el: '#app',
    router,
    components: { Homepage },
});

</pre>

Above, we have added two new components to the JavaScript file. We have the Create and Read components. We also added them to the router so that they can be loaded using the specified URLs.


Building the create view

Open the Create.vue file and update it with this markup template:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> <!-- File: ./resources/app/js/components/Create.vue -->
<template>
<div class="container">
<form>
<div :class="['form-group m-1 p-3', (successful ? 'alert-success' : '')]">
<span v-if="successful" class="label label-sucess">Published!</span>
</div>
<div :class="['form-group m-1 p-3', error ? 'alert-danger' : '']">
<span v-if="errors.title" class="label label-danger">
{{ errors.title[0] }}
</span>
<span v-if="errors.body" class="label label-danger">
{{ errors.body[0] }}
</span>
<span v-if="errors.image" class="label label-danger">
{{ errors.image[0] }}
</span>
</div>

      &lt;div class="form-group"&gt;
        &lt;input type="title" ref="title" class="form-control" id="title" placeholder="Enter title" required&gt;
      &lt;/div&gt;

      &lt;div class="form-group"&gt;
        &lt;textarea class="form-control" ref="body" id="body" placeholder="Enter a body" rows="8" required&gt;&lt;/textarea&gt;
      &lt;/div&gt;

      &lt;div class="custom-file mb-3"&gt;
        &lt;input type="file" ref="image" name="image" class="custom-file-input" id="image" required&gt;
        &lt;label class="custom-file-label" &gt;Choose file...&lt;/label&gt;
      &lt;/div&gt;

      &lt;button type="submit" @click.prevent="create" class="btn btn-primary block"&gt;
        Submit
      &lt;/button&gt;
    &lt;/form&gt;
  &lt;/div&gt;
&lt;/template&gt;

</pre>

Above we have the template for the Create component. If there is an error during post creation, there will be a field indicating the specific error. When a post is successfully published, there will also a message saying it was successful.

Let’s include the script logic that will perform the sending of posts to our backend server and read back the response.

After the closing template tag add this:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> <script>
export default {
props: {
userId: {
type: Number,
required: true
}
},
data() {
return {
error: false,
successful: false,
errors: []
};
},
methods: {
create() {
const formData = new FormData();
formData.append("title", this.$refs.title.value);
formData.append("body", this.$refs.body.value);
formData.append("user_id", this.userId);
formData.append("image", this.$refs.image.files[0]);

      axios
        .post("/api/posts", formData)
        .then(response =&gt; {
          this.successful = true;
          this.error = false;
          this.errors = [];
        })
        .catch(error =&gt; {
          if (!_.isEmpty(error.response)) {
            if ((error.response.status = 422)) {
              this.errors = error.response.data.errors;
              this.successful = false;
              this.error = true;
            }
          }
        });

      this.$refs.title.value = "";
      this.$refs.body.value = "";
    }
  }
};
&lt;/script&gt;

</pre>

In the script above, we defined a create() method that takes the values of the input fields and uses the Axios library to send them to the API interface on the backend server. Within this method, we also update the status of the operation, so that an admin user can know when a post is created successfully or not.


Building the update view

Let’s start building the Update component. Open the Update.vue file and update it with this markup template:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> <!-- File: ./resources/app/js/components/Update.vue -->
<template>
<div class="container">
<form>
<div :class="['form-group m-1 p-3', successful ? 'alert-success' : '']">
<span v-if="successful" class="label label-sucess">Updated!</span>
</div>

      &lt;div :class="['form-group m-1 p-3', error ? 'alert-danger' : '']"&gt;
        &lt;span v-if="errors.title" class="label label-danger"&gt;
          {{ errors.title[0] }}
        &lt;/span&gt;
        &lt;span v-if="errors.body" class="label label-danger"&gt;
          {{ errors.body[0] }}
        &lt;/span&gt;
      &lt;/div&gt;

      &lt;div class="form-group"&gt;
        &lt;input type="title" ref="title" class="form-control" id="title" placeholder="Enter title" required&gt;
      &lt;/div&gt;

      &lt;div class="form-group"&gt;
        &lt;textarea class="form-control" ref="body" id="body" placeholder="Enter a body" rows="8" required&gt;&lt;/textarea&gt;
      &lt;/div&gt;

      &lt;button type="submit" @click.prevent="update" class="btn btn-primary block"&gt;
        Submit
      &lt;/button&gt;
    &lt;/form&gt;
  &lt;/div&gt;
&lt;/template&gt;

</pre>

This template is similar to the one in the Create component. Let’s add the script for the component.

Below the closing template tag, paste the following:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> <script>
export default {
mounted() {
this.getPost();
},
props: {
postId: {
type: Number,
required: true
}
},
data() {
return {
error: false,
successful: false,
errors: []
};
},
methods: {
update() {
let title = this.$refs.title.value;
let body = this.$refs.body.value;

      axios
        .put("/api/posts/" + this.postId, { title, body })
        .then(response =&gt; {
          this.successful = true;
          this.error = false;
          this.errors = [];
        })
        .catch(error =&gt; {
          if (!_.isEmpty(error.response)) {
            if ((error.response.status = 422)) {
              this.errors = error.response.data.errors;
              this.successful = false;
              this.error = true;
            }
          }
        });
    },
    getPost() {
      axios.get("/api/posts/" + this.postId).then(response =&gt; {
        this.$refs.title.value = response.data.data.title;
        this.$refs.body.value = response.data.data.body;
      });
    }
  }
};
&lt;/script&gt;

</pre>

In the script above, we make a call to the getPosts() method as soon as the component is mounted. The getPosts() method fetches the data of a single post from the backend server, using the postId.

When Axios sends back the data for the post, we update the input fields in this component so they can be updated.

Finally, the update() method takes the values of the fields in the components and attempts to send them to the backend server for an update. In a situation where the fails, we get instant feedback.


Testing the application

To test that our changes work, we want to refresh the database and restore it back to a fresh state. To do this, run the following command in your terminal:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> $ php artisan migrate:fresh --seed

</pre>

Next, let’s compile our JavaScript files and assets. This will make sure all the changes we made in the Vue component and the app.js file gets built. To recompile, run the command below in your terminal:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> $ npm run dev

</pre>

Lastly, we need to serve the application. To do this, run the following command in your terminal window:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> $ php artisan serve

</pre>

If you had the serve command running before, then you might need to restart it.

We will visit the application’s http://localhost:8000 and log in as an admin user. From the dashboard, you can test the create and update feature:


Conclusion

In this part of the series, we updated the dashboard to include the Create and Update component so the administrator can add and update posts.

In the next article, we will build the views that allow for the creation and updating of a post.

The source code for this project is available here on Github.


Build a CMS with Laravel and Vue - Part 6: Adding Realtime Comments

In the previous part of this series, we finished building the backend of the application using Vue. We were able to add the create and update component, which is used for creating a new post and updating an existing post.

Here’s a screen recording of what we have been able to achieve:

In this final part of the series, we will be adding support for comments. We will also ensure that the comments on each post are updated in realtime, so a user doesn’t have to refresh the page to see new comments.

When we are done, our application will have new features and will work like this:

The source code for this project is available here on Github.

Prerequisites

To follow along with this series, a few things are required:

  • A Pusher account. Sign up here.
  • Basic knowledge of PHP.
  • Basic knowledge of the Laravel framework.
  • Basic knowledge of JavaScript (ES6 syntax).
  • Basic knowledge of Vue.

Adding comments to the backend

When we were creating the API, we did not add the support for comments to the post resource, so we will have to do so now. Open the API project in your text editor as we will be modifying the project a little.

The first thing we want to do is create a model, controller, and a migration for the comment resource. To do this, open your terminal and cd to the project directory and run the following command:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> $ php artisan make:model Comment -mc

</pre>

The command above will create a model called Comment, a controller called CommentController, and a migration file in the database/migrations directory.


Updating the comments migration file

To update the comments migration navigate to the database/migrations folder and find the newly created migration file for the Comment model. Let’s update the up() method in the file:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> // File: ./database/migrations/*_create_comments_table.php
public function up()
{
Schema::create('comments', function (Blueprint $table) {
$table->increments('id');
$table->timestamps();
$table->integer('user_id')->unsigned();
$table->integer('post_id')->unsigned();
$table->text('body');
});
}
</pre>

We included user_id and post_id fields because we intend to create a link between the comments, users, and posts. The body field will contain the actual comment.


Defining the relationships among the Comment, User, and Post models

In this application, a comment will belong to a user and a post because a user can make a comment on a specific post, so we need to define the relationship that ties everything up.

Open the User model and include this method:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> // File: ./app/User.php
public function comments()
{
return $this->hasMany(Comment::class);
}
</pre>

This is a relationship that simply says that a user can have many comments. Now let’s define the same relationship on the Post model. Open the Post.php file and include this method:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> // File: ./app/Post.php
public function comments()
{
return $this->hasMany(Comment::class);
}
</pre>

Finally, we will include two methods in the Comment model to complete the second half of the relationships we defined in the User and Post models.

Open the app/Comment.php file and include these methods:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> // File: ./app/Comment.php
public function user()
{
return $this->belongsTo(User::class);
}

public function post()
{
    return $this-&gt;belongsTo(Post::class);
}

</pre>

Since we want to be able to mass assign data to specific fields of a comment instance during comment creation, we will include this array of permitted assignments in the app/Comment.php file:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> protected $fillable = ['user_id', 'post_id', 'body'];
</pre>

We can now run our database migration for our comments:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> $ php artisan migrate

</pre>

Configuring Laravel to broadcast events using Pusher

We already said that the comments will have a realtime functionality and we will be building this using Pusher, so we need to enable Laravel’s event broadcasting feature.

Open the config/app.php file and uncomment the following line in the providers array:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> App\Providers\BroadcastServiceProvider

</pre>

Next, we need to configure the broadcast driver in the .env file:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> BROADCAST_DRIVER=pusher

</pre>

Let’s pull in the Pusher PHP SDK using composer:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> $ composer require pusher/pusher-php-server

</pre>

Configuring Pusher

For us to use Pusher in this application, it is a prerequisite that you have a Pusher account. You can create a free Pusher account here then login to your dashboard and create an app.

Once you have created an app, we will use the app details to configure pusher in the .env file:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> PUSHER_APP_ID=xxxxxx
PUSHER_APP_KEY=xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
PUSHER_APP_SECRET=xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
PUSHER_APP_CLUSTER=xx

</pre>

Update the Pusher keys with the app credentials provided for you under the Keys section on the Overview tab on the Pusher dashboard.


Broadcasting an event for when a new comment is sent

To make the comment update realtime, we have to broadcast an event based on the comment creation activity. We will create a new event and call it CommentSent. It is to be fired when there is a successful creation of a new comment.

Run command in your terminal:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> php artisan make:event CommentSent

</pre>

There will be a newly created file in the app\Events directory, open the CommentSent.php file and ensure that it implements the ShouldBroadcast interface.

Open and replace the file with the following code:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> // File: ./app/Events/CommentSent.php
<?php

namespace App\Events;

use App\Comment;
use App\User;
use Illuminate\Broadcasting\Channel;
use Illuminate\Queue\SerializesModels;
use Illuminate\Broadcasting\PrivateChannel;
use Illuminate\Broadcasting\PresenceChannel;
use Illuminate\Foundation\Events\Dispatchable;
use Illuminate\Broadcasting\InteractsWithSockets;
use Illuminate\Contracts\Broadcasting\ShouldBroadcast;

class CommentSent implements ShouldBroadcast
{
    use Dispatchable, InteractsWithSockets, SerializesModels;

    public $user;

    public $comment;

    public function __construct(User $user, Comment $comment)
    {
        $this-&gt;user = $user;

        $this-&gt;comment = $comment;
    }

    public function broadcastOn()
    {
        return new PrivateChannel('comment');
    }
}

</pre>

In the code above, we created two public properties, user and comment, to hold the data that will be passed to the channel we are broadcasting on. We also created a private channel called comment. We are using a private channel so that only authenticated clients can subscribe to the channel.


Defining the routes for handling operations on a comment

We created a controller for the comment model earlier but we haven’t defined the web routes that will redirect requests to be handled by that controller.

Open the routes/web.php file and include the code below:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> // File: ./routes/web.php
Route::get('/{post}/comments', '[email protected]');
Route::post('/{post}/comments', '[email protected]');
</pre>

Setting up the action methods in the CommentController

We need to include two methods in the CommentController.php file, these methods will be responsible for storing and retrieving methods. In the store() method, we will also be broadcasting an event when a new comment is created.

Open the CommentController.php file and replace its contents with the code below:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> // File: ./app/Http/Controllers/CommentController.php
<?php

namespace App\Http\Controllers;

use App\Comment;
use App\Events\CommentSent;
use App\Post;
use Illuminate\Http\Request;

class CommentController extends Controller
{
    public function store(Post $post)
    {
        $this-&gt;validate(request(), [
            'body' =&gt; 'required',
        ]);

        $user = auth()-&gt;user();

        $comment = Comment::create([
            'user_id' =&gt; $user-&gt;id,
            'post_id' =&gt; $post-&gt;id,
            'body' =&gt; request('body'),
        ]);

        broadcast(new CommentSent($user, $comment))-&gt;toOthers();

        return ['status' =&gt; 'Message Sent!'];
    }

    public function index(Post $post)
    {
        return $post-&gt;comments()-&gt;with('user')-&gt;get();
    }
}

</pre>

In the store method above, we are validating then creating a new post comment. After the comment has been created, we broadcast the CommentSent event to other clients so they can update their comments list in realtime.

In the index method we just return the comments belonging to a post along with the user that made the comment.


Adding a layer of authentication

Let’s add a layer of authentication that ensures that only authenticated users can listen on the private comment channel we created.

Add the following code to the routes/channels.php file:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> // File: ./routes/channels.php
Broadcast::channel('comment', function ($user) {
return auth()->check();
});
</pre>

Adding comments to the frontend

In the second article of this series, we created the view for the single post landing page in the single.blade.php file, but we didn’t add the comments functionality. We are going to add it now. We will be using Vue to build the comments for this application so the first thing we will do is include Vue in the frontend of our application.

Open the master layout template and include Vue to its <head> tag. Just before the <title> tag appears in the master.blade.php file, include this snippet:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> <!-- File: ./resources/views/layouts/master.blade.php -->
<meta name="csrf-token" content="{{ csrf_token() }}">
<script src="{{ asset('js/app.js') }}" defer></script>
</pre>

The csrf_token() is there so that users cannot forge requests in our application. All our requests will pick the randomly generated csrf-token and use that to make requests.

Related: CSRF in Laravel: how VerifyCsrfToken works and how to prevent attacks

Now the next thing we want to do is update the resources/assets/js/app.js file so that it includes a template for the comments view.

Open the file and replace its contents with the code below:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> require('./bootstrap');

import Vue          from 'vue'
import VueRouter    from 'vue-router'
import Homepage from './components/Homepage'
import Create   from './components/Create'
import Read     from './components/Read'
import Update   from './components/Update'
import Comments from './components/Comments'

Vue.use(VueRouter)

const router = new VueRouter({
    mode: 'history',
    routes: [
        {
            path: '/admin/dashboard',
            name: 'read',
            component: Read,
            props: true
        },
        {
            path: '/admin/create',
            name: 'create',
            component: Create,
            props: true
        },
        {
            path: '/admin/update',
            name: 'update',
            component: Update,
            props: true
        },
    ],
});

const app = new Vue({
    el: '#app',
    components: { Homepage, Comments },
    router,
});

</pre>

Above we imported the Comment component and then we added it to the list of components in the applications Vue instance.

Now create a Comments.vue file in the resources/assets/js/components directory. This is where all the code for our comment view will go. We will populate this file later on.


Installing Pusher and Laravel Echo

For us to be able to use Pusher and subscribe to events on the frontend, we need to pull in both Pusher and Laravel Echo. We will do so by running this command:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> $ npm install --save laravel-echo pusher-js

</pre>

Laravel Echo is a JavaScript library that makes it easy to subscribe to channels and listen for events broadcast by Laravel.

Now let’s configure Laravel Echo to work in our application. In the resources/assets/js/bootstrap.js file, find and uncomment this snippet of code:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> import Echo from 'laravel-echo'

window.Pusher = require('pusher-js');

window.Echo = new Echo({
     broadcaster: 'pusher',
     key: process.env.MIX_PUSHER_APP_KEY,
     cluster: process.env.MIX_PUSHER_APP_CLUSTER,
     encrypted: true
});

</pre>

The key and cluster will pull the keys from your .env file so no need to enter them manually again.

Now let’s import the Comments component into the single.blade.php file and pass along the required the props.

Open the single.blade.php file and replace its contents with the code below:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> {{-- File: ./resources/views/single.blade.php --}}
@extends('layouts.master')

@section('content')
&lt;div class="container"&gt;
  &lt;div class="row"&gt;
    &lt;div class="col-lg-10 mx-auto"&gt;
      &lt;br&gt;
      &lt;h3 class="mt-4"&gt;
        {{ $post-&gt;title }} 
        &lt;span class="lead"&gt;by &lt;a href="#"&gt;{{ $post-&gt;user-&gt;name }}&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/span&gt;
      &lt;/h3&gt;
      &lt;hr&gt;
      &lt;p&gt;Posted {{ $post-&gt;created_at-&gt;diffForHumans() }}&lt;/p&gt;
      &lt;hr&gt;
      &lt;img class="img-fluid rounded" src="{!! !empty($post-&gt;image) ? '/uploads/posts/' . $post-&gt;image : 'http://placehold.it/750x300' !!}" alt=""&gt;
      &lt;hr&gt;
      &lt;div&gt;
        &lt;p&gt;{{ $post-&gt;body }}&lt;/p&gt;
        &lt;hr&gt;
        &lt;br&gt;
      &lt;/div&gt;

      @auth
      &lt;Comments
          :post-id='@json($post-&gt;id)' 
          :user-name='@json(auth()-&gt;user()-&gt;name)'&gt;
      &lt;/Comments&gt;
      @endauth
    &lt;/div&gt;
  &lt;/div&gt;
&lt;/div&gt;
@endsection

</pre>

Building the comments view

Open the Comments.vue file and add the following markup template below:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> <template>
<div class="card my-4">
<h5 class="card-header">Leave a Comment:</h5>
<div class="card-body">
<form>
<div class="form-group">
<textarea ref="body" class="form-control" rows="3"></textarea>
</div>
<button type="submit" @click.prevent="addComment" class="btn btn-primary">
Submit
</button>
</form>
</div>
<p class="border p-3" v-for="comment in comments">
<strong>{{ comment.user.name }}</strong>:
<span>{{ comment.body }}</span>
</p>
</div>
</template>
</pre>

Now, we’ll add a script that defines two methods:

  1. fetchComments() - this will fetch all the existing comments when the component is created.
  2. addComment() - this will add a new comment by hitting the backend server. It will also trigger a new event that will be broadcast so all clients receive them in realtime.

In the same file, add the following below the closing template tag:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> <script>
export default {
props: {
userName: {
type: String,
required: true
},
postId: {
type: Number,
required: true
}
},
data() {
return {
comments: []
};
},

  created() {
    this.fetchComments();

    Echo.private("comment").listen("CommentSent", e =&gt; {
        this.comments.push({
          user: {name: e.user.name},
          body: e.comment.body,
        });
    });
  },

  methods: {
    fetchComments() {
      axios.get("/" + this.postId + "/comments").then(response =&gt; {
        this.comments = response.data;
      });
    },

    addComment() {
      let body = this.$refs.body.value;
      axios.post("/" + this.postId + "/comments", { body }).then(response =&gt; {
        this.comments.push({
          user: {name: this.userName},
          body: this.$refs.body.value
        });
        this.$refs.body.value = "";
      });
    }
  }
};
&lt;/script&gt;

</pre>

In the created() method above, we first made a call to the fetchComments() method, then we created a listener to the private comment channel using Laravel Echo. Once this listener is triggered, the comments property is updated.


Testing the application

Now let’s test the application to see if it is working as intended. Before running the application, we need to refresh our database so as to revert any changes. To do this, run the command below in your terminal:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> $ php artisan migrate:fresh --seed

</pre>

Next, let’s build the application so that all the changes will be compiled and included as a part of the JavaScript file. To do this, run the following command on your terminal:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> $ npm run dev

</pre>

Finally, let’s serve the application using this command:

<pre class="ql-syntax" spellcheck="false"> $ php artisan serve

</pre>

To test that our application works visit the application URL http://localhost:8000 on two separate browser windows, we will log in to our application on each of the windows as a different user.

We will finally make a comment on the same post on each of the browser windows and check that it updates in realtime on the other window:


Conclusion

In this final tutorial of this series, we created the comments feature of the CMS and also made it realtime. We were able to accomplish the realtime functionality using Pusher.

In this entire series, we learned how to build a CMS using Laravel and Vue.

The source code for this article series is available here on Github.


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Vue JS 2 - The Complete Guide (incl. Vue Router & Vuex)

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Originally published by Neo Ighodaro at https://pusher.com