Laravel is an open-source framework that has dominated the PHP framework arena for many years due to its expressive and elegant syntax. The latest version, Laravel 9.x was released with the upgraded features on 8th February 2022. The Laravel latest version has brought several essential updates that can be useful for Laravel development. This post will explain what’s new in Laravel 9 and precisely answer your quest of why and how to upgrade Laravel from 8 to 9.

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Laravel 9 Release: Important Details

Laravel 9 was initially announced to be released in September 2021. But to add Symfony 6.0 an updated version to it, the Laravel 9 release date was postponed to 8th February 2022.

The minimum requirement to run Laravel 9 is PHP 8.0. This is because Symfony’s latest version 6.0 is dependent on PHP 8.0

Laravel follows semantic versioning, thus all the major framework releases would now be obtained every year (mainly in February). The minor or patch release would be available as frequently as every week.

10 reasons to upgrade Laravel 8 to 9reasons to upgrade Laravel 8 to 9

Let’s look for what is new in Laravel 9, which makes it a reason to upgrade from Laravel 8.

#1 Symfony Mailer

This is one of the largest changes made in Laravel’s latest version. SwiftMailer hasn’t been updated after November 2021 and isn’t available after December 2021. Now, this is already a big reason to upgrade to Laravel 9!

Symfony Mailer replaces SwiftMailer as the internal mail library. This will provide more consistency to your application.

To obtain full compatibility of your application, check for the following changes:

  • Requirement of symfony/mailgun-mailer and symfony/http-client composer packages.
  • Switching of wildbit/swiftmailer-postmark with symfony/postmark-mailer and symfony/http-client
  • Access Symfony\Component\Mailer\SentMessage via getSymfonySentMessage
  • Different undocumented SwiftMailer documents are renamed to their Symfony Mailer counterparts.
  • Symfony Mailer will automatically create Message-ID based on the sender instead of using mime.idgenerator.idright configuration option.
  • Transport reconnections will not be forced. Symfony Mailer will automatically attempt to reconnect.
  • Symfony Mailer will require you to define the appropriate options directly within the configuration if they are supported.
  • Codes relying on missing methods proxied to SwiftMailer in the Laravel version 8 should now be updated with their corresponding Symfony Mailer counterparts.

#2 Flysystem 3.x

The Laravel latest version 9.x, has migrated from Flysystem 1.x to 3.x powers file manipulation methods. The updated Laravel version will make the Laravel development process seamless. Take a look at the application changes mentioned below:

  • Write operations will now automatically overwrite the existing files.
  •  If the write operation fails, it will no longer throw an exception.
  • As cached adapters are no longer supported, the cache key within the disk configuration could be removed.

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#3 Improved Accessors/ Mutators

In Laravel 9 you can now use Illuminate\Database\Eloquent\Casts\Attribute to define accessors and mutators.

This is a single and non-prefixed method to declare a model prefix.

Using this single method, you can now get as well as set the attributes.
In addition, defining accessors will cache object values like in custom cast classes.Laravel 8to 9 Improved Accessors- Mutators

#4 Controller Route Groups

The controller method is now used to define a common controller for every route included in the group.

This will make route definition more clear to be readable and easy.Laravel 8 to 9 Controller Route Groups

#5 Full-Text Indexes/ Where Clauses

Laravel 9 when using MySQL or PostgreSQL, now includes fulltext method to generate full-text indexes.
Laravel 8 to 9 Full-Text Indexes
The whereFullText method is transformed into the appropriate SQL for the underlying database system by Laravel 9.Full-Text Indexes

#6 Scout Database Engine

Laravel Scout is a driver-based solution for performing a full-text search on your Eloquent models. Previously, you required Laravel Development services like Algolia or MeiliSearch to perform and execute the indexing and search. For this to work, you need to be using either MySQL or PostgreSQL.

While using Laravel Scout, it will default to the model’s toArray() method. With this new database to search, there is no traditional indexing required that was required with Algolia.

#7 Rendering a Blade String

Laravel 9 now provides the ability to render a blade string into its HTML equivalent.

The render method approves the blade template string and an optional array of data to provide the template.
Laravel 8 to 9 Rendering a Blade String
The renderComponent method is used to render a given class component bypassing the component instance to the method.Laravel 8 to 9 Rendering a Blade String

Along with these, the latest version of Laravel has added @checked and @selected blade components for working out in the specified condition only.Laravel 8 to 9 Rendering a Blade String

Laravel 8 to 9 Rendering a Blade String

#8 Bootstrap 5 Pagination Views

Laravel 9 has now included a pagination view using Bootstrap 5. Previously, the tailwind views were obtained by default, but with Laravel 9 upgrade you can now use the useBootstrapFive method for pagination.
Bootstrap 5 Pagination Views

#9 New Helper Functions

Although the likelihood of impact is much low for this new feature, it makes the basic work quite easy.

Laravel 9.x now incorporates a global str helper function. This means that it is now pretty easy to use the function rather than implementing the confusing string helper function that PHP used to provide.

In the previous release of Laravel, for any closure passing when or unless methods were always evaluated to true. In Laravel 9.x, the returned value will be considered a boolean value when passing through when and unless methods.Laravel 8 to 9 New Helper Functions

#10 Implicit Route Bindings with Enums

Enum was first supported by PHP version 8.1. In laravel 9.x there is an addition of the ability to type-hint an Enum on your route definition.

The framework will only invoke the route only if it has a valid Enum value in the URI. If not then an HTTP 404 response will return automatically.Laravel 8 to 9 Implicit Route Bindings with Enums

Wrap Up

Laravel 9.x is the first PHP framework that will follow a 12-month release cycle. And the main aim of the creators is to bring out the best solutions for their users.

The latest version of Laravel will make it convenient to develop web apps. In case you want to have a go-to partner for your web app designing, you can hire Laravel developers from us.

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Here’s a quick guide on how to upgrade to Laravel 9

You can quickly upgrade to Laravel 9 and run the latest Laravel version on your local device.

Remember that Laravel 9.x will require PHP 8.1 + version to run. It is, therefore, better to remove the previous version and start a new installation.

  • Execute the following command, to deploy Laravel 9 utilizing composer:Laravel 9 utilizing composer
  • Test your current version using the following command:Laravel 8 to 9 Test your current version

Bingo! You are good to go with Laravel 9!
List of server requirements for Laravel 9