Larvel Shift Service
Updating applications is part of the software lifecycle. It is important from a security and compatibility aspect and needs to be regularly maintained.
At Wirebox we are updating software on a regular cycle, whether it is the Operating system, coding language, framework or packages.
One application we have come across is Laravel Shift, an automated tool for maintaining the core Laravel code that the software is developed on, which we use on many bespoke applications we have developed.
How we upgrade
Upgrading any framework of coding language requires upgrading each version: e.g PHP 7 to PHP 8. If you were on PHP 6 you would need to update to PHP 7 and then PHP 8 and finally PHP 9 to reach version 10.
We update this way, as different versions could have many changes and gradual updates and fixes are more efficient.
The process we follow:
- Update version
- Test and fix
- Update next version
- Test and fix
Laravel Shift was released in 2016 and whilst writing this blog (29th December, 2023) there have been 107,184 updates, or “Shifts” as they are known in the industry. Wirebox started developing Laravel in 2013 and have gone through nearly 6 new versions since we adopted the software. It has meant we have had to support and maintain sites and long term support from those initial versions have expired.
With Laravel Shift, manual updates were not required, we could run Shift and it would try to automate as much as possible.
What does Laravel Shift and updating do?
Laravel releases a new version annually and each new iteration offers richer functionalities and security enhancements. Failing to update stops any new benefits and at worse leaves a security issue.
Advantages of Laravel Shift
Automation of tasks is faster and will be faster than a developer.
Shift will not miss deprecated functions or changes in the documentation.
Shift adds in comments for its changes to help explain to the developers why it changed the code.
What is still needed
Review code and pull requests
Shift will create a pull request which a developer will need to read through. Shift does not understand the application so the developer will need to make sure the changes made will work.
Testing is a must, you cannot just trust the changes will work and will be exactly the same if a developer manually made the changes.
Updates to your codebase is vitally important. Laravel Shift is a great tool to help with this. At Wirebox we use Shift on all our support projects using Laravel.
We have also been using Shift to update other Laraval installs we have not developed. Updating and managing other development installs can be challenging, but Laravel Shift has helped a great deal.
Wirebox highly recommend Laravel Shift and if you need a Laravel application updated, please contact us for assistance.