n the previous chapter, we have seen that the basic configuration files of Laravel are included in the config directory. In this chapter, let us discuss the categories included in the configuration.
Environment variables are those which provide a list of web services to your web application. All the environment variables are declared in the .env file which includes the parameters required for initializing the configuration.
By default, the .env file includes following parameters −
APP_ENV = local APP_DEBUG = true APP_KEY = base64:ZPt2wmKE/X4eEhrzJU6XX4R93rCwYG8E2f8QUA7kGK8 = APP_URL = http://localhost DB_CONNECTION = mysql DB_HOST = 127.0.0.1 DB_PORT = 3306 DB_DATABASE = homestead DB_USERNAME = homestead DB_PASSWORD = secret CACHE_DRIVER = file SESSION_DRIVER = file QUEUE_DRIVER = sync REDIS_HOST = 127.0.0.1 REDIS_PASSWORD = null REDIS_PORT = 6379 MAIL_DRIVER = smtp MAIL_HOST = mailtrap.ioMAIL_PORT = 2525 MAIL_USERNAME = null MAIL_PASSWORD = null MAIL_ENCRYPTION = null
While working with basic configuration files of Laravel, the following points are to be noted −
The .env file should not be committed to the application source control, since each developer or user has some predefined environment configuration for the web application.
For backup options, the development team should include the .env.example file, which should contain the default configuration.
Retrieval of Environment Variables
All the environment variables declared in the .env file can be accessed by env-helper functions which will call the respective parameter. These variables are also listed into $_ENV global variable whenever application receives a request from the user end. You can access the environment variable as shown below −
"env" => env("APP_ENV", "production"),
env-helper functions are called in the app.php file included in the config folder. The above given example is calling for the basic local parameter.
Accessing Configuration Values
You can easily access the configuration values anywhere in the application using the global config helper function. In case if the configuration values are not initialized, default values are returned.
For example, to set the default time zone, the following code is used −
config(["app.timezone" => "Asia/Kolkata"]);
Caching of Configuration
To increase the performance and to boost the web application, it is important to cache all the configuration values. The command for caching the configuration values is −
The following screenshot shows caching in a systematic approach −
Sometimes you may need to update some configuration values or perform maintenance on your website. In such cases, keeping it in maintenance mode, makes it easier for you. Such web applications which are kept in maintenance mode, throw an exception namely MaintenanceModeException with a status code of 503.
You can enable the maintenance mode on your Laravel web application using the following command −
php artisan down
The following screenshot shows how the web application looks when it is down −
Once you finish working on updates and other maintenance, you can disable the maintenance mode on your web application using following command −
php artisan up
Now, you can find that the website shows the output with proper functioning and depicting that the maintenance mode is now removed as shown below −