Laravel Spark is Launched

Laravel Spark, the Laravel package that provides scaffolding for everything you don’t want to code, is now officially released and available for everyone.

August of 2015 at the Kentucky Center hundreds of developers sat waiting as Taylor Otwell took the stage for the Laracon Keynote talk. He kicked if off talking about finding inspiration from the movie Jiro Dreams of Sushi.

“Jiro would dream of sushi, wanting to elevate his craft. One could assume this gives him a deep and satisfying meaning to life”, Taylor recalled, “we share a lot of the same characteristics, and one big item is flow.”

Flow, also known as the zone, is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity.

Taylor continued by talking about how Laravel aims to make the pathway to flow as easy as possible by allowing you to focus on the app you are building, not the mundane boilerplate.

Some of the examples include:

  • Homestead (A good dev environment)
  • Forge and Envoyer for production deployments
  • Blade
  • Eloquent
  • Elixir
  • Cashier

All this lead to his newest creation Laravel Spark, which aims to make creating a working SaaS (software as a service) app painless.

The keynote continued going through a demo and announced the alpha would be available the following month. Then all went silent.

Having just launched Forge and Envoyer, Taylor knew how much of a burden building out subscription billing is. It needs a payment gateway, full member management, subscribing to plans, subscription swapping, subscription canceling, pro-rating, coupons, discounts, teams, invites, and that is just the bare minimum feature set. You also have to add routes, views, JavaScript, and more to get this all working.

What Spark does is combine all this into a single package that you can add to a Laravel app. Define your subscription plans, set your company address, add Stripe data, and deploy.

Development of Spark continued behind the scenes, and little teasers of the official version started being leaked to social media at the end of February. Then on March 3rd, Taylor announced the official release will not be free.

During the keynote, Spark was released as a free open source product, and this pivot caused a mix of both positive and negative reactions. Most where understanding of the change in direction.

The #sparkwatch teasers didn’t stop, and then a super specific launch date came out. April 19th at 10 AM CET. As that date started approaching Spark became feature complete and a beta launched Friday, April 15th.

The pricing is $99 for a single license and $299 for an unlimited. With one license you can develop as many sites as you want locally and it only goes into effect once you deploy to a server.

Laravel Spark First Impressions

Originally published at

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