Learn Laravel Lumen Microservices Architecture Tutorial

Learn Laravel Lumen Microservices Architecture Tutorial


Laravel Lumen
Laravel Lumen


Laravel Lumen is an open-source Laravel based micro-framework especially designed for building lightning fast micro-services and REST APIs.

What is Laravel Lumen?

Lumen is Laravel based microservices framework designed to develop high-performance lightweight microservices.

Though Laravel is feature enriched, robust, simple, and clean web development framework. Laravel is endlessly configurable and benefits from an enormous ecosystem of third-party packages.

But, sometimes application performance is the prime objective with limited features. Here, comes the microservices framework Lumen.

Nowadays, microframeworks like Lumen, Silex and Slim have dominated the traditional enterprise frameworks – Laravel, Symphony, and Zend Framework. The microframeworks provide limited capabilities but with superior performance.

It was created by Laravel author Taylor Otwell in April 2015. Lumen offers most of the same features of Laravel with great performance.

Refer step-by-step guide to understand Laravel framework:

Microservices Framework – Future application architecture

Lumen is all about creating microservices in Laravel based applications. Lets first grasp the basic concept behind microservices.

                                Microservices = Micro + Services

Here, the word micro refers to smaller parts of an application (services).

Microservices is a technology buzzword which has dominated the future generation application design. Microservices is also known as microservices architecture – it is a software system architecture where the large application is decomposed into smaller parts called as services.

The fundamental concept of microservices is to split large application (service) into micro(smaller) apps where each small part communicate with each other. This architecture provides a number of benefits to the large organization and even startup companies.

In this application framework, organizations focus on each smaller part to make each micro-service lightweight and faster than the single large app.

These smaller parts (micro-services) can be developed in different programming languages. Like in an enterprise application, one component can be written in Python, another in Go and so on.. All these components communicate with each other microservices.


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Is there any disadvantage of microservices?

Yes. Microservices too have some disadvantages. The downside of MS is that increasing the number of smaller parts i.e multiple micro-services brings the complexity into the system and becomes harder for developers to maintain and debug the application for any issue analysis.

So, the trick is that develop a microservice for those application components which require high performance like REST API to handle frequent user requests into the system.

Laravel vs Lumen – When to use Lumen over Laravel

It’s very hard to decide when to choose which framework Laravel or Lumen for web application development. The bottom line is – choose Lumen only when application performance is a prime priority for the organizations rather than feature coverage.

For example, if a specific part of your web application is largely used with much greater frequency than other areas and it’s beginning to degrade overall performance, then you might consider rebuilding that popular feature using Lumen and integrating it alongside the Laravel application.


Basic Facts about Lumen Architecture

Lumen was developed to allow Laravel developers to build lightweight high-performance web applications. This microframework ships with almost all basic features of Laravel but with limited capabilities and high performance. 

Following are basic characteristics of Lumen:

  • Lumen has the same foundation as Laravel but built for creating microservices.
  • Not designed for front-facing interfaces, works in the background.
  • Flexible to add Laravel components into Lumen
  • Lumen is not to replace Laravel, rather its microframework
  • The microservices can be consumed as a whole application or a separate component.
  • Microservices can be written in different programming languages and communicated together.
  • Blade templating and Eloquent, these two capabilities are not enabled in Lumen by default.

Lumen Microframework Requirements

Lumen microframework requires few system requirements to create powerful REST API’s. The following software packages must be installed:

  • PHP version >= 7.0 must be installed
  • PHP Extensions – PDO, OpenSSL, Mbstring must be preinstalled.
  • The composer must be installed to install Laravel Lumen.
  • MySQL


How to install Laravel Lumen?

Lumen makes use of Composer to download and manage its dependencies. 

Laravel Lumen can be installed in two ways:

Method1 – Lumen installation via Lumen Installer

Step1 – Run the following command to download the Lumen installer.

          composer global require “laravel/lumen-installer”

After, the download is complete add the ~/.composer/vendor/bin directory to the PATH environment variable so that the system can locate Lumen executable.

Step2 – Fresh Lumen Installation

         lumen new MyFirstLumen

The above command will create new lumen installation in the specified directory, MyFirstLumen in this case.


Method2 – Lumen installation via creating a new project

The lumen can also be installed using the following single command:

       composer create-project –prefer-dist laravel/lumen blog

Both these methods do the same installation, but method 1 is much faster than method2.

How to start the Laravel Lumen server?

After, the successful Lumen installation next step is to start the Lumen server. This step is called as serving the Lumen applications. Use the following command to start the Lumen server locally:

                              PHP -S localhost:8000 -t public


Well done! You have learned the basics of Laravel Lumen microframework and fundamental concepts of the micro-services buzzword. In addition, you learned how to download and install Laravel Lumen and start the Lumen server locally. Now,  you can easily master how to create microservices in Laravel? Subscribe to our Blog @ TechCluesBlog

Also, read Advanced Laravel concepts:

Further Reading

Develop Restful APIs with Lumen

Lumen Introduction

Lumen Official Documentation

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