In this tutorial, I'll show you how to set up a full-stack Vue 2.6 SPA with Laravel 6 backend including each of the CRUD operations (Create, Read, Update and Delete).

AJAX is key to this architecture, so we'll use Axios as the HTTP client. I'll also show you some strategies for dealing with the UX pitfalls of this architecture.

It'd be a good idea to follow along with the simple demo app that can be found in this GitHub repo.

Table of contents:


    Full-Stack Vue/Laravel CRUD

    CRUD (Create, Read, Update and Delete) are the basic data operations and one of the first things you learn as a Laravel developer. Vue.js 2.6 is part of the laravel/ui package available with Laravel 6. Vue is a great option for creating a dynamic user interface for your CRUD operations.

    The standard approach of combining Vue and Laravel is to create Vue components and then drop them into your Blade files. But CRUD operation under this architecture will require a page refresh before they're reflected in the UI.

    Single-page application

    Superior user experience can be achieved by creating a Vue single-page application (SPA) with Laravel. CRUD operations can then be done asynchronously without a page refresh

    However, this configuration will require special attention to ensure the state of the data is consistent in both the front end backends. In this tutorial, I'll show you how to do that.

    Demo app

    The demo app allows a user to create new "Cruds", which I decided, after an incredible amount of creative thinking, are alien creatures with strange names and the ability to change from red to green and back.

    The Cruds are shown on the main page, and the user can either create new Cruds, delete them, or update their color.

    Vue Laravel CRUD demo

    Setting up CRUD in the Laravel backend

    We'll begin the tutorial with the Laravel backend where the CRUD operations are fulfilled. I'll keep this part brief as Laravel CRUD is a topic covered extensively elsewhere and I assume you are already familiar with the basics of Laravel.

    In summary, we will:

    • Set up a database
    • Set up RESTful API routes by using a Resource Controller
    • Define methods in the controller to perform the CRUD operations

    Database

    Firstly, create a new migration which we'll use for creating a table for storing our Cruds. Cruds have two properties: a name, and color, which we store as text.

    2018_02_02_081739_create_cruds_table.php

    <?php
    
    ...
    
    class CreateCrudsTable extends Migration
    {
      public function up()
      {
        Schema::create('cruds', function (Blueprint $table) {
          $table->increments('id');
          $table->text('name');
          $table->text('color');
          $table->timestamps();
        });
      }
    
      ...
    }
    ...
    

    API

    Now we set up RESTful API routes that our Vue SPA will need. The resource method of the Route facade will create all the actions we need automatically. However, we don't need edit, show, or store, so we'll exclude those.

    routes/api.php

    <?php
    
    Route::resource('/cruds', 'CrudsController', [
      'except' => ['edit', 'show', 'store']
    ]);
    

    With this in place, here are the routes we'll now have available from our backend API:

    VerbPathActionRoute Name
    GET/api/crudsindexcruds.index
    GET/api/cruds/createcreatecruds.create
    PUT/api/cruds/{id}updatecruds.update
    DELETE/api/cruds/{id}destroycruds.destroy

    Controller

    We now need to implement the logic for each of these in a controller:

    app/Http/Controllers/CrudsController.php

    <?php
    
    namespace App\Http\Controllers;
    
    use App\Crud;
    use Illuminate\Http\Request;
    use Illuminate\Http\Response;
    use Faker\Generator;
    
    class CrudsController extends Controller
    {
      // Methods
    }
    

    create. We randomize the name and color of a new Crud using the Faker package included with Laravel. We send the newly created Crud data back to our Vue app as JSON data.

    <?php
    
    ...
    
    public function create(Generator $faker)
    {
      $crud = new Crud();
      $crud->name = $faker->lexify('????????');
      $crud->color = $faker->boolean ? 'red' : 'green';
      $crud->save();
    
      return response($crud->jsonSerialize(), Response::HTTP_CREATED);
    }
    

    index. We return the full set of Cruds with the index method, again as JSON. In a more serious app we'd use pagination, but let's keep it simple for now.

    <?php
    
    ...
    
    public function index()
    {
      return response(Crud::all()->jsonSerialize(), Response::HTTP_OK);
    }
    

    update. This action allows the client to change the color of a Crud.

    <?php
    
    ...
    
    public function update(Request $request, $id)
    {
      $crud = Crud::findOrFail($id);
      $crud->color = $request->color;
      $crud->save();
    
      return response(null, Response::HTTP_OK);
    }
    

    destroy. This is how we delete our Cruds.

    <?php
    
    ...
    
    public function destroy($id)
    {
      Crud::destroy($id);
    
      return response(null, Response::HTTP_OK);
    }
    

    Creating the Vue.js single-page app

    Now for our Vue.js SPA. This will work with either Laravel 5.x, or with the laravel/ui package with Laravel 6. I assume you know the basics of Vue.js, so I won't explain the rudimentary concepts like components, etc.

    Crud component

    We'll begin by creating a single-file component to display our Cruds called CrudComponent.vue in the directory resources/assets/js/components.

    A Crud

    This component is mainly for display and doesn't have much logic. Here are the noteworthy aspects:

    • The image shown depends on the color of the Crud (either red.png or green.png)
    • Has a delete button which triggers a method del on click, which emits an event delete with the ID of the Crud
    • Has an HTML select (for choosing the color) which triggers a method update on change, which emits an event update with the ID of the Crud and the new color selected

    resources/assets/js/components/CrudComponent.vue

    <template>
      <div class="crud">
        <div class="col-1">
          <img :src="image"/>
        </div>
        <div class="col-2">
          <h3>Name: {{ name | properCase }}</h3>
          <select @change="update">
            <option
              v-for="col in [ 'red', 'green' ]"
              :value="col"
              :key="col"
              :selected="col === color ? 'selected' : ''"
            >{{ col | properCase }}</option>
          </select>
          <button @click="del">Delete</button>
        </div>
      </div>
    </template>
    <script>
      export default {
        computed: {
          image() {
            return `/images/${this.color}.png`;
          }
        },
        methods: {
          update(val) {
            this.$emit('update', this.id, val.target.selectedOptions[0].value);
          },
          del() {
            this.$emit('delete', this.id);
          }
        },
        props: ['id', 'color', 'name'],
        filters: {
          properCase(string) {
            return string.charAt(0).toUpperCase() + string.slice(1);
          }
        }
      }
    </script>
    <style>...</style>
    

    App component

    A Vue SPA needs a root component and that will be App.vue. Create this file in the directory resources/assets/js. You'll then need to ensure this component gets mounted by the main Vue instance by changing the contents of app.js to:

    resources/assets/js/app.js

    window.Vue = require('vue');
    
    import App from './App.vue';
    
    const app = new Vue({
      el: '#app',
      components: {
        App
      },
      render: h => h(App)
    });
    

    Template

    Let's now create the template of App.vue. This has the following jobs:

    • Display our Cruds with the crud-component component discussed above
    • Loop through an array of Crud objects (in the array cruds), with each mapping to an instance of crud-component. We pass all the properties of a Crud to the corresponding component as props, and set up listeners for the update and delete events
    • We also have an Add button that will create new Cruds by triggering a method create on click

    resources/assets/js/components/App.vue

    <template>
      <div id="app">
        <div class="heading">
          <h1>Cruds</h1>
        </div>
        <crud-component
          v-for="crud in cruds"
          v-bind="crud"
          :key="crud.id"
          @update="update"
          @delete="del"
        ></crud-component>
        <div>
          <button @click="create">Add</button>
        </div>
      </div>
    </template>
    

    Logic

    Here's the logic from the script of App.vue:

    • We'll create a factory function Crud that creates new objects used to represent our Cruds. Each has an ID, color, and name
    • We import CrudComponent and use it in this component
    • We provide an array cruds as a data property
    • I've also stubbed methods for each CRUD operation which will be populated in the next section

    resources/assets/js/components/App.vue

    <template>...</template>
    <script>
      function Crud({ id, color, name}) {
        this.id = id;
        this.color = color;
        this.name = name;
      }
    
      import CrudComponent from './components/CrudComponent.vue';
    
      export default {
        data() {
          return {
            cruds: []
          }
        },
        methods: {
          async create() {
            // To do
          },
          async read() {
            // To do
          },
          async update(id, color) {
            // To do
          },
          async del(id) {
            // To do
          }
        },
        components: {
          CrudComponent
        }
      }
    </script>
    

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    Implementing CRUD in the Vue SPA with AJAX

    All the CRUD operations in a full-stack app will be executed in the backend since that's where the database is. However, the triggering of CRUD operations will happen in the Vue SPA.

    As such, an HTTP client (something that can communicate between our front and backends across the internet) will be of importance here. Axios is a great HTTP client that comes pre-installed with the default Laravel frontend.

    Let's look at our resource table again, as each AJAX call will need to target a relevant API route:

    VerbPathActionRoute Name
    GET/api/crudsindexcruds.index
    GET/api/cruds/createcreatecruds.create
    PUT/api/cruds/{id}updatecruds.update
    DELETE/api/cruds/{id}destroycruds.destroy

    Read

    Let's begin with the read method. This method is responsible for retrieving our Cruds from the backend and will target the index action of our Laravel controller, thus using the endpoint GET /api/cruds.

    We can set up a GET call with window.axios.get, as the Axios library has been aliased as a property of the window object in the default Laravel frontend setup.

    Axios methods like get, post, etc return a promise. We can use async/await to neatly the response object. We'll destructure it so we can grab the data property which is the body of the AJAX response.

    resources/assets/js/components/App.vue

    ...
    
    methods() {
      async read() {
        const { data } = window.axios.get('/api/cruds');
        // console.log(data)
      },
      ...
    }
    
    /*
    Sample response:
    
    [
      {
        "id": 0,
        "name": "ijjpfodc",
        "color": "green",
        "created_at": "2018-02-02 09:15:24",
        "updated_at": "2018-02-02 09:24:12"
      },
      {
        "id": 1,
        "name": "wjwxecrf",
        "color": "red",
        "created_at": "2018-02-03 09:26:31",
        "updated_at": "2018-02-03 09:26:31"
      }
    ]
    */
    

    As you can see, the Cruds are returned in a JSON array. Axios automatically parses the JSON and gives us JavaScript objects, which is nice. Let's iterate through these and create new Cruds with our Crud factory function, pushing each new one to the cruds array data property.

    Finally, we'll trigger this method programmatically from the created hook, ensure our Cruds get added when the page first loads.

    resources/assets/js/components/App.vue

    ...
    
    methods() {
      async read() {
        const { data } = window.axios.get('/api/cruds');
        data.forEach(crud => this.cruds.push(new Crud(crud)));
      },
      ...
    },
    ...
    created() {
      this.read();
    }
    
    
    

    With that done, we can now see the Cruds displayed in our app when we load it:

    Cruds in our app

    Note: loading the data from the created hook works, but is not very efficient. It'd be far better to get rid of the read and just include the initial state of the app inlined into the document head when the first loads. I won't show you how to do that here as it gets messy, but I discuss this design pattern in-depth in the article Avoid This Common Anti-Pattern In Full-Stack Vue/Laravel Apps.

    Update (and syncing state)

    The update action allows us to change the color of a Crud. We'll send form data to the API endpoint so it knows what color we want to use. Note that the ID of the Crud is provided in the URL as well.

    This is a good time to discuss an issue I mentioned at the beginning of the article: with single-page apps, you must ensure the state of the data is consistent in both the front and backends.

    In the case of the update method, we could update the Crud object in the frontend app instantly before the AJAX call is made since we already know the new state.

    However, we don't perform this update until the AJAX call completes. Why? The reason is that the action might fail for some reason: the internet connection might drop, the updated value may be rejected by the database, or some other reason.

    If we instead wait until the server responds before updating the frontend state, we can be sure the action was successful and the front and backend data is synchronized.

    resources/assets/js/components/App.vue

    methods: {
      async read() {
        ...
      },
      async update(id, color) {
        await window.axios.put(`/api/cruds/${id}`, { color });
        // Once AJAX resolves we can update the Crud with the new color
        this.cruds.find(crud => crud.id === id).color = color;
      },
      ...
    }
    

    You might argue its bad UX to wait for the AJAX to resolve before showing the changed data when you don't have to, but I think it's much worse UX to mislead the user into thinking a change is done, when in fact, we aren't sure if it is done or not.

    Create and Delete

    Now that you understand the key points of the architecture, you will hopefully be able to understand these last two operations without my commentary:

    resources/assets/js/components/App.vue

    methods: {
      async read() {
        ...
      },
      async update(id, color) {
        ...
      },
      async create() {
        const { data } = window.axios.get('/api/cruds/create');
        this.cruds.push(new Crud(data));
      },
      async del(id) {
        await window.axios.delete(`/api/cruds/${id}`);
        let index = this.cruds.findIndex(crud => crud.id === id);
        this.cruds.splice(index, 1);
      }
    }
    

    UX enhancements

    As you know, our CRUD operations are asynchronous, and so there's a small delay while we wait for the AJAX call to reach the server, for the server to respond, and to receive the response.

    To improve UX it'd be good to have some kind of visual loading indicator and to disable any interactivity while we wait for the current action to resolve. This lets the user know what's going on, plus, it gives them certainty of the state of the data.

    There are some good plugins for Vue.js loading state, but I'm just going to make something quick and dirty here: while AJAX is underway I'll overlay a full screen, semi-transparent div over the top of the app. This will kill both aforementioned birds with a single stone.

    resources/views/index.blade.php

    <body>
    <div id="mute"></div>
    <div id="app"></div>
    <script src="js/app.js"></script>
    </body>
    

    To do this, we'll toggle the value of a boolean mute from false to true whenever AJAX is underway, and use this value to show/hide the div.

    resources/assets/js/components/App.vue

    export default {
      data() {
        return {
          cruds: [],
          mute: false
        }
      },
      ...
    }
    

    Here's how we implement the toggling of mute in the update method. When the method is called, mute is set to true. When the promise resolves, AJAX is done, so it's safe for the user to interact with the app again, so we set mute back to false.

    resources/assets/js/components/App.vue

    async update(id, color) {
      this.mute = true;
      await window.axios.put(`/api/cruds/${id}`, { color });
      this.cruds.find(crud => crud.id === id).color = color;
      this.mute = false;
    },
    

    You'll need to implement the same thing in each of the CRUD methods, but I won't show that here for brevity.

    To make our loading indicator markup and CSS, we add the element <div id="mute"></div> directly above our mount element <div id="app"></div>.

    As you can see from the inline style, when the class on is added to <div id="mute">, it will completely cover the app, adding a greyish tinge and preventing any click events from reaching the buttons and selects:

    resources/views/index.blade.php

    <!doctype html>
    <html lang="{{ app()->getLocale() }}">
    <head>
      <meta charset="utf-8">
      <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=edge">
      <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1">
      <meta name="csrf-token" content="{{ csrf_token() }}">
      <title>Cruds</title>
      <style>
        html, body {
          margin: 0;
          padding: 0;
          height: 100%;
          width: 100%;
          background-color: #d1d1d1
        }
        #mute {
          position: absolute;
        }
        #mute.on {
          opacity: 0.7;
          z-index: 1000;
          background: white;
          height: 100%;
          width: 100%;
        }
      </style>
    </head>
    <body>
    <div id="mute"></div>
    <div id="app"></div>
    <script src="js/app.js"></script>
    </body>
    </html>
    

    The last piece of the puzzle is to toggle the on class by utilizing a watch on the value of mute, which calls this method each time mute changes:

    export default {
      ...
      watch: {
        mute(val) {
          document.getElementById('mute').className = val ? "on" : "";
        }
      }
    }
    

    With that done, you now have a working full-stack Vue/Laravel CRUD SPA with a loading indicator. Here it is again in its full glory:

    Vue Laravel CRUD demo

    Don't forget to grab the code in this GitHub repo and leave me a comment if you have any thoughts or questions!


    Anthony Gore

    About Anthony Gore

    I'm Anthony Gore and I'm here to teach you Vue.js! Through my books, online courses, and social media, I aim to turn you into a Vue.js expert.

    I'm a Vue Community Partner, curator of the weekly Vue.js Developers Newsletter, and the creator of Vue.js Developers.

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