Laravel (PHP) & MySQL Guide

Ryan Rich -


This guide will cover the basics of deploying a PHP app built using the Laravel framework that stores data in a MySQL database. We have already created an example application using these steps here. Feel free to follow this guide or fork and clone the example application to create your own working copy to deploy to The Platform.


There are a few things you need before we can get started deploying your application.

Tools Needed

We assume you have base knowledge of the following tools, and installed. If not, you can find information on each of the tools by visiting their link and following the directions there for installing them.

Contract with Datica

You need a signed contract with Datica, and already have an environment provisioned for use. If you need to register for Datica you can start here.

Terms to know

Some basic terms that you should know:

  • Environment ID: a GUID assigned to your environment by Datica. Eg: 9cdde031-5342-4a0d-949c-31253227bd12
  • Environment Label: a name YOU picked for your environment. Eg: MyHealthApp-Production

Setting up your local php application using Laravel

Lets get your php application setup for deployment. For this example we are using the Laravel framework. To setup a new Laravel project, follow the directions on their documentation here. Otherwise the example application should be good to go right out of the box.

Developing locally

To run the example application locally, you can use the Homestead vagrant image which is pretty easy to setup. You can find more information on Homestead here.

Initialize your repository to your code service

We need to initialize your Datica code service to your Laravel application. To do this you need to use git and The Platform CLI.

Using a command line, navigate to a working copy of your application, or fork the example php application, and run the following commands:

$ datica init
# will prompt you to pick an environment and code service you have access to
"datica" remote added.

The Platform CLI added a git remote to your local repo so you can now push code to your environment on Datica.

# git remote -v
datica    ssh:// (fetch)
datica    ssh:// (push)
origin (fetch)
origin (push)

Your remotes will be unique to your origin and enivornment on Datica.

Deploying your code

So now that we have everything in order, lets deploy your application to The Platform.

Note: Your application needs a Procfile for deployment. If you are using the example application you do not need to worry about this as it is already done for you.

Run the command below from within your working copy. This will push our code up to The Platform and start the build process.

# git push datica master
... Lots of Build Output Here ...
remote: ---> XXXXXXX
remote: Finalizing Build (Note: This can take a few minutes to complete)....................................................
remote: Complete. Built Successfully!

Connecting to MySQL

To get your laravel application talking to MySQL, you need to edit the config/database.php file. You can view the edited file here. You just need to read in enviroment variables and set the config options.

At the top of database.php, add the following:

// Quick fix for parsing our database conneciton string to something Laravel can use in the config
    $url = parse_url(getenv("DATABASE_URL"));
    $host = $url["host"];
    $username = $url["user"];
    $password = $url["pass"];
    $database = substr($url["path"], 1);
    $host = env('DB_HOST', 'localhost');
    $username = env('DB_USERNAME', 'forge');
    $password = env('DB_PASSWORD', '');
    $database = env('DB_DATABASE', 'forge');

Then find the MySQL config options further down in database.php and edit the host, database, username, and password variables to this:

'mysql' => [
    'driver'    => 'mysql',
    'host'      => $host,
    'database'  => $database,
    'username'  => $username,
    'password'  => $password,
    'charset'   => 'utf8',
    'collation' => 'utf8_unicode_ci',
    'prefix'    => '',
    'strict'    => false,

Now your database settings will be automatically picked up when deployed on Datica or read from the .env file when developing locally.

Using environment variables

Using environment variables in PHP and Laravel is pretty straight forward. Just use the getenv() function any where you need to access an environment variable. You can find more documentation on the getenv() function here.


$databaseUrl = getenv("DATABASE_URL");

Updating Environment Variables

Use The Platform CLI to update your environment variables.

The Datica CLI makes it pretty straight forward for updating environment variables. Just change into the local directory of your project and use the following commands. For more information on using the Datica CLI, head over to the documentation.

List all Variables

datica -E "<your_env_name>" vars list <service_name>


datica -E "<your_env_name>" vars set <service_name> -v A=B


datica -E "<your_env_name>" vars unset <service_name> A

Creating schema for database

You can use the Datica CLI to run migrations on the MySQL database easily. Just run the following commands below to populate MySQL with the proper tables for the example application. If you are creating your own application, you can find more information here on migrations with Laravel.


First we need to find the label for the application service. The following will return a list of all services that belong to your environment:

datica -E "<your_env_name>" status

You should see some output like:

Overriding BaaS URL:
Overriding The Platform URL:
environment state: running
    app01 (size = c0, build status = finished, deploy status = running)
    db01 (size = c1, image = percona, status = running)

The first item in the list is the application service app01. We will target app01 and send a command to it so we can run the migration in the example app.

datica -E "<your_env_name>" console app01 'php artisan migrate --force'

That should give you a similar output as:

Opening console to service 'ee1af29c-5555-5555-5555-8e4ec6a6666a'
Waiting for the console to be ready... This might take a bit.
Connection opened
Migration table created successfully.
Migrated: 2014_10_12_000000_create_users_table
Migrated: 2014_10_12_100000_create_password_resets_table
Migrated: 2015_05_05_174234_create_visitors_table
loproxy: stopped
Connection closed: Going away (1006))
Cleaning up

As you can see, the migrations have run, and the database is setup for the example application.


After the initial deployment of the application on Datica, it’s pretty easy to update your code. Just do another git push:

# git push datica master
... Lots of Build Output Here ...
remote: ---> XXXXXXX
remote: Finalizing Build (Note: This can take a few minutes to complete)....................................................
remote: Complete. Built Successfully!

Add logging to your php application

Logging works easily right out of the box with Laravel. To Enable logging that works with Datica, you need to edit the /config/app.php config file.

Look for this in the app.php config file:

| Logging Configuration
| Here you may configure the log settings for your application. Out of
| the box, Laravel uses the Monolog PHP logging library. This gives
| you a variety of powerful log handlers / formatters to utilize.
| Available Settings: "single", "daily", "syslog", "errorlog"

'log' => 'daily',

You need to change the value from daily to syslog and you should be all set. Below is an example on how to send information to logging within your Laravel application.


Log::info('This is some useful information.');

Log::warning('Something could be going wrong.');

Log::error('Something is really going wrong.');

If you would like more information on logging and laravel you can go here.

Additionally, for using php standalone with no framework, you can use the syslog() function. More information on that can be found here.

Viewing Logs

Once your application is logging, you can view those logs using the dashboard. Just sign into The Platform Dashboard, navigate to the environments dashboard, and click on “Monitoring” or “Logging” on any environment within your dashboard.