Building a Micro Markdown API App with Lumen

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If you’ve been using Laravel for a while, you know that it sometimes feels a little heavy for a small application or service. For that same purpose, Taylor, the creator of Laravel built Lumen. A small micro-framework built on top of Laravel Illuminate components, it doesn’t load all the components by default like Eloquent, Blade, Middleware, etc, remaining light as it boots up. We will explore all of that this short tutorial.

Why Lumen?

If you’re already a Laravel user, you may be in love with Laravel’s syntax and shortcuts. But, when working on just a small application, you don’t want to have a full stack framework with all the packages wired up. Lumen provides a good starting point for your small application, stripping out all the parts that you probably won’t need.

What We’re Building

To illustrate a practical use case for the micro framework, we will be creating a Markdown parser API application where the user can submit a Markdown text and get back the parsed content as JSON. I will be using the league/commonmark package from the PHP League. You can check the final result on Github.

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