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My question is more conceptual than technical;

I have a website who have two big topics, on is purely editorial (pages, articles, faq, ...), the other is basically a comparator based on user input with account, sending contracts by mail and by post, reminders, signatures, etc etc. The business logic is quite complex.

I started doing everything in laravel + nova admin but I quickly felt frustrated for the cms part, as I'm used to Craft, and everything where Craft is good at is a pain and takes time to recreate in nova (the tool is an admin that has some cms capabilities, but is really far form Craft). So I ended up with two applications, Craft for content editing, and Laravel + nova for the custom part.

Is it a good idea ? Or should I put custom parts in custom craft plugins ? Can I do eveything, I guess like yii apps ?

In my current situation, I fear that I will end up with more complexity, making the two applications communicate seamlessly will take time, maybe mix authentifications,... In the other hand, I have the impression to really own the codebase and database with a barebone laravel app, than putting everything into Craft, as good as he is. But it's maybe a noob assumption.

What in your experience is the best way to go ?

Thanks for your inputs !

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In my company we work with Craft and Laravel only, so this question comes up quite often and is a moving target as time passes and both platforms evolve.

Since Craft is built on Yii you can do almost everything what you can do with Laravel. You have basically 3 options here: Craft-only, Nova-only or a hybrid. I would ask myself at least the following questions to make a decision:

  • Do you need to write a lot of tests for the business logic? -> even though Craft caught up on testing, still +1 for Nova and Laravel
  • Is the editorial part of the application really trivial? Like, can you avoid having complexity in the editorial and business logic part of the application? -> +1 for the hybrid
  • Do both parts of the application really have to communicate with each other? Can you avoid a shared user authentication? (should generally considered as last option IMO) -> +1 for the hybrid
  • What about integrations, are there plugins/packages available that you can use right away? -> depends on the research
  • Is there any show stopper for the business logic part regarding Craft? (Arbitrary example: You need a multi-tenancy architecture, don't take Craft-only.)

So in the end the good news is, there is not necessarily a right or a wrong answer here. The bad news is, either way you go you'll always feel like: "What if I had..."

You see, personally I lean more towards Laravel for custom application development, just because I am more comfortable with it than with Yii. I would definitely consider to take the advantages of both platforms in exchange for a bigger code base and maintenance effort. But only if one application part can be dumb and the other complex.

Maybe now you are even more uncertain than before :)

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