Lean Admin, our TALL stack admin panel package for Laravel, is finally approaching the v1 launch.
I started working on the package a bit over a year ago. Originally, it was meant to be something conceptually similar to Laravel Nova, with two key differences — we use Livewire as the tech stack, and customizability is the main focus. I expected to have it finished around this time of last year, so around December 2020.
However, as I was developing features, I realized that Lean could be much more than that.
The reason why it's taken so long to finish (most of) it is that it has completely new features, ideas, and patterns — in the sense that they aren't offered or used by any admin panels or CMS tools.
The new patterns we use allow for great extensibility, which means that the ecosystem has become a large focus. Some things are obvious. There will be packages for extra fields, some additional functionality, and things like that.
But that's not the main value of Lean.
As we explain in the waiting list welcome email, our goal with the Lean ecosystem is to provide packages that serve as full-stack building blocks for Laravel applications.
Say you want to build an application that deals with e-commerce, invoicing, live chat, knowledge base, and support tickets.
Before Lean, you'd have to build that app completely from scratch. At most you could install a few packages to handle the specific low level problems related to those features, but you couldn't really put entire features together.
And if any of the features had full stack solutions, rather than just low level packages, they would always be difficult to customize. For instance any "e-commerce application templates". Those are generally very very hard to customize. And as mentioned before, almost impossible to combine with other templates.
So you'd have the e-commerce logic, but then would have to implement the rest of the app yourself, within that customized template.
That's ... far from ideal. Web apps aren't all that unique, so building them shouldn't be this hard.
And soon, it won't. With Lean, those features will all be extra packages that you can install, combine, and customize however you want.
Which is the ultimate value proposition and vision of Lean.
But of course, it wasn't easy to build. I gave a few estimates this year, and it always ended up taking much longer.
At this point, Lean is essentially a full-stack framework for building admin panel-centric web apps. Some of its frontend logic really makes it feel like a new framework, since it introduces many new abstractions specifically developed to make building dynamic admin panels easy.
The fact that it's become so much bigger than what I originally intended for it to be has made estimating the release date very hard. And for that reason, I'm not giving any specific estimates now, even though it's close to launch.
I expect the code to be pretty much done by the end of the year, with early January being spent on docs, tests, and some extra fields. Sometime around that we'll open registration again and you'll be able to purchase a license.
Right now, I'm finishing Lean and the rest of our team is building a digital marketplace where all of our products — including Lean and its packages — will be sold. Shortly after the launch, we'll also start accepting new sellers which means that anyone with a Lean license will be able to make money by building packages for it.
If you're interested, you can join the waiting list at lean-admin.dev to get a significant discount at launch. And if you have a license already, it will be extended to a year from the v1 launch.