Can I do it in Laravel?It’s better to tell what the framework doesn’t allow you to do: a native Mobile App, or Desktop software.
Laravel excels at being a web application, or a tiny web API, bound to HTTP Requests and scheduled jobs.
For the API side of things, were you need something fast, Lumen is like the bones of Laravel without much of the overhead of additional logics.
It’s recommended to use only when you fully understand how Laravel works and you can do most of the work by yourself.
If you need an interface and management application for an already existing system, like for showing statistics of your Email Server, or a dashboard for your thermostat, it may work as long that system offers an API to communicate with Laravel.
The HTTP Protocol is easy to manage thanks to the popular GuzzleHTTP package, but if you have another (like RPC, SMTP, FTP, etc), you may want to integrate another Composer package made by the community into Laravel, or even a PHP extension.
Again, Laravel it’s not a swiss-army knife, it’s a web application framework.
If you are looking to make a critical business decision you may want to explore more languages options like Node.
js, C++, C#, Go, Python, among others, for your particular project.
I see some “Composer” packages.
What are those?Composer is a package management system for PHP.
Composer packages are like self-contained tools that the community and companies write to enable or extend PHP projects.
Even Laravel is itself a Composer package!For example, Laravel includes on his manifest the Carbon package, which is downloaded automatically as a dependency.
Carbon allows you to manipulate time in a fluent way, like using today()->addHours(10) to get today at 10:00 PM, instead of coding time related functions from scratch.
Some packages may depend on one or more packages, though, but the principle is the same.
You can also add other Composer packages yourself if you need some functionality that is already coded and you don’t want to spend the next years doing it from zero.
Laravel has official packages too, available in the Github repository.
How can I “download” or “install” Laravel so I can start coding?Check the Laravel official documentation, or the The PHP Practitioner.
Everything you need is there, from the get-go to the last pieces of code you may need.
You should also install PHP in your machine, and Composer after that.