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Flare: an error tracker built for Laravel apps

Original – by Marcel Pociot & Freek Van der Herten – 6 minute read

Today at Laracon EU, Marcel Pociot and I introduced Flare, a new error tracker built for Laravel apps. Our service also works hand in hand with the new error page we've launched called Ignition.

Flare home page

If you ever had to hunt down a bug in your production environment and found yourself digging through log files on live servers - or worse, had to get notified by your app users/customers that there is an error in your application, Flare is the service you've been waiting for!

In combination with Ignition, Flare provides you with Laravel specific insights into your application - in the unforseeable event of an error.

It can do everything you'd expect from an error tracker, like grouping errors and sending notifications. Unlike some existing error trackers, we have focussed very much on creating a calm interface that's easy to use.

Marcel, me and our teams at Beyond Code and Spatie have put a lot of work into polishing the service. In my mind a service like this is only as good as its documention, so we spent a lot of time writing our docs.

I'd like to present a quick overview of the features Flare is packing.

Installing Flare into your app

Let's cover the basics first. After signing up for Flare, you'll see installation instructions on how to set up your first project. This pretty much comes down to adding an API key to your project's .env file.

Installation instructions

You can verify that Flare is installed correctly by running the php artisan flare:test command.

Test command

All set! Flare's ready to receive errors.

Exploring errors

Here's what a populated error list page for a project looks like. It shows you all of the different errors that were sent for a project. Above the errors, there's a search bar that allows you to track down specific errors.

List of errors

The error card itself has options to marking an error as resolved, snooze the error or delete it from our systems.

Snoozing options

If you click on an error, you'll see its latest occurrence. Notice that view presented here is very similar to the Ignition error page, which is the default error view in Laravel 6.

Single occurrence

You can click "All" to see all occurrences of this particular error. There's a search bar here as well that allows you to search for specific occurrences or group them.

All occurrences

On the listing of all the errors of a project, you might have noticed that the second error has little green lightbulb icon at the bottom right. This signifies that this error contains a solution as well. All solutions that are added to exceptions will be displayed in Flare. Our docs explain custom solutions in depth.

Sharing errors

Projects belong to a team, and you can invite other people to your team.

Members screen

If you want to give somebody access to a specific project, you can invite them as a guest.

Guest access

There's also on an option for sharing a single occurrence with someone. You can do this on the error occurrence page. Just click the Share button. On the dialog that appears you can select which tabs should be shared.

Sharing error

After you click "Create share", we'll generate a page with a hard to guess URL that you can share with people that can help to solve your error.

Shared error

If you want to see which of your occurrences are shared, head over to the "Shares" section of the project settings.

Manage shared errors

Getting notified

Flare can notify you when certain events occur via email, Slack, SMS and webhooks.

Notification events

These notifications can be configured personally, per team, and per project.

If you use Slack notifications, you can snooze and resolve errors right from Slack. If your error had a solution, we can also show that solution right in Slack.

Here's an example that we got ourselves when building the documentation section of Flare.

Slack notification

Closing thoughts

If you want to try out Flare, sign up to our waiting list. If you have more questions about Flare take a look at our extensive documentation, or tweet us anything at @flareappio.

Flare is built with Inertia, and I suspect that Flare is the biggest Inertia project that's in production now. Our codebase contains a lot of technically interesting things. Expect some technical deep-dive posts in the next couple of weeks!

Though Marcel and I are the public figures of our companies, we couldn't have made Flare without our teams. Here's a twitter list with all Spatie team members, and here's the Twitter account of Beyond Code's Sebastian. Make sure to follow them.

We launched Ignition, a beautiful new error page for Laravel, side by side with Flare. Head over to Ignition's introductory post to read more!

Stay up to date with all things Laravel, PHP, and JavaScript.

Follow me on Twitter. I regularly tweet out programming tips, and what I myself have learned in ongoing projects.

Every two weeks I send out a newsletter containing lots of interesting stuff for the modern PHP developer.

Expect quick tips & tricks, interesting tutorials, opinions and packages. Because I work with Laravel every day there is an emphasis on that framework.

Rest assured that I will only use your email address to send you the newsletter and will not use it for any other purposes.

Comments

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Bas de Gruijter replied on 1st September 2019
Nice to met you Freek!
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Freek Van der Herten 🎆 replied on 31st August 2019
Fixed, thanks!
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swapnilsarwe replied on 31st August 2019
Hey @freekmurze little typo in the link for the text "the docs pages of Flare." in the blogpost freek.dev/1441-ignition-… - https is httsp
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wouter van marrum replied on 31st August 2019
Thank you for sharing them.
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Dominic Thomas replied on 31st August 2019
I'd like to try with my French team!
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Pooyan R replied on 31st August 2019
Great job @freekmurze, can we have some sort of comparision with Sentry? and shy moving to flare would be benefitianl?
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Jess Archer 👩‍💻 replied on 31st August 2019
Well done Freek and @marcelpociot! This looks very exciting and I can't wait to watch the talk on this and ignition! Is it possible (or are there plans) to capture front-end errors as well (E.g. Vue, plain JS, etc.)?
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@WonDErV replied on 30th August 2019
I tooke a look, and it seems amazing exactly what i need into my project 🎆🎆
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Adam 🤙🏼 Mench replied on 30th August 2019
Well done @marcelpociot an @freekmurze I’m sure you have both poured a great deal of sweat, tears & time into this and the community appreciates your (and your teams) hard work. Can’t wait to try it out! Bravo!! 👏
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Aris Giannopoulos replied on 30th August 2019
@freekmurze WOW! Great Job. Is it possible to use it outside of #Laravel Apps? I use Whoops a lot to my #OpenCart installations and it would be great If I could use #Flare instead 😍😍😍
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Advantage over Raven & Sentry?
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What's the difference with OhDear?
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Woke, time today good bye to @rollbar
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Jack Ellis replied on 30th August 2019
Very, very nice Freek & Marcel! Would love to use this. Any plans to introduce a comparison table with Bug, Sentry (what we currently use) etc.?
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Freek Van der Herten 🎆 replied on 30th August 2019
Lemme fix that real quick
Ashish K. Poudel replied on 30th August 2019
🔥 wild
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André Breia replied on 30th August 2019
It looks really good! 👌
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Freek Van der Herten 🎆 replied on 30th August 2019
Thanks! All design was done by @willemvbockstal
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i pee handsfree replied on 30th August 2019
Typo: You linked to the test URL (flareapp.io.test/docs/solutions/adding-custom-solutions) in your blog post. Not accessible.
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Emtized replied on 30th August 2019
amazing job 😇😇😇😇
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