TDD: Date Assertions – Laravel 7, PHP 7.* – Carbon 2 – Changes

If you follow a TDD approach to develop your software, and also a Laravel user, working with a JSON API, you might have experienced some date assertion issues while asserting Json with Laravel 7. Previously, when Laravel was using Carbon 1 for date management, it would not return the whole Carbon object for assertJson. Which is why, the following would work in a sample PHPUnit Test:

$contact = factory(Contact::class)->create();
$response = $this->get('/api/contacts' . $contact->id);

'name' => $contact->name,
'email' => $contact->email,
'meeting_date' => $contact->meeting_date,
'company' => $contact->company,

But as of now, Carbon 2, returns the whole Carbon object for $contact->meeting_date here, the assertion will fair, because the $response, didn’t get a Carbon object, instead a Json string here.

If you go through the Carbon documentation here, you can see the following under the section ‘Migrate to Carbon 2’:

$date->jsonSerialize() and json_encode($date) no longer returns arrays but simple strings: "2017-06-27T13:14:15.000000Z". This allows to create dates from it easier in JavaScript. 

This is basically what you need to use if you are on Laravel 7 with Carbon 2. You need to serialize the data as Laravel is not doing it for you automatically here to fix this up. Just change the ‘meeting_date’ to the following:

'meeting_date' => $contact->meeting_date->jsonSerialize(),

and this should let your assertion pass.

Remember, you might not need to explicitly do this in your controller return until you are following a TDD based development where an assertion to pass is important to continue the process. Laravel resource would implicitly serialize your data before returning them from controller.

Programming: Laravel Error – Specified Key Was Too Long

A common error I have seen users reporting using Laravel, is the following:

SQLSTATE[42000]: Syntax error or access violation: 1071 Specified key was too long; max key length is 767 bytes

The error actually happens because Laravel 5.5 assumes you have MySQL 5.7.7 or above. While on MySQL 5.7.7 the key size was increased than the older versions.

How to fix laravel Specified key was too long

To fix this, find theĀ AppServiceProvider.php file under app/Providers folder, and add the following line before start of the class:

use Illuminate\Support\Facades\Schema;

Then, inside the boot() method under the class, add the following line:


If you restart your laravel migration or the query, it should work fine now.