Book Image

Building RESTful Web Services with PHP 7

By : Waheed ud din
Book Image

Building RESTful Web Services with PHP 7

By: Waheed ud din

Overview of this book

REST is the most wide spread and effective standard to develop APIs for internet services. With the way PHP and its eco-system has modernized the way code is written by simplifying various operations, it is useful to develop RESTful APIs with PHP 7 and modern tools. This book explains in detail how to create your own RESTful API in PHP 7 that can be consumed by other users in your organization. Starting with a brief introduction to the fundamentals of REST architecture and the new features in PHP 7, you will learn to implement basic RESTful API endpoints using vanilla PHP. The book explains how to identify flaws in security and design and teach you how to tackle them. You will learn about composer, Lumen framework and how to make your RESTful API cleaner, secure and efficient. The book emphasizes on automated tests, teaches about different testing types and give a brief introduction to microservices which is the natural way forward. After reading this book, you will have a clear understanding of the REST architecture and you can build a web service from scratch.
Table of Contents (16 chapters)
Title Page
About the Author
About the Reviewer
Customer Feedback

HTTP response

The purpose of the request is to get a response or it is of no use, considering that we also need to understand what type of response is expected against a request. There are two things that we will discuss in this context:

  • Response type
  • Response code

Response type

In the current world, many people think that the of a RESTful web service be a JSON or text having a JSON string. However, we can also use XML in response to a RESTful web service request. A lot of people use JSON in response because it is lightweight and easy to parse. But at the same time, this is just a matter of preference, and depends on the requirement and has nothing to do with REST standards.

Both XML and JSON are ways to format data. XML stands for Extensible Markup Language, having markup syntax. While stands for JavaScript Object Notation, with JavaScript object-like syntax. For more understanding of JSON, please check out

We will shortly look into the case study of a blog and will see request and response examples. In this book, will use JSON as the response type, as JSON is simpler than XML. And while developing new applications, we mostly use JSON because it is lightweight and easy to understand. As you can see in the following examples, the same data in JSON is much simpler than XML and only has content that matters.

Here, we are trying to show the data of books having one or more authors:


    <name>Learning Neo4J</name>
      <author>Rik Van Bruggen</author>
     Kali Linux – Assuring Security by Penetration Testing
      <author>Lee Allen</author>
      <author>Tedi Heriyanto</author>
      <author>Shakeel Ali</author>

Now, let's look at the same example in JSON:

books: [
    name:"Learning Neo4J",
    authors:["Rik Van Bruggen"]
    name:"Kali Linux – Assuring Security by Penetration Testing",
    authors:["Lee Allen", "Tedi Heriyanto", "Shakeel Ali"]

You can clearly see from the preceding example, that XML and JSON both convey the same information. However, in JSON it is much easier as well as it needs a lot less words to show the same information.

Hence in the rest of book, we will be using JSON as the response type of our RESTful web services.

Response codes

Response codes, better known as HTTP status codes, tell us about the status of a request. If an HTTP request is successful, the HTTP status code is 200 which means OK. If there is a server error, it returns 500 status code which means an internal server error. In case of any problem in the request, the HTTP status code is 400 and onwards where 400 status code means a bad request. In case of redirection, the response code is 300 and onwards.

To see complete of response and their usage, see

I won't go into details of it as it would be redundant since all of it is already available at the preceding mentioned Wikipedia link. However, we will discuss the different status codes as we proceed.