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


Web services has always been an important topic. With REST, things became simpler and better. Nowadays, RESTful web services are widely used. It was important a decade ago, but Single Page Applications (SPAs) and mobile applications have increased its usage greatly. The aim of this book is to educate PHP developers about the RESTful web services architecture, the current tools available to efficiently create RESTful web services such as a micro-framework named Lumen, automated API testing, the API testing framework, security and microservices architecture.

Although this book is specific to PHP as we will be building RESTful web services in PHP7, it is neither just about PHP7 nor just about REST. RESTful web services and implementation in PHP is what we do in this book. However, you will learn a lot more than that. You will learn about some PHP features that are new in PHP7. We will cover how we should structure our application and some common threats with respect to the web and web services. You will learn how to improve a basic RESTful web service and understand the importance of testing and the different types of testing. So it is not about just REST or PHP, but also about some minor but important programming-related stuff that is simple but makes things a lot better in the real world. At the end of this book, you will learn about an architecture named microservices.

In other words, although this book is intended for PHP developers, it will benefit them beyond just PHP. So, this book is not a cookbook, but a journey in which you start learning about RESTful webservices and PHP7 and then start building RESTful web services. You can then keep improving your RESTful web services by learning about the problems in it and fixing those. During such improvements, you will learn the different things in PHP and benefit even beyond PHP.

What this book covers

Chapter 1, RESTful Web Services, Introduction and Motivation, introduces you to web services, REST architecture, the RESTful web services, and its comparison to other web services such as HTTP verbs and RESTful endpoints. It also explains web services through the example of a blog and then talk about the response format and response code.

Chapter 2, PHP7, To Code It Better, includes new features and changes in PHP7 that we will either use in this book or are very important and worth discussing.

Chapter 3, Creating RESTful Endpoints, is about creating REST API endpoints for CRUD operations of a blog post in Vanilla PHP. It also explains the manual way of testing API endpoints through a REST client named Postman.

Chapter 4, Reviewing Design Flaws and Security Threats, reviews what we have built in the preceding chapter and highlights the problems and flaws in it so that we can improvise later.

Chapter 5, Load and Resolve with Composer, an Evolutionary, is about an evolutionary tool in the PHP ecosystem: composer. This is not just an autoloader or package installer, but a dependency manager. So, you will learn about composer in this chapter.

Chapter 6, Illuminating RESTful Web Services with Lumen, introduces you to a micro-framework named Lumen, in which we will rewrite our RESTful web services endpoints and review how this tool will significantly improve our speed and application structure.

Chapter 7, Improving RESTful Web Services, equips us to improve what we did in the preceding chapter; you will learn how to improve RESTful web services. We will create authentication and make a Transformer to separate how JSON structure should look. Also, we will improve in terms of security and learn about SSL.

Chapter 8, API Testing – Guards on the Gates, introduces the need of automated tests. Will introduce different type of tests and then focus on API testing. We will then cover an automated testing framework named CodeCeption and write API tests in it.

Chapter 9, Microservices, is about the microservices architecture. We will understand the benefits and challenges of microservices and look into some of possible solutions and trade-offs.

What you need for this book

Although I used Ubuntu, any operating system with PHP7 installed on it will work fine. The only thing required other than PHP7 will be an RDBMS. This book uses MySQL-related settings when connecting to database, so MySQL is ideal, but MariaDB or PostgreSQL will also be fine.

Who this book is for

This book is written for the following audience:

  • Anyone who has some basic PHP knowledge and wants to build RESTful web services.
  • Developers who know basic PHP and have developed a basic dynamic website and want to build a RESTful web service.
  • Developers who have learned PHP and worked mostly in open source CMS, such as WordPress, and want to move toward developing custom applications where a web service needs to be built.
  • Developers who are stuck with legacy systems done in Code Igniter and want to explore the modern ecosystem of PHP.
  • Developers who have used modern frameworks such as Yii or Laravel, but are not sure about the critical pieces required to build the REST API that not only serves the purpose but works well in the long run, something that doesn't always need manual testing and is maintainable and extendable.
  • Seasoned PHP developers who have created a very basic API that returns data but want to make themselves familiar with how it should be done according to REST standards, how it will work when authentication comes into the picture, and how to write tests for it.


In this book, you will find a number of text styles that distinguish between different kinds of information. Here are some examples of these styles and an explanation of their meaning.

Code words in text, database table names, folder names, filenames, file extensions, pathnames, dummy URLs, user input, and Twitter handles are shown as follows: "The randGen() method takes two parameters defining the range of the returned value."

A block of code is set as follows:

function add($num1, $num2):int{
    return ($num1+$num2);

echo add(2,4); //6
echo add(2.5,4); //6

When we wish to draw your attention to a particular part of a code block, the relevant lines or items are set in bold:

function add($num1, $num2):int{
return ($num1+$num2);

echo add(2,4); //6
echo add(2.5,4); //6

Any command-line input or output is written as follows:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ondrej/php

New terms and important words are shown in bold. Words that you see on the screen, for example, in menus or dialog boxes, appear in the text.


Warnings or important notes appear like this.


Tips and tricks appear like this.

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