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PHP Web Services

Cover of PHP Web Services by Lorna Jane Mitchell Published by O'Reilly Media, Inc.
  1. Preface
    1. Conventions Used in This Book
    2. Using Code Examples
    3. Safari® Books Online
    4. How to Contact Us
  2. 1. Introduction
  3. 2. HTTP
    1. Examining HTTP
      1. Curl
      2. Browser Tools
      3. PHP
  4. 3. Request and Response
    1. Clients and Servers
  5. 4. HTTP Verbs
    1. GET
    2. POST
    3. Other HTTP Verbs
  6. 5. Headers
    1. Request and Response Headers
    2. Common HTTP Headers
      1. User-Agent
      2. Headers for Content Negotiation
      3. Authorization
      4. Custom Headers
  7. 6. Cookies
    1. Cookie Mechanics
    2. Working With Cookies in PHP
  8. 7. JSON
    1. When to Choose JSON
    2. Handling JSON with PHP
    3. JSON in Existing APIs
  9. 8. XML
    1. When To Choose XML
    2. XML in PHP
    3. XML in Existing APIs
  10. 9. RPC and SOAP Services
    1. RPC
    2. SOAP
      1. WSDL
      2. PHP SOAP Client
      3. PHP SOAP Server
      4. Generating a WSDL File from PHP
      5. PHP Client and Server with WSDL
  11. 10. REST
    1. RESTful URLs
    2. Resource Structure and Hypermedia
    3. Data and Media Types
    4. HTTP Features in REST
      1. Create Resources
      2. Read Records
      3. Update Records
      4. Delete Records
    5. Additional Headers in RESTful Services
      1. Authorisation Headers
      2. Caching Headers
    6. RESTful vs Useful
  12. 11. Debugging Web Services
    1. Debug Output
    2. Logging
    3. Debugging From Outside Your Application
      1. Wireshark
      2. Charles Proxy
    4. Finding the Tool for the Job
  13. 12. Making Service Design Decisions
    1. Service Type Decisions
    2. Consider Data Formats
    3. Customisable Experiences
    4. Pick Your Defaults
  14. 13. Building a Robust Service
    1. Consistency is Key
      1. Consistent and Meaningful Naming
      2. Common Validation Rules
      3. Predictable Structures
    2. Making Design Decisions for Robustness
  15. 14. Error Handling in APIs
    1. Output Format
    2. Meaningful Error Messages
    3. What To Do When You See Errors
  16. 15. Documentation
    1. Overview Documentation
    2. API Documentation
    3. Interactive Documentation
    4. Tutorials and the Wider Ecosystem
  17. A. A Guide To Common Status Codes
  18. B. Common HTTP Headers
  19. About the Author
  20. Copyright

Chapter 10. REST

REST stands for REpresentational State Transfer, and in contrast to protocols such as SOAP or XML-RPC, it is more a philosophy or a set of principles than a protocol in its own right. REST is a set of ideas about how data can be transferred elegantly, and although it’s not tied to HTTP, in this book we’ll talk about it in the context of HTTP. REST takes great advantage of the features of HTTP, so the earlier chapters covering this and the more detailed topics of headers and verbs are all coming together to support our knowledge of REST.

In a RESTful service, we use four HTTP verbs to give us a basic set of CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) functionality: POST, GET, PUT and DELETE. It is also possible to see implementations of other verbs in RESTful services, such as PATCH to allow partial update of a record, but the basic four are the basis of a RESTful service.

The operations are applied to resources in a system. The “Representational State Transfer” name is accurate; RESTful services deal in transferring representations of resources. A representation might be JSON or XML, or indeed anything else. So what is a resource? Well, everything is. Each individual data record in your system is a resource. At the first stage of API design, you could start with each database row being an individual resource. If your system were mythical blog engine, for example, your resources might be posts, categories, and authors. Every resource has a URI (Uniform Resource Identifier), ...

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