You are previewing PHP Web Services.

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
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Chapter 13. Building a Robust Service

A robust service is one that feels secure and reliable to its users. Something which behaves unpredictably, sometimes gives incorrect results and occasionally doesn’t respond at all is not what a consumer wants to integrate into their own applications. In this chapter we’ll look at what makes a robust service, and some techniques for making services as good as they can be, when things are going well, and when they are not.

“The best services exhibit consistent, predictable behaviours. This approach of having as much “sameness” as possible works well for consumers, who start to feel at home. As they use the service, they become familiar with how it will work, and will be able to find their way around and deal with any errors they encounter more easily. Most importantly, your consumers will be able to achieve their goals, which should give both consumer and provider a lovely, warm, fuzzy feeling.

Consistency is Key

As PHP developers, we know only too well how difficult it is to use an interface which is inconsistent. The number of manual entries which use the words “needle” and “haystack” with very little correlation between which one should come first in any given situation (and one function where they can be passed in either way round!) are our reminder of how painful this can be!

In our own applications, we can do better, but it needs us to pay attention to the bigger picture and the existing elements of an API as we work on building more features. ...

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