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PHP Web Services: APIs for the Modern Web

PHP Web Services: APIs for the Modern Web [Kindle Edition]

Lorna Jane Mitchell
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

Whether you’re sharing data between two internal systems or building an API so users can access their data, this practical book provides everything you need to build web service APIs with PHP. Author Lorna Jane Mitchell uses code samples, real-world examples, and advice based on her extensive experience to guide you through the process—from the underlying theory to methods for making your service robust.

PHP is ideally suited for both consuming and creating web services. You’ll learn how to use this language with JSON, XML, and other web service technologies.

  • Explore HTTP, from the request/response cycle to its verbs, headers, and cookies
  • Determine whether JSON or XML is the best data format for your application
  • Get practical advice for working with RPC, SOAP, and RESTful services
  • Use a variety of tools and techniques for debugging HTTP web services
  • Choose the service that works best for your application, and learn how to make it robust
  • Learn how to document your API—and how to design it to handle errors

About the Author

Lorna Jane Mitchell is an independent web development consultant, specializing in PHP and APIs in particular. With over 10 years of PHP development experience across a wide variety of industries, Lorna learned many lessons the hard way and always has a story to tell. Lorna is also an experienced trainer, offering training both to private clients around the world and teaching public courses. A prolific writer, Lorna writes for a number of publications, and frequently for her own blog

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More About the Author

Lorna Jane Mitchell is a PHP consultant based in Leeds, UK. She has a masters in Electronic Engineering from York and has worked in a variety of technical roles through her career. She specialises in working with data and APIs, and also offers training on a range of technical topics. Lorna is very active in the PHP community, organising the PHP North West conference, leading the open source project, and speaking at conferences. She has a passion for writing and in addition to writing PHP Master, has been published in netmagazine, php|architect, and in many other places; she also blogs regularly on her own site

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Little book about big Web APIs 30 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is obviously only introduction to Web APIs written to point reader in the right direction in terms of tools used to work with APIs and brief description of them. Useful for beginners like me.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.8 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Thin book 1 Feb 2014
By Michael A Sidler - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Small book with a cursory coverage of topics. A little more than outline. Good overview for someone that is not writing code.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor coverage for a specialized title 13 Oct 2013
By flatfive - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I don't understand the point of creating a title that chooses to offer a very narrow focus, but then providing content that is little more than a cursory overview of the APIs. There is much more in-depth coverage of working with SOAP in PHP in the book 'PHP Cookbook' than there is in this offering. I generally like O'Reilly books, but I've seen a few duds recently and hope they tighten up on their acceptance guidelines. I'll be a little less trigger happy for O'Reilly books now. Another example is their book on Bootstrap which is nearly an exact copy of what is on the bootstrap website. That's just a money grab that leverages the O'Reilly brand name.

Save your money and just do a Google search to get a 10,000 foot view of web services. There is not enough PHP specific content in here to even include PHP in the title. If you are looking for discussion on using PHP for non-WSDL SOAP calls, or any other questions of similar granularity, you won't find it here.

At least put a really ugly animal on the cover as an inside signal to O'Reilly loyalists that the title is junk. Maybe faces of the U.S. Congress?
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice try! 16 July 2013
By Jochen Kirstatter - Published on
Initially, I was astonished that a small book like 'PHP Web Services' would be able to cover all the interesting topics about APIs and Web Services, independently whether they are written in PHP or not. And unfortunately, the title isn't able to stand up to the readers (or at least my) expectations. Maybe as a light defense, there is no usual paragraph about the intended audience of that book, but still I have to admit that the first half (chapters 1 to 8) are well written and Lorna has her points on the various technologies. Also, the code samples in PHP are clean and easy to understand.

With chapter 'Debugging Web Services' the book started to change my mind about the clariry of advice and the instructions on designing and developing good APIs. Eventually, this might be related to the fact that I'm used to other tools since years, like Telerik Fiddler as HTTP proxy in order to trace and inspect any kind of request/response handling. Including localhost monitoring, SSL certification acceptance, and the ability to debug mobile devices, especially iOS-based ones. Compared to Charles, Fiddler is available for free.

What really got me off the hook is the following statement in chapter 10 about Service Type Decisions: "For users who have larger systems using technology stacks such as Java, C++, or .NET, it may be easier for them to integrate with a SOAP service." WHAT? A couple of pages earlier the author recommends to stay away from 'old-fashioned' API styles like SOAP (if possible). And on top of that I wonder why there are tons of documentation towards development of RESTful Web Services based on WebAPI. The ASP.NET stack clearly moves away from SOAP to JSON and REST since years! Honestly, as a software developer on the .NET stack this leaves a mixed feeling after all.

As for the remaining chapters I simply consider them as 'blah blah' without any real value and lots of theoretical advice. Related to the chapter 13 about 'Documentation', I just had the 'pleasure' to write a C#-based client against a Java-based SOAP Web Service. Personally, I take the WSDL as the master reference in the first place and Visual Studio generates all the stub types involved in the communication. During the implementation and testing I came across a 'java.lang.NullPointerException' in various methods and for various method parameters. The WSDL and the generated types were declared as Nullable, so nothing to worry about, or? Well, I logged in a support ticket, and guess what was the response to that scenario? "The service definition in the WSDL is wrong, please refer to the documentation in order to use the methods and parameters correctly" - No comment!

Lorna's title is a quick read and in some areas she has good advice on designing and implementing Web Services and APIs. But roughly 100 pages aren't enough to cover a vast topic like that. After all, nice try and I'm looking forward to an improved second edition.
4.0 out of 5 stars Quick 3 April 2014
By Adrian Pomilio - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
and to the point. I enjoyed how the book was laid out and the examples that were given. It isn't information that isn't already out there, but to have a concise and well written book is worth the money. The author did a good job with the content and showed various ways to tackle services.
5.0 out of 5 stars Worked for us 24 Mar 2014
By Gretchen - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Our in house developer uses this as a reference guide. Easy to find what we need in this book rather than flipping through his pages and pages of student notes
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