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SitePoint PHP Blog:
Testing APIs with RAML
February 24, 2015 @ 10:19:39

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new tutorial posted today showing you how to test your API via RAML, using the structure it defines to verify the requests and responses made to the API. This is the second part of the series and you can find part one (the introduction to RAML) here.

In a recent article I looked at RESTful API Modeling Language (RAML). I provided an overview of what RAML is all about, how to write it and some of its uses. This time, I'm going to look at some of the ways in which you can use RAML for testing. We'll start by using RAML to validate responses from an API. Then we'll look at an approach you could take to mock an API server, using a RAML file to create mock HTTP responses.

He starts off by defining a basic RAML document that defines an "Albums" structure with endpoints for "account" and "albums" with various data beneath each one (and created an application that follows it). He then shows how to combine Guzzle, PHPUnit and a RAML parser to grab the API definition and set up a sample test. A simple example test is provided showing you how to check the validity of a response structure. Then he gets into mocking the API using the RAML structure using the FastRoute router. He creates a mock object and a "dispatch" method to handle the request routing based on the contents of the RAML document. He also includes a method to check the parameter values on a request, ensuring they're the correct types.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/testing-apis-raml/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
API Client TDD with Mocked Responses
February 19, 2015 @ 12:57:51

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted the third part of their series guiding you through the creation of your first PHP package with a look at mocking API responses in unit tests created via the TDD (test-driven development) process.

In parts one and two, we built some very basic functionality and used TDD with PHPUnit to make sure our classes are well tested. We also learned how to test an abstract class in order to make sure its concrete methods worked. Now, let's continue building our library.

He starts with a bit of catching up to ensure everyone is on the same page in the development process. From there he starts in on the mocking of the API, preventing the need for the (slow) external requests. He shows some updates that are needed to the main DiffBot class, the factories/entities for making objects for requests and examples of putting these to use in a few tests. Finally he shows the creation of the mocks themselves and the result from a sample test.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/api-client-tdd-mocked-responses/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
RAML, the RESTful API Modeling Language
February 02, 2015 @ 10:52:58

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new post today introducing RAML, a modeling language made specifically for use in APIs to define services available.

n a recent article I introduced Slate, a static site generator specifically designed for writing API documentation. This time around, I'm going to look at something which in many ways is even better. But first, if you'll indulge me for just a moment, I'd like to begin by quoting myself from that article; "[an] API is only as good as its documentation." I think it's worth repeating, since it's all-too-frequently overlooked, and it's one of the motivations for this short series of articles on some of the tools out there to help you write great documentation.

RAML (RESTful API Modeling Language) provides a structured, unambiguous format for describing a RESTful API. It allows you to describe your API; the endpoints, the HTTP methods to be used for each one, any parameters and their format, what you can expect by way of a response and more.

He starts off with a few things that RAML is particularly good at helping with, including being used to generate other documentation. He then moves into writing up some of the actual RAML documentation, noting that it's a derivative of YAML and is just made from text files. He walks through the creation of a sample RAML document including the overall summary information, describing resources, HTTP methods and response structure. He also includes examples of defining query parameters, request data and any security requirements you might have. Finally, he suggests the raml2html tool if you want to generate some HTML output of your configuration, making it easier for normal humans to read.

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raml api rest modeling language documentation requirements endpoints

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/raml-restful-api-modeling-language/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
The PHP 7 Revolution Return Types and Removed Artifacts
January 19, 2015 @ 13:12:14

On the SitePoint PHP blog today Bruno Skvorc has written about the PHP 7 revolution and some of the changes coming with this next major version of the language (including return types and the removal of some functionality).

With the planned date for PHP 7's release rapidly approaching, the internals group is hard at work trying to fix our beloved language as much as possible by both removing artifacts and adding some long desired features. There are many RFCs we could study and discuss, but in this post, I'd like to focus on three that grabbed my attention.

He touches on a few topics in the post including:

  • the debate that came up about PHP 5.7 versus PHP 7
  • The addition of return types from functions/methods
  • The removal of PHP4 style constructors
  • Changes to the extension API

Obviously, since PHP7 is no where near release status, all or some of these things could be subject to change. For example, the removal of PHP4 constructors is still being hotly contested on the php.internals mailing list at the time of this post.

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php7 revolution returntype remove php4 constructor extension api

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/php-7-revolution-return-types-removed-artifacts/

NetTuts.com:
Building With the Twitter API Repeating Tweets From a Group
January 19, 2015 @ 11:18:45

NetTuts.com has continued their series about constructing a Twitter application as a Yii framework-based application. In this latest tutorial they expand on the previous post's "tweet storm" functionality and instead posts random updates based on pre-defined content. If you need to catch up, you can find the other parts of the series here.

The nature of the Twitter stream makes repetition useful, within reason; overdoing it is spammy and annoying.[...] This automates the task of repeating and creating variation over time to increase the likelihood that your Twitter followers will engage with your content. Keep in mind that the Twitter API has limits on repetitive content. You'll be more successful if you offer a wide variety of variations and run the service on an account that you also use manually to share other content.

They start with a short list of features the application needs to support including the main goal of posting the randomized, recurring tweets. They start by creating the Group model and table to allow for the grouping of tweets. Then they use Yii's scaffolding to create a form for creating new groups. Next up is the controller code to handle the group submission and an update to link a tweet to a group. Finally they include the code to push the tweets out to Twitter and mark the tweets as sent. The post ends with an example of a timeline with the resulting posts.

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tutorial series twitter api repeat tweets group random

Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/building-with-the-twitter-api-repeating-tweets-from-a-group--cms-22490

SitePoint Business & Marketing Blog:
Do You Need an API?
January 14, 2015 @ 11:05:32

In a new post to the SitePoint Business & Marketing blog Chris Ward asks an interesting question that applies to both the business side and development: do you need an API?.

API stands for 'Application Programming Interface' and as the name implies, creating one is a technical process. This article will talk very little about how to create an API as there are a myriad of methods to undertake that. This article aims to focus on the business side of APIs and supply advice for non-technical folk. [...] You may be a forward thinking individual inside of an organizational structure that doesn't share your views. How can you convince others around you that having an API may be good for your business?

He talks about three of the main kinds of organizations out there that usually have APIs including government, civic and science organizations and most other online services that integrate them into their core services. He also tries to help you answer the question for your own organization by listing some of the positives it can provide as well as some of the negatives that could balance them out. He ends the post with one final recommendation if you do choose to implement an API: "Don't reinvent the wheel".

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/do-you-need-an-api/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Adding Products to Your eBay Store with the Trading API
January 13, 2015 @ 12:50:14

The SitePoint blog has posted the next part of their "using the eBay trading API" series today (part three) showing you how to add products to your store via their API.

In this third and final part of our eBay Trading API series, we'll be building the product adding functionality into our application. Now that we're done with the store settings, we can begin with writing the code for the controller that would handle the creation of products.

He walks you through the code to create the "new" action on your Slim controller, build the view to gather the product information and handle the upload of product images with the Dropzone Javascript library. Also included is the code to get the current category list (to populate a dropdown list) and the code needed to create the product, both in your database and sending it back to the eBay API for insertion. This finishes the series about using this API, but you can get more information on the API itself though its documentation. The full code for the tutorial series is available on GitHub.

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ebay trading api tutorial series part3 add product upload

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/adding-products-ebay-store-trading-api/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Configuring Your Store's Settings with the eBay Trading API
January 12, 2015 @ 11:18:22

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted the next article in their "eBay Trading API" tutorial series today. In this new tutorial they show you how to configure your store's settings.

In part 1, we explained the different parts of eBay's developer dashboard and configured our test application. We also created our database. Now we're ready to create a project. In this part, we'll focus on store settings. In part 3, we'll add new products to our store.

They include the "composer.json" contents you'll need to install all of the libraries they'll use for the tutorial. With those installed they start in on the code, creating a basic Slim application that uses Twig views and some custom configuration options. Then he starts in on the classes, creating an "Ebay" class to handle the application settings and creating a "post" method to handle the API request. He adds in a few other helper methods and builds a database object/query to get the application details from the database. Next up are the templates for the main page and the controller to handle the default, session and token requests. He adds in some additional route configurations, makes a "view action" for the store settings and to request the user preferences from the API.

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configure store setting ebay trading api series part2

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/configuring-stores-settings-ebay-trading-api/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Introducing eBay's Trading API - Setting Up
January 06, 2015 @ 12:58:43

The SitePoint PHP blog they've posted the first part of a new series about using the eBay API as a part of a product management application. In part one they start by getting things set up on the eBay trading API and creating the database you'll need for the rest of the series.

In this tutorial series, I'll walk you through Ebay's Trading API. The Trading API allows you to build applications that can be used for selling in Ebay. Here are some examples of things you can do with the API: retrieve store information, update store preferences, add products to a specific eBay store, end product listings, update product price and retrieve product information. In this tutorial, we'll be creating an app that allows users to create a product on eBay through the use of the API.

They start by helping you register an application on the eBay developer site and configure the settings to match your needs. They link to some of the tools you can use during your development and some of the headers/content you'll need to set to make your requests. The tutorial wraps up with the SQL needed to create the database backend for your store's settings, products, listings and some sample data to insert.

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ebay trading api tutorial series part1 product management

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/introducing-ebays-trading-api-setting/

AWS Development Blog:
Preview the AWS Resource APIs for PHP
January 06, 2015 @ 10:32:37

On the AWS development blog Jeremy Lindblom has a recent post with a preview of the AWS resource APIs for PHP and the AWS SDK for PHP.

This year is just about over, but we are too excited to wait until the new year to share with you a feature we are developing for the AWS SDK for PHP. We are calling it the AWS Resource APIs for PHP. This feature is maintained as a separate package, but it acts as an extension to Version 3 of the AWS SDK for PHP.

He talks about the new resource objects that contain information to identify what it represented (like a S3 bucket or SQS queue) and includes an example object structure. He shows how to perform actions on the objects and working with collections. He also includes a helpful hint about using the "respondsTo" method on the object to get the methods the object can use.

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aws resource api sdk update feature object actions collections

Link: http://blogs.aws.amazon.com/php/post/Tx3K1TS5GUKJR85/Preview-the-AWS-Resource-APIs-for-PHP


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