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Building With the Twitter API: Creating Friends to Follow
Mar 23, 2017 @ 12:32:04

The TutsPlus.com site has posted the latest tutorial in their "Building with the Twitter API" series showing how to, in a Yii2 application, automatically add friends to a Twitter account via the Twitter API. You've probably seen this in several services that offer suggestions of followers to add to your list.

Today I'll guide you through using the Yii2 Framework for PHP to access the Twitter API and automate adding friends to people's Twitter accounts. (If you'd like to learn more about Yii2, check out our parallel series Programming With Yii2.)

And, I've created a website, Twixxr.com, which will let you demonstrate the feature by adding prominent women on Twitter for your account to follow.

The tutorial starts with links to some of the other Twitter tutorials that have been posted in the past and how things have evolved to make it easier in a Yii2 application. He starts by helping you get the Twitter OAuth PHP Library installed and lists some of the goals of the end result. The code is included to authorize the user and handle the callback once they've approved the app in the normal OAuth flow. It then shows how to connect via the API using that user's information, load profiles for the suggested users and link them as a friend. The tutorial finishes with a look at performance and a bit of code used to handle the backend processing of the request instead of performing it in real time.

tagged: twitter tutorial api oauth2 friends follow suggestion yii2

Link: https://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/building-with-the-twitter-api-creating-friends-to-follow--cms-27492

Esben Petersen:
A modern REST API in Laravel 5 Part 4: Authentication using Laravel Passport
Mar 20, 2017 @ 10:56:15

Esben Petersen has posted the fourth part of his tutorial series covering the creation of a "modern REST API" with Laravel. In this latest article he focuses on authenticating users with the help of an OAuth2 flow.

OAuth is all around us. Most of us have tried to login to a 3rd party service using our Facebook or Google account as a login. This login mechanism is one of many OAuth authentication types. However, you can also use OAuth to generate simple API keys. One of the OAuth authentication types generates API keys based on username and password and is therefore a solid authentication choice for SaaS-style apps. This article will explore how to setup the password grant authentication type in Laravel using Laravel Passport.

The article is broken up into a few different sections, each with explanations and code where appropriate to help illustrate the point:

  • a basic introduction to OAuth2 and grants
  • authentication in single-page applications
  • dependencies to use (and install/configuration)
  • creating the login proxy
  • building a consumer

The final step is an example (using a curl command) to test the API and ensure things are working as expected. The post ends with a more "real world" example of a Slack-style application and linking channels and user but only showing the channels users have access to based on scope.

tagged: tutorial rest api laravel series part4 oauth2 passport

Link: http://esbenp.github.io/2017/03/19/modern-rest-api-laravel-part-4/

Esben Petersen:
A modern REST API in Laravel 5 Part 1: Structure
Mar 09, 2017 @ 10:44:56

Esben Petersen has kicked off his series on creating a modern REST framework in Laravel 5 with part one in the series. This first tutorial focuses on the setup of the application using a "folders by component" approach.

Over time when your API grows in size it also grows in complexity. Many moving parts work together in order for it to function. If you do not employ a scaleable structure you will have a hard time maintaining your API. New additions will cause side effects and breakage in other places etc.

It is important to realize in software development no singular structure is the mother of all structures. It is important to build a toolbox of patterns which you can employ given different situations. This article will serve as an opinionated piece on how such a structure could look.

The tutorial covers structure on three different levels (patterns): application flow, project folder structure and resource folder structure. For each level they cover some of the basic concepts involved and share code showing how it could be implemented including controllers, repositories, middleware and fitting it all into a a resource folder structure.

tagged: laravel rest api laravel5 tutorial series part1 structure

Link: http://esbenp.github.io/2016/04/11/modern-rest-api-laravel-part-1/

Twilio Blog:
Google Spreadsheets and PHP
Mar 08, 2017 @ 09:48:31

On the Twilio blog they've posted an article from Matt Stauffer looking at the combination of Google Sheets and PHP to perform some of the normal CRUD (create, read, update, delete) operations via the Google Sheets API.

Have you ever needed to pull some data from a Google Spreadsheet? My default in the past would be to export the data and upload it to the app directly, but it turns out it’s not very difficult to read directly from Google Spreadsheets using the Google Drive API.

In this tutorial, we’ll read, write, update, and delete data from a Google Spreadsheet with just a few lines of PHP.

He clones an example spreadsheet to use in the tutorial and shows how to prepare it for programatic access (basically exposing it for use). He then gets to work using the google/apiclient and asimlqt/php-google-spreadsheet-client packages to connect to and work with the API. He includes the code to:

  • connect to the API and get a usable token
  • pull data from the sheet by title
  • update individual cells data
  • updating entire rows
  • deleting rows
  • insert new rows

You'll need to be a bit familiar with how the Google API Console works to get things set up, but there's an animation that helps walk you through some of it.

tagged: google sheets tutorial package api crud operation console

Link: https://www.twilio.com/blog/2017/03/google-spreadsheets-and-php.html

Laravel News:
Laravel Forge API
Feb 28, 2017 @ 14:36:37

The Laravel News site has posted an official announcement about the Forge API being released for public use. Forge is a service that makes it easier to set up and configuration servers by taking care of a lot of the details for you.

Laravel Forge just announced it’s first official API that allows you to create and interact with your servers and sites.

This was a highly requested feature and the API includes support for all the features Forge provides including Servers, Services, Daemons, Firewall Rules, Sites, SSL, and more.

The post includes how to get started with the API, where to get your API token and how to send it over for authorization handling. You can find more information about the Forge API in the documentation on the Forge site.

tagged: laravel forge api release announcement server setup configure

Link: https://laravel-news.com/laravel-forge-api

SitePoint PHP Blog:
PHP Fractal – Make Your API’s JSON Pretty, Always!
Feb 27, 2017 @ 10:28:55

The SitePoint PHP blog has a tutorial posted by author Younes Rafie covering the use of the Fractal library from The PHP League to create "pretty" JSON API output.

If you’ve built an API before, I’ll bet you’re used to dumping data directly as a response. It may not be harmful if done right, but there are practical alternatives that can help solve this small problem.

One of the available solutions is Fractal. It allows us to create a new transformation layer for our models before returning them as a response. It’s very flexible and easy to integrate into any application or framework.

They use a Laravel application as the base, creating a simple database of user information and relating users to roles. The tutorial then starts in on using Fractal, building out "transformers" for the data. These transformers take in the data/object and, inside of a "transform" method, modify the output and return a "prettier" version. They show it in use in a controller, outputting a collection of user data, only returning the name and email values. The tutorial also covers a few other Fractal-related topics including pagination, including sub-resources and eager loading.

tagged: fractal api json output transform tutorial

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/php-fractal-make-your-apis-json-pretty-always/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Taming the Snoo: Playing with the Reddit API
Feb 14, 2017 @ 11:56:58

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new tutorial posted by author Claudio Ribeiro looking at how to "tame the snoo" - using PHP to work with the Reddit API via an OAuth application.

Reddit is a social networking, entertainment, and news website where the content is almost exclusively submitted by users.

[...] Reddit also offers its own API. This way, we can use all the information available on Reddit to enrich our own websites or build our own Reddit clients. In this article, we will tackle some basic Reddit API usage with PHP.

The tutorial starts with a brief overview of the Reddit API and the functionality they're focusing on: the "search" method. Example URLs are included showing the searching of terms, pagination options, sorting and other restrictions. They then bring PHP into the mix, using the Guzzle HTTP library to create a basic "Searcher" class. They also use the Twig templating system to output the results (simple template included). Finally they show how to make the OAuth application on your Reddit account, pull in the "adoy/oauth2" package and the code to connect your service via OAuth to the Reddit API.

tagged: snoo reddit api tutorial guzzle twig search

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/taming-the-snoo-playing-with-the-reddit-api/

Rob Allen:
Rendering ApiProblem with PSR-7
Feb 02, 2017 @ 09:46:22

In a new post to his site Rob Allen shows you how he adapted a package of his own to work with a Slim framework based API to render "ApiProblem" types correctly (according to this specification).

In the API I'm currently building, I'm rendering errors using RFC 7807: Problem Details for HTTP APIs. As this is a Slim Framework project, it uses PSR-7, so I updated rka-content-type-renderer to support problem.

RFC 7807 defines a standard for sending details of an error in an HTTP response message. It supports both XML and JSON formats.

He starts with an example of the "Problem" response format that includes data for the type of error, details and links to other related objects. He points out this package from Larry Garfield that handles the actual output of the respose format but Rob needed a way to shift between JSON and XML formats too. This is where his updates to his package came in, changing it to include a ApiProblemRenderer that reads the "Accept" header of the incoming request and correctly formats the results accordingly.

tagged: rendering apiproblem problem api response accept json xml package

Link: https://akrabat.com/rendering-apiproblem-with-psr-7/

Dac Chartrand:
Building a Simple API using Opulence PHP
Jan 30, 2017 @ 11:27:35

Dac Chartrand has written up a post to his site showing you how to create a simple REST API with Opulence, a PHP framework that bills itself as a "modern framework for modern PHP".

This tutorial will show you how to code a simple JSON API using Opulence PHP. We will install Opulence’s skeleton project using composer, then create a ‘user’ database entity, and finally we will match CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) to POST, GET, PUT, and DELETE.

The start of the tutorial helps you get a new Opulence project set up and running including updating the configuration for content type handling and the database connection details. With that set up he moves into the code creating the "User" entity and its matching classes. He builds out the controller, selecting a REST controller from the options and builds out all methods needed for the CRUD user operations. The tutorial finishes with a bit of testing information so you can see the framework in action.

tagged: opulence api rest tutorial simple user framework

Link: http://kizu514.com/blog/building-a-simple-api-using-opulence-php/

Laravel Random Keys with Keygen
Jan 27, 2017 @ 12:44:13

On the Scotch.io site they've posted a new Laravel-related tutorial covering the use of the keygen package to generate random keys via four generator types. These keys can be used for just about anything in your application and can be customized to fit your length and complexity requirements. One thing to note, however, is that the strings it generates are random but should not be considered strong enough to use for actual encryption purposes.

When developing applications, it is usually common to see randomness come into play - and as a result, many programming languages have built-in random generation mechanisms.

[...] When your application is required to generate very simple random character sequences like those enumerated above, then the Keygen package is a good option to go for. Keygen is a PHP package for generating simple random character sequences of any desired length and it ships with four generators, namely: numeric, alphanumeric, token and bytes.

For their example they chose to create a simple REST API service that allows for user creation, viewing users and generating a random (temporary) password using the Keygen package. They start by helping you get the package installed (via Composer) and adding an alias to your Laravel config for "Keygen" to make it easier to access. They then create the user model and add in a "setEmailAttribute" method to verify the email value submitted (for format and uniqueness). Next up is the route definition for the "user" endpoints, creation of the API controller and implementing the Keygen tool to create a random eight digit code for the user. They also include a few strategies to ensure the code generated (and the resulting hash) is unique across all users. The reminder of the post shows the full user creation, and implementing the remaining methods required to view the user's details.

tagged: laravel random key keygen tutorial package rest api

Link: https://scotch.io/tutorials/laravel-random-keys-with-keygen