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SitePoint PHP Blog:
How to Master Your API Workflow with Postman
Aug 21, 2017 @ 11:13:20

On the SitePoint PHP blog author Younes Rafie has returned with another tutorial, this time with a focus on how Postman can help master your API workflow by making use of several of the features it already includes.

Building good APIs is hard, and anyone who had the chance to do so can relate to this. A project can easily grow to become a mess. One can keep trying to adopt an approach to make it more enjoyable, like trying a documentation-first workflow, but something always feels clumsy.

I was trying out Postman lately, a tool we’ve briefly covered before, and I discovered that they’re doing a great job by providing an integrated environment for different components of an API, like authorization, testing, documentation, versioning, etc.

He then goes through the use of the tool, including screenshots along the way for:

  • Making requests
  • Authorization
  • Environment Variables
  • Testing
  • Validating JSON schemas
  • Working with collections

The post finishes up with a look at generating documentation for the API using Postman's "View in Web" feature including integrating example calls and publishing it. There's also a look at exporting and importing data and a few links to some other helpful resources.

tagged: api workflow tutorial postman tool feature screenshot

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/master-api-workflow-postman/

Zend Framework Blog:
REST Representations for Expressive
Aug 09, 2017 @ 10:12:18

On the Zend Framework blog there's a new post from project lead Matthew Weier O'Phinney covering REST representations in Expressive and the release of two new components to help with their implementation.

We've been working towards our various Apigility on Expressive goals, and have recently published two new components: zend-problem-details and zend-expressive-hal.

These components provide response representations for APIs built with PSR-7 middleware. Specifically, they provide: Problem Details for HTTP APIs (RFC 7807) and Hypertext Application Language (HAL).

These two formats provide both JSON and XML representation options (the latter through a secondary proposal).

The post then goes on to talk about the idea of "representations" and how it relates back to the structure of the data returned and how the user knows what operations they can take on it. He also talks about the differences between normal responses and errors and gives example output helping to illustrate his points. The remainder of the post gets into the details of the two new components, their use and how to implement them in Expressive.

tagged: zendexpressive rest representation data structure response api component tutorial

Link: https://framework.zend.com/blog/2017-08-08-expressive-rest-representations.html

Toptal.com:
Laravel API Tutorial: How to Build and Test a RESTful API
Jul 11, 2017 @ 11:58:15

On the TopTal site they've posted a tutorial from author André Castelo showing you how to create a Laravel-based RESTful API with functionality that already exists in the framework.

With the rise of mobile development and JavaScript frameworks, using a RESTful API is the best option to build a single interface between your data and your client.

Laravel is a PHP framework developed with developer productivity in mind. [...] In this article, we’ll explore the ways you can build—and test—a robust API using Laravel with authentication. We’ll be using Laravel 5.4, and all of the code is available for reference on GitHub.

He starts off by talking about RESTful APIs, what actions the HTTP verbs represent and a note about consistency in URLs. He then starts in on the project setup, creating a new Laravel application and configuring the database for a Homestead environment. Next he creates the models and data seeders for articles and users for the API. Routes and controllers come next showing how to work with route model binding and response codes to correctly relay the status of the request back to the user. Following this he covers authentication on the API (using a token) and building out the endpoints for login, registration and logging out.

Finally he shows how to test the endpoints using some simple Laravel-enabled testing and PHPUnit. His tests check things like login error handling, missing data on registration and the correct flow on the logout process.

tagged: laravel tutorial build test rest api framework

Link: https://www.toptal.com/laravel/restful-laravel-api-tutorial

SitePoint PHP Blog:
How to Build a Lyrics Website with Laravel Scout and Algolia
Jul 06, 2017 @ 12:06:11

On the SitePoint PHP blog they've posted a new tutorial showing you how to create a lyrics website with the combination of Laravel Scout and the Algolia data search service.

In this tutorial, we will create a minimal lyrics web site using Laravel Scout and Algolia. To do so, we need a CRUD app to work with our data, and a search interface to let users search through the content. However, instead of creating the full app from scratch, let’s just install the finished CRUD app that we’ve created for this tutorial.

Algolia is a hosted search engine API, providing us with all the tools and resources we’ll ever need to create products with awesome search capabilities.

The end result is a site with a simple search box that displays the matching album/songs for the search string provided. They start in on the code by bootstrapping the project and setting up the database (including loading it with the included SQL file). Next they install the Laravel Scout package and update the "Song" model to be searchable. The tutorial then walks you through the creation of a Algolia account, indexing the current data and importing it into Algolia. Finally it circles back around to the site and helps you create the pieces (controller/view/etc) to make the frontend search work with the Algolia API for searching the indexed data.

tagged: tutorial algolia search laravel scout lyrics integration api

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/build-lyrics-website-laravel-scout-algolia/

Cees-Jan Kiewiet:
Extending ReactPHP's Child Processes
Jul 05, 2017 @ 11:49:59

In a new post to his site Cees-Jan Kiewiet walks you through the process to extend the ReactPHP project's child process handling (the first part of a series of posts).

react/child-process is very flexible and can work a lot of ways but sometimes you don't want to be bothered with the details of how it works and just want a simpler API to do that.

He then covers two packages where he used this "simpler is better" mentality and wrapped the current ReactPHP handling in a simpler API: one for defining "promises" on the child process and the other handles the messaging between the child and parent processes. He includes code examples for each of these, showing them in use to create simple operations.

tagged: reactpph child process extend custom api simple tutorial

Link: https://blog.wyrihaximus.net/2017/06/extending-react-child-process-part-one/

9Lessons.info:
Ionic 3 and Angular 4: PHP Restful API User Authentication for Login and Signup
Jun 23, 2017 @ 10:32:17

On the 9Lessons.info site they've posted a tutorial walking you through the creation of an application using Iconic 3, Angular 4 and a PHP restful API and how to handle user authentication and signup. It's a continuation from this previous post that kicked off the series.

Today’s post explains how to implement login authentication system for your AngularJS applications. It will show you how to log in with a user and store the user session, so it deals with token based authentication. Since we are using token based authentication, it protects if any unauthorized request is made and notices for a new login if required. This makes your application’s authentication to be more secured compared with any other authentication system. Every user details will be stored in an external database and a PHP based API is used in the backend for handling this authentication. Hope you’ll find it more easily using this as your authentication system in your AngularJS projects.

They assume you've worked through the previous post and already have the basic structure of the application set up. They share a screencast showing the process but also include the key details - database tables, code and markup - in the post for those that prefer to follow along that way.

tagged: tutorial 9lessons iconic angularjs restful api user authentication signup

Link: http://www.9lessons.info/2017/06/ionic-angular-php-login-restful-api.html

Building Your Startup:
Securing an API
May 22, 2017 @ 13:16:19

The TutsPlus.com site has continued their "Building Your Startup" tutorial series with a new post about APIs and security. In this series, they've been using the Yii2 framework to create a calendaring "startup" site. Now they're to the point of adding a "RESTful" API to the system and want to be sure it's secure.

Recently, I introduced you to Yii's simple REST API generation and Meeting Planner's new "RESTful" service API. At that time, I mentioned that these APIs were only loosely secured. Sure, there was a shared secret between the client and the server, but there were a couple of problems.

First, the secret key and user tokens were repeatedly transmitted in query parameters of SSL calls. And there was no other authenticity check for the data, allowing a middle-person attack. In today's episode, I'll guide you through how I secured the API against these weaknesses for a more robust API.

They start off looking at the API security that was previously put in place using an "app ID" and "app secret" values to identify the user. To improve on this, the system is updated to use the "app secret" value to sign the outgoing data via a HMAC hash that is sent along with the request.

tagged: api security tutorial yii2 build startup series hmac rest

Link: https://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/building-your-startup-securing-an-api--cms-27867

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Booking Cookery Classes with Acuity Scheduling and Lumen
May 16, 2017 @ 10:44:09

The SitePoint PHP blog has recently posted a tutorial from author Lukas White showing how to create an online reservation system for cooking classes using Lumen and the Acuity Scheduling service.

I recently wrote an article about building an online system to book lessons with a driving instructor. [...] Cookery classes usually have a very well-defined limit on the number of students — you can only really teach as many people as you have cooking stations or cookers. That’s going to be the theme of this article — managing those “slots” in a cookery class. The principles remain the same for all sorts of other forms of tuition.

As before, we’re going to take advantage of Acuity Scheduling in order to manage bookings for our classes, and everything that entails.

First he walks you through exactly what he'll guide you through building and a real world scenario where it might be used. Next he shows how to set up an account on Acuity, create appointment types and get the credentials for the API integration. From there he gets into the implementation:

  • Creating a new Lumen project
  • installing the PHP SDK from Acuity
  • Getting a list of available class times and showing the list in a view
  • Setting up the booking form and handling the submit

This last step includes reaching out to the Acuity API and submitting the information for the appointment. It's not tracked on the application's side opting to use the Acuity service as a source of record.

tagged: tutorial cookery class online scheduling acuity api

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/booking-cookery-classes-with-acuity-scheduling-and-lumen/

TutsPlus.com:
Using the Twitter API to Tweet Repetitive Content
May 03, 2017 @ 09:58:18

On the TutsPlus.com site they've continued their series covering the use of the Twitter API from PHP. In this latest tutorial author Jeff Reifman shows you how to use the API to tweet content repetitively at different intervals and with randomized content. The tutorial uses a Yii2 framework application as its base.

Welcome back to our coverage of the Twitter API. If you use Twitter, you may have come across a friend sharing tweets from the @infinite_scream bot (shown above). I know it's mostly a bot because it tweets at ten-minute intervals. But it varies the string length of its virtual screams to avoid being blocked by the Twitter's API's infamous undocumented restrictions. Tweet too frequently or repeat the same content and you'll find your bots hopelessly blocked.

Recently, an online friend asked me to help them write code for a bot that might repeat but provide some intelligent content variation. In today's tutorial, I'll write about how to do this with the Twitter API.

He starts off with the registration of a new Twitter application and the creation of the table to store the tweet variations. Next he uses the CRUD and model generators in Yii2 to build out the model and controller skeletons. He then creates the migrations/tables/models for the random hashtags and URLs the bot will include in its tweets. Finally, he shows the creation of the code to make the random tweets and how he made the choice of when to tweet. The post ends with the code to send off the tweet (the job) and an example of the results.

tagged: twitter api repetitive content tutorial series bot random

Link: https://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/using-the-twitter-api-to-tweet-repetitive-content--cms-28096

Laravel News:
Building an Interactive Voice Response System with Laravel and Nexmo
Apr 26, 2017 @ 09:37:45

On the Laravel News site there's a new tutorial posted showing you how to create a simple iVR system with Laravel and Nexmo that includes voice responses.

Want to dial your Laravel app, and have it talk back to you? Let’s take a quick look at how to build a really simple IVR (interactive voice response) – a ‘phone menu’ – with Laravel and Nexmo. When it’s done, you’ll be able to pick up your cell phone, dial a phone number, and have your Laravel app control what you hear.

It’s probably easier than you think, let’s get started!

Using a standard Laravel application and a Laradoc environment, they pull in the nexmo/laravel to connect with the Nexmo service. They also add two others to add additional functionality for reading Tweets and RSS feeds. After configuring the application providers to pull in the Nexmo and Twitter functionality they go over to the Nexmo site and create the application they'll use. The tutorial then shows how to generate a command (the AppCreate command), its signature and the code to make the Nexmo API request. They then create another command to link the application to numbers on the Nexmo account.

Finally, they get to the "good" part - creating the code to handle the incoming calls over webhooks. This includes the controller, routes and - based on user input - how the IVR will respond. In their example, when the number is called, the latest tweet from @taylorotwell is fetched and is converted to text, then spoken back to the caller.

tagged: tutorial ivr voice response system laravel nexmo api

Link: https://laravel-news.com/laravel-hotline-ivr