Before illustrating the development of a RESTful API with CakePHP, it will be worthy to consider two basic questions: what is a RESTful API? What is its use in the real world? Every CakePHP development company utilizes Restful APIs for the faster interaction between the client and the server. Here let us explore the basics a little.
RESTful API and its uses
A REST API is a group of functions utilized by the web developers to execute their server requests, basically through an HTTP protocol, namely GET or POST. These sets of functions are capable of evoking server responses so rapidly. Any programming language can make use of REST API, still it should satisfy the condition that the client and server must be independent one another. A RESTful API must be stateless and “Cacheable”.
REST as a term indicates “Representational state transfer”. To put it in very simple words, it stands as a kind of web architecture which makes smooth interaction between clients and servers possible via HTML protocol. In reality, Restful API is used by big players like twitter, facebook, and Google Translate for displaying the content to the user front with an improved client/server interaction, hence users can decide what to do with the content in a better way.
Tips to create a RESTful API with CakePHP easily?
1. The easiest way to trigger a REST is by setting up the router first.
2. To set the router add the relative lines of codes to the ‘resource routes’ configuration of the php file.
3. The router drafts REST requests made by the developers with all its logic to controller actions for the execution.
4. RESTful controllers, at times make use of parse extensions according to the types of requests it receives. Developers can create simple XML views for dealing with REST requests.
5. CakePHP has excellent pre-built JSON as well as XML views that a developer can easily resort to.
6. Utilize the pre-built XMLView to develop a “serialize view” variable.
7. By defining a serialize view variable, a developer can accurately convey the details of the variables to be serialized to XML. It reduces the functioning complexity of XMLView.
8. Entire modification of data should be completed before creating the serialize view variable. Once you convert the data to XML the defining of view variables may not be possible.
9. Once the view is defined, Cake\Routing\Router:extensions() a built-in CakePHP function will spontaneously identify the matches, and work accordingly without any effort.
10. Next is the creation of logic for the proper functioning of edit action.
11. CakePHP has classes such as Cake\Controller\Component\RequestHandler or other routing classes to help the developers in this affair. It has a valuable feature, $this->request->data to handle XML and POST data separately. Developers can ease through the edit action without altering the model codes. It is pretty simple by using CakePHP classes.
12. The beauty of REST API is that it is able to work with alternate data formats both as input as well as output. A well framed method, RequestHandler::addInputType() will assist web developers in this concern.
Bringing it altogether
A developer can resort to other solutions like SOAP, other than REST for the creation of API. Still RESTful API is very simple in defining logic a developer has created in the application. REST works well having XML codes to the core and is more depended on HTTP headers. Above all, CakePHP has fantastic built-in classes, arrays, and methods to create RESTful APIs, as well.