In preparation for building a RESTful API for my fitness app (and other on-the-job projects), I recently read Lorna Jane Mitchell’s book “PHP Web Services: APIs for the Modern Web“. It was fantastic and everything one could hope for in a technical read. It covered a wide range of topics, and yet each was in just enough detail that I could create working samples of my own.

It wasn’t a very long read either, despite covering a great deal of material. I was able to read it cover-to-cover in about two days. Not only was it quick, but it was pleasant as well, which often isn’t the case with technical material. It flowed nicely, and Lorna kept my attention.

In terms of the material itself, by the end I felt like I had a great handle on these topics:

  • The flow from request to response
  • Different protocols (RPC, SOAP, REST)
  • Data formats (JSON, XML…)
  • Various tools for implementation: from CLI, to PHP, to online.
  • Different testing approaches
  • Documentation
  • Best practices and an approach to design robust services

Thank you Lorna for putting together such a valuable resource!

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