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Professional Web APIs with PHP: eBay, Google, Paypal, Amazon, FedEx plus Web Feeds 1st Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0764589546
ISBN-10: 0764589547
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

As the only book that details how to integrate different APIs and web feeds in PHP so websites can leverage content from eBay, Google, PayPal, Amazon, and FedEx, this hands-on guide takes you step by step through each stage of the API process. Experienced PHP programmer Paul Michael Reinheimer walks you through the production and consumption angles of web feeds and discusses XML-feeds so that you can access one of the fastest growing trends on the web. With real-world examples covering everything from basic test implementations to integration with existing sites, you'll learn how to produce and document your own APIs, which will allow you to expand your sites and may even prompt you to re-examine how you structure your code.

What you will learn from this book How to add a third party API to your site or program one of your own Ways that a small ISP can use the Yahoo!(R) XML feed to publish recent technology on a site Why APIs are the preferred method for disparate applications to interact over the web Differences between the functions of APIs and web feeds and the benefits each has to offer The basic structure for REST and SOAP APIs

Who this book is for

This book is for programmers who have a strong understanding of PHP and are looking for detailed coverage of multiple APIs in PHP.

Wrox Professional guides are planned and written by working programmers to meet the real-world needs of programmers, developers, and IT professionals. Focused and relevant, they address the issues technology professionals face every day. They provide examples, practical solutions, and expert education in new technologies, all designed to help programmers do a better job.

About the Author

Paul Michael Reinheimer (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada) is a Zend Certified Engineer currently developing Share The Beat (www.sharethebeat.com) an online music portal developed extensively in PHP. Paul has extensive PHP programming experience.

Chris Shiflett (NY, NY) is a frequent contributor to the PHP community and a leading security expert. He talks at conferences such as ApacheCon and the O'Reilly Open Source Convention, and publishes articles in PHP Magazine and php|architect. "Security Corner," his monthly column for php|architect, which is the industry's foremost PHP security column.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Wrox; 1 edition (July 31, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764589547
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764589546
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,156,493 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Nathan Smith on August 22, 2006
Format: Paperback
If you are looking for a good book describing how to make use of the various web services out there, look no further. Professional Web APIs with PHP is a compliation of several helpful tutorials covering the more popular web application programming interfaces (API) available. It was written by the talented Paul Michael Reinheimer, who is a Zend Certified Engineer and member of the PHP Security Consortium. He has done a great job covering what at times seems to be a somewhat esoteric topic. In his own words, here is the approach taken in this book:

"Every time I approached a new API, I was spending 80% of my time trying just trying to make the first call or two. Once those were out of the way subsequent calls were fast, and in many cases almost trivial to write. So I slowly refactored my book into a tool to help developers get through those first few difficult calls..."

I appreciated his dive-right-in approach to understanding the differing APIs. Considering that some of the large scale API documentation totals in the range of 500 pages each, the brevity and clarity of the book's explanations were a welcome contrast. He also covered some of the differences between REST and SOAP, and why some APIs give preference to one over the other.

The main APIs that are addressed are those which tend to be thought of as large and revenue driven - eBay, Google, PayPal, Amazon and FedEx. Other community oriented APIs such as Flickr and Del.icio.us are also covered, as well as the National Weather Service. As a lead in to all these topics, he covers the parsing of basic web feed formats like RSS and Atom, in order to give a general feel for dealing with XML data. Towards the end of the book, the necessary methods for creating your own API are demystified.
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Comment 22 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
First note that the title of this book says 'PHP.' Everything in the book is oriented around PHP. If your bag is Java, or ASP.NET, or Cold Fusion, or Rails; go elsewhere. (If you are thinking about which of these to use I recommend you investigate PHP and Rails running on one of the Linux OS's before making a decision.)

Having said that, this is a most helpful book on getting started on using the web services provided by eBay, Google, Paypal, Amazon and FedEx. Web services API's provide for a standardized way that the host allows you to use your computer to go extract information from them for (usually) display on your own web site.

The author is absolutely correct when he says that the hardest thing about any of these API's is making the first couple of calls. The documentation provided by the the hosting company is horrendous, often hundreds of pages long. This book leads you through the most commonly used, getting you started. After that you will find that getting to the rest of their services is fairly easy.

All in all, if you are planning to use web services on any of these hosts, this book will save you a tremendous amount of time and effort in getting started.
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Web APIs will become more and more interesting as they provide quick and easy access to data and functions from widely known web service providers auch as Google, eBay and others. However, this book can only provide an overview - "making the first API call". It is therefore useable for beginner s.
The book is easy to read, helpful for the first steps and conatins enough scripts and examples to understand the features and see the possibilities for extension.
All together, useful but not detailed.
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The overviews are also excellent for concise functional descriptions that can be read by anyone with a general technical background. In sharp contrast to most technical books of this nature, this one is well organized, well written and very readable. It uses the PHP programming script/language to delve into specific implementation details, but the information can be readily understood regardless of the reader's specific language of choice. The material is presented in two sections. The first section in four chapters provides a general foundation in web services (or Service Oriented Architecture to use current technoabble). The second section in eight chapters describes specific uses and conventions for these services provided by the major companies of the New Economy, who are driving these technologies as engines of commerce. This field is an amalgam of several technologies, each with a huge supporting literature, and one of the more remarkable things about this book is the degree of editing it took to bring to the forefront those items that can immediately be used. Well worth the investment.

Those working on the PayPal services should also acquire 'Pro PayPal eCommerce' by Damon Williams as an excellent companion reference.Pro PayPal E-Commerce (Expert's Voice)
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I really said it all in the title to my review. This is an enormously useful book that opens the expansive (and still rapidly expanding) world of APIs to PHP programmers like myself. His writing is meticulously clear, the examples work (or at least get you nine-tenths of the way there), and the chapters on actual APIs (PayPal, eBay, FedEx, Google, etc.) are useful. Of course, I'd have loved even more chapters on still other APIs (there are so many), but you'll probably learn enough about Web APIs from these examples to tackle any not covered. Easy download access to the source code is also appreciated.

I was personally less interested in the section on Web Feeds, but this is also well presented -- interestingly in context as a counterpart of Web APIs.

One final word: To get the most out of this book, you need to be an intermediate level PHP programmer. (If you're not, I recommend "PHP and MySQL Web Development" by Welling and Thomson as a good way to get there -- particularly if you're interested in tapping the power of MySQL along with PHP.) But back to the book in hand: 5 stars with thanks to Mr Reinheimer.
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