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Monday, May 14, 2012

Create a RESTful Services API in PHP.

Are you working with multiple devices like iPhone, Android and Web then take a look at this post that explains you how to develop a RESTful API in PHP.  Representational state transfer (REST) is a software system for distributing the data to different kind of applications. The web service system produce status code response in JSON or XML format.

Create a RESTful Services API in PHP.

Download Script

Arun Kumar Shekar
Arun Kumar Sekar
Chennai, INDIA

Sample database users table columns user_id, user_fullname, user_email, user_password and user_status.
`user_id` int(11) NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT,
`user_fullname` varchar(25) NOT NULL,
`user_email` varchar(50) NOT NULL,
`user_password` varchar(50) NOT NULL,
`user_status` tinyint(1) NOT NULL DEFAULT '0',
PRIMARY KEY (`user_id`)

Rest API Class: api.php
Contains simple PHP code, here you have to modify database configuration details like database name, username and password.

class API extends REST
public $data = "";
const DB_SERVER = "localhost";
const DB_USER = "Database_Username";
const DB_PASSWORD = "Database_Password";
const DB = "Database_Name";

private $db = NULL;

public function __construct()
parent::__construct();// Init parent contructor
$this->dbConnect();// Initiate Database connection

//Database connection
private function dbConnect()
$this->db = mysql_connect(self::DB_SERVER,self::DB_USER,self::DB_PASSWORD);

//Public method for access api.
//This method dynmically call the method based on the query string
public function processApi()
$func = strtolower(trim(str_replace("/","",$_REQUEST['rquest'])));
if((int)method_exists($this,$func) > 0)
// If the method not exist with in this class, response would be "Page not found".

private function login()

private function users()

private function deleteUser()

//Encode array into JSON
private function json($data)
return json_encode($data);

// Initiiate Library
$api = new API;

Login POST
Displaying users records from the users table Rest API URL http://localhost/rest/login/. This Restful API login status works with status codes if status code 200 login success else status code 204 shows fail message. For more status code information check Rest.inc.php in download script.
private function login()
// Cross validation if the request method is POST else it will return "Not Acceptable" status
if($this->get_request_method() != "POST")

$email = $this->_request['email'];
$password = $this->_request['pwd'];

// Input validations
if(!empty($email) and !empty($password))
if(filter_var($email, FILTER_VALIDATE_EMAIL)){
$sql = mysql_query("SELECT user_id, user_fullname, user_email FROM users WHERE user_email = '$email' AND user_password = '".md5($password)."' LIMIT 1", $this->db);
if(mysql_num_rows($sql) > 0){
$result = mysql_fetch_array($sql,MYSQL_ASSOC);

// If success everythig is good send header as "OK" and user details
$this->response($this->json($result), 200);
$this->response('', 204); // If no records "No Content" status

// If invalid inputs "Bad Request" status message and reason
$error = array('status' => "Failed", "msg" => "Invalid Email address or Password");
$this->response($this->json($error), 400);

Users GET
Displaying users records from the users table Rest API URL http://localhost/rest/users/
private function users()
// Cross validation if the request method is GET else it will return "Not Acceptable" status
if($this->get_request_method() != "GET")
$sql = mysql_query("SELECT user_id, user_fullname, user_email FROM users WHERE user_status = 1", $this->db);
if(mysql_num_rows($sql) > 0)
$result = array();
while($rlt = mysql_fetch_array($sql,MYSQL_ASSOC))
$result[] = $rlt;
// If success everythig is good send header as "OK" and return list of users in JSON format
$this->response($this->json($result), 200);
$this->response('',204); // If no records "No Content" status

Delete user function based on the user_id value deleting the particular record from the users table Rest API URL http://localhost/rest/deleteUser/
private function deleteUser()

if($this->get_request_method() != "DELETE"){
$id = (int)$this->_request['id'];
if($id > 0)
mysql_query("DELETE FROM users WHERE user_id = $id");
$success = array('status' => "Success", "msg" => "Successfully one record deleted.");
$this->response('',204); // If no records "No Content" status

Chrome Extention
A Extention for testing PHP restful API response download here Advanced REST client Application

.htaccess code
Rewriting code for friendly URLs. In the download code you just modify htaccess.txt to .htaccess
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-s
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ api.php?rquest=$1 [QSA,NC,L]

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -d
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ api.php [QSA,NC,L]

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -s
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ api.php [QSA,NC,L]
Anonymous said...

pls post more about api i want to learn that

hima said...

It's very nice , what about XML RPC

abdul rashid said...


Karthikeyan K said...

really usefull to me.. thanks a lot :)

Roger said...

Nice. 'll give it a try

Ary Wibowo said...

thanks for the article :)

Seenu said...

That a very well but I want some more example & declaration pls provide this.Thank u

Anonymous said...

Kool man nice work .. i have used this one


Good job ! But it would be much better if you indent the Code with Tabs, as the code above is little difficult to understand

TechnoTalkative said...

I will definitely try it out to develop demo API by myself and will try the same API for the android app development.

Thank for sharing detailed article.

Syam kumar said...

awesome article....!

Anonymous said...


John said...

Very good tutorial! Thanks a lot!

Renan Fenrich said...

Muito bom cara! Parabéns.

Lawn Jobs said...

Very good post as usual! Good work, Arun! :)

KFllash32 said...

Could you explain how to get data? As I see in this script, in URL you send a name, that name is the name on the function. Further more _request is set to array. So you wrap everything in an array?? But then, how to extract, so you get correct function?? IM CONFUSED! And where to extend this so I can claim and API key ?

Arun said...

@KFllash32 : This is little bit tricky but more user friendly, api(api.php) demo class wrote like this way query string as a function. But you can write your own class insteed of api.php. Validating api key or headers and all up to you.

KFllash32 said...

I have some experiences in this, so I figures out a way, but the Login function in the api.php will not work for most users because you also need email and username input. And something strange.
You write this: $this->response('',204). And this will return nothing at all, because first param is '' (empty) and in the function you return data (data is the first param left empty). So what is the point with this one?

Loganathan Natarajan said...


nov said...

Every nice ... big thanks if i can have more tutorial

Anonymous said...

how to highlight your codes?

Sam Arul Raj said...

yeah looks nice dude

Fareez Ahamed said...

Your diagrams are impressive, what tool you use for that?

Mark said...

I heard PHP is not good for applying RESTfull because it does not integrate natively query functionality DELETE and PUT

It's really?

Anonymous said...

thank this blog always saves me.I love your jobs and i stay tune.I ll try this API because i have a simillar projet and this will help i think so

suji said...


Ahmed Mohammed said...

well nice post keep it up for us to learn more...

hima said...

Can any one explain this line in Sample database "users"


Anonymous said...

What did you use in making the illustration:

Srinivas Tamada said...

Adobe illustration

vladimir said...

What about security :))?
Write is you can how to use also with REST OAuth.
Also do you know why some API uses such url
why the use dot?

Ajay4All said...

nice sir ji

Aditya Kapoor said...

Post more information regarding the REST modules and I want to integrate it with my application

TATSAVIT Admin said...

good one

paper-submission said...

nice sir.. Thank you for sharing always your ideas to us ..

Fetrian Arif Rachman Amnur said...

very nice. thanks..

Daniel Siemon said...

i am having a problem getting Params such as email and Password for the sample Post function login()
could it be htaccess?
email and password keep coming in as null

any suggestions? I have Sample Code

Irfan Cütcü said...

Well, this example ios really nice and working so far. I just wanna know if it's possible to request for a special user this way:


GET: List info for user with ID of 14

How do I manage it with your code? Is that possible?

Jaykishan Lathigara said...

how to pass request for deleteuser and login in url..

pls explain someone

Anonymous said...

This is really nice and easy plugin. Can u plz tell me how to call 'login' function with POST menthod. Plz it's urgent. It wil be really great if you reply ASAP

Jagan said...

This tutorial is not in detail for the person who is new to API. I was trying to create an API that inserts records to my db. I know i could use this, But i'm struggling

Anonymous said...


Can anyone tell how to use this api? Do I need to call it from other application? If yes, then how?

Anonymous said...

I always see Get request. How to change it to POST ?

Narendra said...

Could you please post an example for inserting data using POST.

Narendra said...

could you please post insert & fetch data using xml with rest

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Can you explain the post methods. Means how can i post email and password


Anonymous said...

thanks.... its enough to start with rest api for begginers

Sandeep Verma said...

Helpful !!

Anonymous said...


I am new to php, how to execute this program ?

Can any one help.

Anonymous said...

what are de .ds_store and .htacces files for? regards!

Anonymous said...

To execute the program you must have php installed, and a web server.

I'd suggest you look for tutorials for beginning php first. Then when you are comfortable, and know what REST is, then come back

Gaurav Bansal said...

not working how to see result of http://localhost/rest/users/??

Anonymous said...

How to call it for testing...

luky said...

can u explain me how use credential for calling REST resources after login?

Joao said...

Nice job Arun :D
but are you sure that the returns in json?

for example, i use your Rest.inc.php file for construct an api, and this file return that's

string(508) " object(Api)#1 (8) { ["data"]=> string(0) "" ["db":"Api":private]=> resource(4) of type (mysql link) ["_allow"]=> array(0) { } ["_content_type"]=> string(16) "application/json" ["_request"]=> array(3) { ["rquest"]=> string(5) "login" ["Email"]=> string(15) "user1@gmail.com" ["Password"]=> string(5) "12345" } ["_resp"]=> array(1) { ["Id"]=> string(1) "1" } ["_method":"REST":private]=> string(0) "" ["_code":"REST":private]=> int(200) } "

is json?

asm said...

Very helpful... I can test it in php and working perfectly. But unable to call it in windows phone.
So, Can you tell me how can I call it in Windows Phone apps.

Neeraj Jain said...

Helpful for beginners. Great!!!

Rodger said...

Make sure to enable mod_rewrite in httpd.conf

eureckou said...

I am getting this error:
Notice: Undefined index: rquest in C:\server\www\jrserver.dev\public_html\rest\api.php on line 69

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info !

Ravi L said...

@eureckou: you should pass the parameter rquest and value to that.
for example. "http://localhost/rest/api.php?rquest=users" so that your rquest parameter will be passed and the value will be accessed in processApi(). Then the action will be taken according to your request.

Code Poet said...

Thanks for sharing

Rolf said...

Hi, thanks for that good.. it took me a while to find any good and easy to use examples..

One question.. When I use to Chrome extension to test the web service, the login and deleteUser function is not working.. During the debbuging I found out that $_GET and $_POST is just empty.. any idea why that happens?

Anonymous said...

plz tell me form where we can post the value and how can get post value within function....

Vinícius Egidio said...

Good tutorial but you know that the POST implementation is not working, right? There are a lot of people asking for help in the comments but I guess the author forgot about this post... It's a shame.

Sangamesh said...

can anyone help me on how to access the service methods from the client code.

Guy said...

There is no impementation of any methods to add a user so to use the API you need to first add data into your database's 'users' table. Use an online md5 generator to create the password and make sure to have the field 'user-status' set to 1 if you want to get the data. To login (/login) use POST and variables 'pwd' and 'email' in Payload, to see users (/users use GET. To delete, no idea. Seems like dELETE is not accepted on my system (Chrome/Windows). I hope this will help some of you.

Guy said...

To delete users, there is an error: in Rest.inc.php, within the inputs() method, DELETE must be treated as PUT, not as GET as it is currently set.

Rajeesh Kakkattil said...

Really helpful dude..thanks a lot.. :)

Selman Tunç said...

curl testing

$ch = curl_init('http://api.local/deleteUser?id=2');
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, true);

echo $result = curl_exec($ch);

Selman Tunç said...

curl testing

$ch = curl_init('http://api.local/deleteUser?id=2');
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, true);

echo $result = curl_exec($ch);

Selman Tunç said...

curl testing

$ch = curl_init('http://api.local/deleteUser?id=2');
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, true);

echo $result = curl_exec($ch);

Michael Oki said...

Good I'd like to know how to call the api from jquery mobile application

Digambar said...

Can you tell me please where from download Rest.inc.php?

Anonymous said...

To use it without problems make sure you have:
apt-get install php5-curl

prashant sharma said...


from where i get it?

Jonnathan Salazar Méndez said...

Not served in WAMPSERVER gives me a problem in the require_once ("Rest.inc.php");

Cameron said...

Very helpful tutorial, thanks very much!

satish kumar said...

very helpful

Amil said...

I am new to SOAP and REST which do you recommend me to learn and is easy to learn.

Anonymous said...

How do I use the private function login() section. If i have 2 inputs for username and password and I post the email and password to api.php how can I log that user in through private function login()?

TomKim said...

Getting a 404 Not Found?
Make sure to enable mod_rewrite in httpd.conf

Girraj Mahawar said...

we want to create api for prepaid mobile recharges & other kindly provide suggession to get it

Kiran said...


I am trying to use this code and actually i am getting an notice like..

Notice: Undefined index: rquest in C:\xampp\htdocs\rest\api.php on line 69

Can you please explain what the problem..

Anonymous said...

nice post... Very helpful

jagadeesh gurugubelli said...

hi guys. i am new to PHP. here i am using this api.php for webservice consuming to mobiles.can any one please tell me how can i use POST method for login function.

my table name: user

column names : email , password
please urgent please.
thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

u can also use this to call with the style /users instead of api.php?rquest=users
$func = trim(str_replace("/","",$_SERVER['REQUEST_URI']));
$func = trim(str_replace("restcomicapp","",$func));
$func = trim(explode("?",$func)[0]);

Anonymous said...

cool guy !
have a nice year !

Anonymous said...

You dont kwown with means API REST.

Example, with same URL:

diferent HTTP VERB (DELETE, POST, PUT, GET), Delete, create, update or GET de resource

tara said...

hi am getting an error like

Notice: Undefined index: rquest in C:\xampp\htdocs\rest\api.php on line 69

What should I do

Arunu said...

Nice tutorial.Thanks.Keep up the good work

tien thanh said...

Hi, thanks alot but i am new beginer with restful, can you help me how test demo?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this! Simple, but it works for my little project.

tien thanh said...

can you explain me why do you get function by $func = strtolower(trim(str_replace("/","",$_REQUEST['rquest'])));

I don't find any rquest variable.

yatin mistry said...

how to upload byte array of image in php?


Anonymous said...

i'm new to php.here is api.php is a client code & Rest.cin.php is a server code? wt is the use of htaccess.txt and how to run?

fruits said...

hi its ok how to i run this script in my localhost

awan said...

thanks for simple lessons

Anonymous said...

nice...very useful

divyesh lakkad said...

this is awesome tutorial for learning api web application.it is very useful for developing android application.

Lavlesh Mishra said...

We can make this without using REST keyword, So how we can ensure that its used REST API. Is there have any specific keyword for REST ? Please someone explain this.

Sanjaykumar Bhesaniya said...

hello I am not able to get response , plz help me

Sanjaykumar Bhesaniya said...

plz help me i am not geting response

my web project name = rest

request = http://localhost/rest/users

htaccess = file same in example

Sachin said...

Thanks a lot Arun, it really helped a lot.
Cleraed my basic confusion about rest api and solved my purpose too.
Keep it up.

Srinivaas M said...

Nice Tutorial

Pathik Vejani said...

not working..

Gueye Nya Paterson said...

Hello... Thanks for the tutorial...
please how do i get to test what you have explained in this tutorial?

Gueye Nya Paterson said...

please i have tried implementing this but i i have not been able to consume the api in a client file.

ponraj paul said...

Login is not worked for me. But i changed something like following...Now its working fine..

Please use $_REQUEST to get params,

if(isset($_REQUEST['email']) && isset($_REQUEST['pwd'])){
$email = $_REQUEST['email'];
$password = $_REQUEST['pwd'];

// Input validations
if(!empty($email) and !empty($password)){
//keep all queries

Pankaj said...

ultimate tuts dude..keep it up.thnx alot

zhr said...

gud tut..
can u help how to send response in json/xml
if user send url as format/json or format/xml

Anonymous said...

nice post to learn

Joseph Paulino said...

So this is what REST does. Thank you!

shailendra said...

Hi I just Use you Rest API and also using rest client but every time I getting Response does not contain any data. Please Help

nss said...

client side code for login:

$user_data = array();

$user_data['email'] = 'nss@gmail.com';
$user_data['pwd'] = md5('test123');

// cURL code
$ch = curl_init('http://localhost/rest/api.php?request=login');

curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_CUSTOMREQUEST, "POST");
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_POSTFIELDS, $user_data);
$response = curl_exec($ch);

echo $response;

$http_code = curl_getinfo($ch, CURLINFO_HTTP_CODE);

echo $http_code;

Anonymous said...

HI , This is a very nice tutorial. GET request is working fine. But POST request is not working properly. Here is the solution,I tested this in mozilla rest client addon. Please enter json format data in request body [{"email":"ajayvaineela@yahoo.com","pwd":"123456"}].

For reading that json code we need to add few lines in api.php.
$request_body = file_get_contents('php://input');
$json = json_decode($request_body);
$email = $json[0]->email;
$password = $json[0]->pwd;
Thats all. In mozilla rest client addon at the time of executing pls select method type POST.

Berf said...

Thanks for the lesson!
In advance rest client->chrom i tried,
http://localhost/rest/login/, to post the inputs, i face 400 Bad Request error when inputing the following json information:


i wonder to know the way json should be inputed for posting the login information.

Anonymous said...

Hi, is really http://localhost/rest/deleteUser/ even rest?
Shouldn't be somthing like DELETE http://localhost/rest/users/21 to be able to call it Rest?
Where is the Uniform Interface in all this?

You really should read this carefully: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Representational_state_transfer

Anonymous said...

problem with your userID???
try this:

don't use:

Eko Ari Wijayanto said...

try with:

don't use:

it's work

laly said...

Hi, it was nice work for me Thanks

Enrich David said...

i am happy to see your new design

alberto kanull said...

Hello! just start with this the rest api, I saw your code and if I understand but as implemented on a small website.

adam said...

This error code is too generic. Can you give more info, a complete description of the error message, a picture, something more?
Without more info, I won't be able to help you
Thanks mate

Anonymous said...

how to run dis application?

Viết Hải Nguyễn said...

thankyou very much for your sharing ! ^_^
can you explain to me how htaccess file works?

Anudeep said...

I am getting

Notice: Undefined index: email in D:\XMAPP\xampp\htdocs\rest\api.php on line 92

Notice: Undefined index: pwd in D:\XMAPP\xampp\htdocs\rest\api.php on line 93

{"status":"Failed","msg":"Invalid Email address or Password"}

When i using http://localhost/rest/login API with post method

Nitish said...

Good Article.

nandan hv said...

anything to insert data in to database???

Ninis said...

nice post, so how to access this rest on Andorid with java code?? would you mind to give an example?? i had a code with web service server side on php then client side on java. but i didnt apply API REST to my code. im just a newbie,

Abinash Ojha said...

can u please explain for beginners

Akkibaba said...

How to use html form to post data to the function

Grateful said...

Thanks for the great tutorial!

Ahmad Fahrurroji said...

I like this tutorial. How to use this on web app?
thanks in advance

lima said...

How to use html form to post data to the function.Thanks for the great tutorial!

Troy said...

Nice tutorial AKS, easy and simple to understand.
But as most of the people in this thread mentioned, I am also little stuck with the POST implementation. I am not sure, over here how to make POST request with login.
When I use http://localhost/rest/login, I always get 406 (Not acceptable) in the headers (Request method being served as GET). But as you mentioned in the tut that it is Login POST, so can you/someone please share how to make a POST request for login. How can I test it on localhost?

karisha said...

It's very nice , what about XML RPC

Anonymous said...

I'm new to PHP im struggling with the htaccess configuration. I'm using port 8080 for my server localhost:8080

RewriteEngine On

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-s
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://localhost:8080/api.php?rquest=$1 [QSA,NC,L]

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -d
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://localhost:8080/api.php [QSA,NC,L]

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -s
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://localhost:8080/api.php [QSA,NC,L]

can anyone help me? Thanks in advance :D

Anonymous said...

nice tutorial really helpfull

Budy said...

why are we using htaccess configuration ? im a newbie

Kingsley Simon said...

I created one record in the users table and then tried to run the api "localhost/rest/api.php?rquest=1 but I got a blank page. if I want to retrieve the data from the users database, how do I do it?

Atul said...

Hi i run the above script but i am getting an error, 'Fatal error: Class 'Rest' not found in C:\xampp\htdocs\rest\api.php on line 4 '. Please help me to fix this, thanks in advance :)

Anonymous said...

Mr Srinvas Tamada. Are you aware the deleteUser function doest function? Whenever a request is made (using the above recommended API client for chrome, nothing happens. It just returns a 204 no content error. I found out that the $id assignment doesn't work because $this->_request['Id] is blank. A searched the web and found out that this has to do with a complication with most web servers not allowing Delete requests, or a complication with PHP and delete requests, either way the delete request is the problem. I confirmed this by simply switch the request method for the deleteuser function to POST instead of delete and it worked. I'm not sure what you did to you Dev environment for it to work, or what environment you're using (I'm using the lateset XAMPP, BTW). Would you please correct me or your tutorial?
Thanks for the great tutorial nonetheless.

Anonymous said...

THanks!!! very very good!

Zinal Shah said...

It really helps a lot. Thanks!

Boris Gurzhovski said...

Nice tutorial for REST beginners, thanks!

Anonymous said...

How to pass parmater for insert data

Vikram Singh said...

Nice tutorial for beginners, Thanks.

I am using same method for my api but stuck now.
i have two urls
1. api/users - to get all users which is done already
2. api/users/search/id - to search user with id ( any keyword )

can someone guide me on how to get it done ?

Vikram Singh said...

How to create a a function for url like api/users/edit/1 ?
it simply update the user with id 1, values will be passed by POST

Paresh Solanki said...

Its Realy Usefull api

Anonymous said...

Suppose : i want to access data from a server through REST api System and the server link is www.test.com

I do have the username and password .

Now how to fetch the data...

I tried using the firefox Add-On RESTclient 2.0.3 and it works...but i can't write the code of my own...

i am trying since last week but unfortunately still unsuccessful :(

Can you please help me....i haven't had much knowledge about REST..beginner you ca say.

Dinesh Dinu said...

Thank you

I ll try this

@BusinessMan said...

How to Delete user from this
how to pass id actual i wanna ask

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