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Building PHP Applications with Symfony™, CakePHP, and Zend® Framework by Leszek Nowak, Karol Przystalski, Bartosz Porebski

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Chapter 12. Web Services

Always be wary of any helpful item that weighs less than its operating manual.

Terry Pratchett

WHAT'S IN THIS CHAPTER?

  • Creating basic CRUD-like web services with REST

  • Using SOAP for enterprise web services

  • Testing SOAP web services with soapUI

Web services are commonly considered by beginner programmers as something terribly hard to learn. This is only half true, as web services are advanced technologies indeed and they are mostly on the bleeding edge of development. There are also many different standards that are compliant with different web services. So they are quite hard to learn, but still it is not rocket science and if you made it through all previous chapters of this book, you can cope with web services as well.

There are good reasons for using web services. First of all, they are incredibly trendy now, especially REST with its small learning curve, allowing for rapid web development. The popularity of SOAP is declining somewhat, but it is still a successful heavyweight enterprise solution used by many companies. With the exchange of data constantly increasing between applications over networks, you can expect that the importance of web services will continue to increase.

The second reason is much more practical. Assume that you have another application. Not a web app itself, but you need to integrate it with a web app you are developing now. Using web services is the best way to deliver such a rich, elegant interface that would allow these applications ...

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