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README.md

CakePHP Rest Plugin

Painless REST server Plugin for CakePHP

Background

The CakePHP REST Plugin takes whatever your existing controller actions gather in viewvars, reformats it in json, csv or xml, and outputs it to the client. Because you hook it into existing actions, you only have to write your features once, and this plugin will just unlock them as API. The plugin knows it’s being called by looking at the extension in the url: .json, .csv or .xml and optionally at the Authorization: header.

So, if you’ve already coded /servers/reboot/2, you can have:

  • /servers/reboot/2.json
  • /servers/reboot/2.xml

..up & running in no time.

CakePHP REST Plugin can even change the structure of your existing viewvars using bi-directional xpaths. This way you can extract info using an xpath, and output it to your API clients using another xpath. If this doesn’t make any sense, please have a look at the examples.

You can attach the RestComponent to a controller, but you can limit REST activity to a single action.

For best results, 2 changes to your application have to be made:

  • A check if REST is active inside your error handler & redirect()
  • Resource mapping in your router (see docs below)

Warning - Cake 1.3 Users

Please use the cake-1.3 branch. As of November 5th 2012, `master` now points to Cake 2.0+ code.

Warning - Backwards compatibility breakage

Action variables are now all contained in 1 big ‘actions’ setting, instead of directly under settings, as to avoid setting vs action collision. Behavior changed since pull 15 If you don’t change your controllers to reflect that, your API will break.

This is your last good version. These settings have moved likewise:

  • ->{$action}['extract'] ->actions[$action]['extract']
  • ->{$action}['id'] ->actions[$action]['id']
  • ->{$action}['scopeVar'] ->actions[$action]['scopeVar']
  • ->{$action}['method'] ->actions[$action]['method']
  • Ratelimiter is now toggled with ->ratelimit['enable'] instead of ->ratelimiter

Requirements

  • PHP 5.2.6+ or the PECL json package
  • CakePHP 2.0+

Installation

GIT Submodule

In your app directory type:

git submodule add git://github.com/kvz/cakephp-rest-plugin.git Plugins/Rest
git submodule init
git submodule update

GIT Clone

In your plugin directory type

git clone git://github.com/kvz/cakephp-rest-plugin.git Rest

Apache

Do you run Apache? Make your app/webroot/.htaccess look like so:

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ index.php?url=$1 [QSA,L]

    # Adds AUTH support to Rest Plugin:
    RewriteRule .* - [env=HTTP_AUTHORIZATION:%{HTTP:Authorization},last]
</IfModule>

In my experience Nginx & FastCGI already make the HTTP_AUTHORIZATION available which is used to parse credentials for authentication.

Usage

Controller

Beware that you can no longer use $this->render() yourself

<?php
class ServersController extends AppController {
    public $components = array(
        'RequestHandler',
        'Rest.Rest' => array(
            'catchredir' => true, // Recommended unless you implement something yourself
            'debug' => 0,
            'actions' => array(
                'view' => array(
                    'extract' => array('server.Server' => 'servers.0'),
                ),
                'index' => array(
                    'extract' => array('rows.{n}.Server' => 'servers'),
                ),
            ),
        ),
    );

    /**
     * Shortcut so you can check in your Controllers wether
     * REST Component is currently active.
     *
     * Use it in your ->flash() methods
     * to forward errors to REST with e.g. $this->Rest->error()
     *
     * @return boolean
     */
    protected function _isRest() {
        return !empty($this->Rest) && is_object($this->Rest) && $this->Rest->isActive();
    }
}
?>

extract extracts variables you have in: $this->viewVars and makes them available in the resulting XML or JSON under the name you specify in the value part.

Here’s a more simple example of how you would use the viewVar tweets as-is:

<?php
class TweetsController extends AppController {
    public $components = array (
        'Rest.Rest' => array(
            'catchredir' => true,
            'actions' => array(
                'extract' => array(
                    'index' => array('tweets'),
                ),
            ),
        ),
    );

    public function index() {
        $tweets = $this->_getTweets();
        $this->set(compact('tweets'));
    }
}
?>

And when asked for the xml version, Rest Plugin would return this to your clients:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<tweets_response>
    <meta>
    <status>ok</status>
    <feedback>
        <item>
        <message>ok</message>
        <level>info</level>
        </item>
    </feedback>
    <request>
        <request_method>GET</request_method>
        <request_uri>/tweets/index.xml</request_uri>
        <server_protocol>HTTP/1.1</server_protocol>
        <remote_addr>123.123.123.123</remote_addr>
        <server_addr>123.123.123.123</server_addr>
        <http_host>www.example.com</http_host>
        <http_user_agent>My API Client 1.0</http_user_agent>
        <request_time/>
    </request>
    <credentials>
        <class/>
        <apikey/>
        <username/>
    </credentials>
    </meta>
    <data>
    <tweets>
        <item>
        <tweet_id>123</tweet_id>
        <message>looking forward to the finals!</message>
        </item>
        <item>
        <tweet_id>123</tweet_id>
        <message>i need a drink</message>
        </item>
    </tweets>
    </data>
</tweets_response>

As you can see, the controller name + response is always the root element (for json there is no root element). Then the content is divived in meta & data, and the latter is where your actual viewvars are stored. Meta is there to show any information regarding the validity of the request & response.

Authorization

Check the HTTP header as shown here. You can control the authKeyword setting to control what keyword belongs to your REST API. By default it uses: TRUEREST. Have your users supply a header like: Authorization: TRUEREST username=john&password=xxx&apikey=247b5a2f72df375279573f2746686daa

Now, inside your controller these variables will be available by calling $this->Rest->credentials(). This plugin only handles the parsing of the header, and passes the info on to your app. So login anyone with e.g. $this->Auth->login() and the information you retrieved from $this->Rest->credentials();

Example:

<?php
class TweetsController extends AppController {
    public $components = array ('Rest.Rest');

    public function beforeFilter () {
        if (!$this->Auth->user()) {
            // Try to login user via REST
            if ($this->Rest->isActive()) {
                $this->Auth->autoRedirect = false;
                $data = array(
                    $this->Auth->userModel => array(
                        'username' => $credentials['username'],
                        'password' => $credentials['password'],
                    ),
                );
                $data = $this->Auth->hashPasswords($data);
                if (!$this->Auth->login($data)) {
                    $msg = sprintf('Unable to log you in with the supplied credentials. ');
                    return $this->Rest->abort(array('status' => '403', 'error' => $msg));
                }
            }
        }
        parent::beforeFilter();
    }
}
?>

Schema

If you’re going to make use of this plugin’s Logging & Ratelimitting (default) and you should run the database schema found in: config/schema/rest_logs.sql.

Router

<?php
// Add an element for each controller that you want to open up
// in the REST API
Router::mapResources(array('servers'));

// Add XML + JSON to your parseExtensions
Router::parseExtensions('rss', 'json', 'xml', 'json', 'pdf');
?>

Callbacks

If you’re using the built-in ratelimiter, you may still want a little control yourself. I provide that in the form of 4 callbacks:

<?php
class TweetsController extends AppController {
    public $components = array ('Rest.Rest');

    public function restlogBeforeSave ($Rest) {}
    public function restlogAfterSave ($Rest) {}
    public function restlogBeforeFind ($Rest) {}
    public function restlogAfterFind ($Rest) {}
}
?>

That will be called in you AppController if they exists.

You may want to give a specific user a specific ratelimit. In that case you can use the following callback in your User Model:

<?php
class TweetsController extends AppController {
    public $components = array ('Rest.Rest');

    public function restRatelimitMax ($Rest, $credentials = array()) { }
}
?>

And for that user the return value of the callback will be used instead of the general class limit you could have specified in the settings.

Customizing callback

You can map callbacks to different places using the callbacks setting like so:

<?php
class TwitterController extends AppController {
    public $components = array(
        'Rest.Rest' => array(
            'catchredir' => true,
            'callbacks' => array(
                'cbRestlogBeforeSave' => 'restlogBeforeSave',
                'cbRestlogAfterSave' => 'restlogAfterSave',
                'cbRestlogBeforeFind' => 'restlogBeforeFind',
                'cbRestlogAfterFind' => array('Common', 'setCache'),
                'cbRestlogFilter' => 'restlogFilter',
                'cbRestRatelimitMax' => 'restRatelimitMax',
            ),
        ),
    );
}
?>

If the resolved callback is a string we assume it’s a method in the calling controller.

Here’s an example of the logFilter callback

<?php
/**
 * Only log when special conditions have been met
 *
 * @param <type> $Rest
 * @param <type> $log
 *
 * @return <type>
 */
public function restlogFilter ($Rest, $log) {
    if (Configure::read('App.short') === 'truecare') {
        // You could also do last minute changes to the data being logged
        return $log;
    }
    // Or return false to prevent logging alltogether
    return false;
}
?>

Logs

We can use this in simple way

public $components = array(
    'Rest.Rest' => array(
        'catchredir' => true,
        'log' => array(
            'model' => 'Rest.RestLog',
            'pretty' => true,
        ),
        'actions' => array(
            'index' => array(
                'extract' => array( 'orders' ),
            ),
            'view' => array(
                'extract' => array( 'orderDetail' ),
            ),
            'add' => array(
                'extract' => array( 'message' ),
            ),
        ),
    ),
);

And in AppController

public function restlogFilter ($Rest, $log) {
    return $log;
}

Optionally in (your own, maybe extended) Model you could define extra db config

App::import('Rest.RestLog', 'model');
class ApiLog extends RestLog {
    public $useDbConfig = 'mongo';

Configuration

You can chose to override Rest’s default configuration using a global:

<?php
Configure::write('Rest.settings', array(
    'version' => '0.3',
    'log' => array(
        'vars' => array(
            '{environment}' => Configure::read('App.short') . '-' . Configure::read('App.environment'),
        ),
        'pretty' => false,
        // Optionally, choose to store some log fields on disk, instead of in the database
        'fields' => array(
            'data_in' => '/var/log/rest/{environment}/{controller}/{date_Y}_{date_m}/{username}_{id}.log',
            'meta' => '/var/log/rest/{environment}/{controller}/{date_Y}_{date_m}/{username}_{id}.log',
            'data_out' => '/var/log/rest/{environment}/{controller}/{date_Y}_{date_m}/{username}_{id}.log',
        ),
    ),
));
?>

And you can override that on a per-controller basis like so:

<?php
class TwitterController extends AppController {
    public $components = array(
        'Rest.Rest' => array(
            'log' => array(
                'pretty' => true,
            ),
        ),
    );
}
?>

So:

Rest default < Global Rest.settings config < Controller Rest.Rest component settings

JSONP support

Thanks to Chris Toppon, there now also is JSONP support out of the box.

No extra PHP code or configuration is required on the server side with this patch, just supply either the parameter callback or jsoncallback to the JSON url provided by your plugin and the output will be wrapped in mycallback as a function.

For example:

<script type="text/javascript">
    var showPrice = function (data) {
         alert('Product: ' + data.product.name + ', Price: ' + data.product.price);
    }
</script>
<script type="text/javascript" src="http://server2.example.com/getjson?callback=showPrice"></script>

With jQuery, something similar could have been achieved like so:

jQuery.getJSON('http://www.yourdomain.com/products/product.json', function (data) {
    alert('Product: ' + data.product.name + ', Price: ' + data.product.price);
});

But for cross-domain requests, use JSONP. jQuery will substitute ? with the callback.

jQuery.getJSON('http://www.yourdomain.com/products/product.json?callback=?', function (data) {
    alert('Product: ' + data.product.name + ', Price: ' + data.product.price);
});

Good explanations of typical JSONP usage here:

Todo

  • More testing
  • Cake 2.0 support
  • Cake 1.3 support
  • The RestLog model that tracks usage should focus more on IP for rate-limiting than account info. This is mostly to defend against denial of server & brute force attempts
  • Maybe some Refactoring. This is pretty much the first attempt at a working plugin
  • XML (now only JSON is supported)

Resources

This plugin was based on:

I held a presentation on this plugin during the first Dutch CakePHP meetup:

I’m writing a client side API that talks to this plugin for the company I work for. If you’re looking to provide your customers with something similar, it may be helpful to have a look at it.

Other

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License

Licensed under MIT

Copyright © 2009-2011, Kevin van Zonneveld All rights reserved.

Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met: * Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer. * Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution. * Neither the name of the this plugin nor the names of its contributors may be used to endorse or promote products derived from this software without specific prior written permission.

THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND CONTRIBUTORS “AS IS” AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.

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