Plugins to be used with com_api
Latest commit 98f323f Jul 20, 2016 @coolbung coolbung committed on GitHub Merge pull request #8 from vishal22/patch-1

RESTful API plugins

Plugins to be used with com_api component. To add additional resources to the API, plugins need to be created. Each plugin can provide multiple API resources. Plugins are a convenient way to group several resources. Eg: A single plugin could be created for Quick2Cart with separate resources for products, cart, checkout, orders etc.


The URL to access any route is of the format -

/index.php?option=com_api&format=raw&app=<plugin name>&resource=<resource name>&key=<key>


Currently API token based authentication is supported. The token needs to be passed as a HTTP POST or get variable with the name key. This will be changed at some point to be transmitted via a header.

CRUD Operations

Each resorce can support the GET, POST, DELETE & PUT (needs some work) operations. These are exposed by creating methods of the same name, i.e. get() post() put() and delete() in each of the resources. This way, if a resouce URL is accessed via HTTP POST , the post() method is called, and similarly for the rest.

Typical API plugin file structure

  • language/en-GB - Resource folder having resource file, keep name same as plugin name.
    • en-GB.plg_api_users.ini - add plugin language constant.
    • en-GB.plg_api_users.sys.ini
  • users - Resource folder having resource file, keep name same as plugin name.
    • login.php - Resource file
  • users.php - plugin file
  • users.xml - xml file

You can add multiple resource in resource folder and use them for different purpose.

Create plugin entry file users.php file

This is the entry file for the API plugin, the things that re deifned in the file are resource locations, and making certain resources public. Below is the code for the file -

//class structure example
class plgAPIUsers extends ApiPlugin
    public function __construct(&$subject, $config = array())
        parent::__construct($subject, $config = array());

        // Set resource path

        // Load language files
        $lang = JFactory::getLanguage(); 
        $lang->load('plg_api_your_plugin_name', JPATH_ADMINISTRATOR,'',true);

        // Set the login resource to be public
        $this->setResourceAccess('your_plugin_name', 'public', 'post');


Create resource file login.php file

Although you can place the resource files anywhere, the recommended approach is to place them within a folder inside your plugin. Below is example code for a resource file. Notice how the methods get() and post() are implemented. The methods will tpically return an array or an object which will be automatically converted to JSON, so the resource does not need to convert to JSON.

//class structure example
//ex - class UsersApiResourceLogin extends ApiResource
class UsersApiResourceLogin extends ApiResource
    public function get()
        // Add your code here

        $this->plugin->setResponse( $result );

    public function post()
        // Add your code here

        $this->plugin->setResponse( $result );

Make some resources public

It is possible to make certain resource method public by using the setResourceAccess() access method as

$this->setResourceAccess('users', 'public', 'post') 

The first parameter is the resource name, second is status (should be public to make it public and last is method, which is you want to make public. Setting a resource public will mean that the URL will not need any authentication.

Create .xml file

Finally create a manifest XML so that your plugin can be installed. Set group as 'api', add plugin name and other details.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<extension version="3.0.0" type="plugin" group="api" method="upgrade">
        <filename plugin="your_plugin_name">your_plugin_name.php</filename>
    <languages folder="language">
        <language tag="en-GB">en-GB/en-GB.plg_api_plugin_name.ini</language>
        <language tag="en-GB">en-GB/en-GB.plg_api_plugin_name.sys.ini</language>