Laravel API

2021 November 5th Written by theWhiteFox

Now to build a RESTful application programming interface (API) using Laravel 8.x learning-by-doing. REST stands for REpresentational State Transfer, it's an abstract architectural style to guide the design and development architecture for the World Wide Web. RESTful is a set of constraits to architectural styles and the design of network-based software RESTful systems, created by computer scientist Roy Fielding.

As mobile development and JavaScript frameworks become more popular, even the norm, it's nessarary to learn how RESTful APIs work. Laravel an open-source PHP model–view–controller (MVC) web framework, created by Taylor Otwell, is an opinionated PHP application framework, as apposed to for example ExpressJS a minimal, un-opinionated JavaScript framework of which I will cover in another post.

In this post I am going to build an MVC - Web API with user authentination / registeration with login to a MySql DataBase (DB) using an .env file. I will also test with Laravel testing PHPUnit. Feel free to explore / reference / download / clone or fork the repo GitHub

HTTP VerbCRUDEntire Collection (e.g. /users)Specific Item (e.g. /user/{id})
POSTCreate201 (Created), 'Location' header with link to /users/{id} containing new ID.404 (Not Found), 409 (Conflict) if resource already exists..
GETRead200 (OK), list of users. Use pagination, sorting and filtering to navigate big lists.200 (OK), single user. 404 (Not Found), if ID not found or invalid.
PUTUpdate/Replace405 (Method Not Allowed), unless you want to update/replace every resource in the entire collection.200 (OK) or 204 (No Content). 404 (Not Found), if ID not found or invalid.
PATCHUpdate/Modify405 (Method Not Allowed), unless you want to modify the collection itself. 200 (OK) or 204 (No Content).404 (Not Found), if ID not found or invalid.
DELETEDelete405 (Method Not Allowed), unless you want to delete the whole collection—not often desirable.200 (OK). 404 (Not Found), if ID not found or invalid.

Getting set up

I am working with a MacBook Pro for this project. First install Get Composer a dependency manager for PHP. After composer installation run the below commands in your cli. For my cli I use ohmyz

1$ composer global require laravel/installer
2$ laravel new myapp
3$ php artisan serve

Laravel localhost development server started:


Laravel App

Install MySQL, if using MacOS or Linux I recommend using then run the below command.

1brew services start mysql

Create a DB for this app, credentials are in the .env the file located in the root of your project.


I am using Migrate, it's like version control for our DB read more here Laravel 8.x Migrations

jsx php artisan make:model Article -m

After running the above go to the migrations folder there should be a file like this 2021_01_31_170103_create_articles_table.php To get up and running we need dummy data, I am seeding the DB with data so lets seed. Want to learn more about writing seeders read

1php artisan make:seeder ArticlesTableSeeder
3namespace Database\Seeders;
5use Illuminate\Database\Seeder;
7class ArticlesTableSeeder extends Seeder
9 /**
10 * Run the database seeds.
11 *
12 * @return void
13 */
14 public function run()
15 {
16 // lets: truncate our existing records to start from scratch
17 Article:truncate();
19 $faker = \Faker\Factory::create();
21 // lets create some articles in our DB
22 for($i = 0; $i < 50; $i++) {
23 Article::create([
24 'title' => $faker->sentence,
25 'body' => $faker->paragraph
26 ]);
27 }
28 }
1php artisan make:seeder UsersTableSeeder

Database Seeding

A quick way to populate our myapp DB.

Routes and Controllers

Routing RESTful routes Let’s create the basic endpoints for our application: create, retrieve the list, retrieve a single one, update, and delete. On the routes/api.php file, we can simply do this:

Testing the Endpoints

Laravel lucky for us comes with PHPUnit ready to rock. Testing support with PHPUnit is installed by default with a phpunit.xml file, a root tests folder and a bunch of helper methods already set up for our application. Create the test folder (if it does not exist) then create TestController inside. basic endpoints for our application: create, retrieve the list, retrieve a single one, update, and delete. On the routes/api.php file, we can simply do this:

1php artisan make:controller Article/ArticleController

HTTP Status Codes and the Response Format

Sending a Correct 404 Response Laravel Errors

3namespace App\Exceptions;
5use Throwable;
6use Illuminate\Auth\AuthenticationException;
7use Illuminate\Database\Eloquent\ModelNotFoundException;
8use Illuminate\Foundation\Exceptions\Handler as ExceptionHandler;
11class Handler extends ExceptionHandler
13 /**
14 * A list of the exception types that are not reported.
15 *
16 * @var array
17 */
18 protected $dontReport = [
19 //
20 ];
22 /**
23 * A list of the inputs that are never flashed for validation exceptions.
24 *
25 * @var array
26 */
27 protected $dontFlash = [
28 'password',
29 'password_confirmation',
30 ];
33 public function render($request, Throwable $exception) {
34 // replace 404 with a json response
35 if ($exception instanceof ModelNotFoundException &&
36 $request->wantsJson())
37 {
38 return response()->json([
39 'error' => 'Resource not found'
40 ], 404);
41 }
43 return parent::render($request, $exception);
44 }
46 /**
47 * Register the exception handling callbacks for the application.
48 *
49 * @return void
50 */
51 public function register()
52 {
53 $this->renderable(function(InvalidOrderException $e, $request) {
54 return response()->json([
55 'error' => 'resource not found'
56 ], 404);
57 });
59 $this->reportable(function (Throwable $e) {
60 //
61 });
62 }
Rendering ExceptionsLaravel errors configuration
add ThrowableSO brew install mysql on macOS
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