Steps to create RESTFul API in Laravel [100% Working]


Written By - Steve Alila

Welcome to this comprehensive guide on how to create RESTFul API in Laravel 8. As the demand for API-driven applications continues to grow, it is essential for developers to have a solid understanding of how to build RESTful APIs that are efficient, scalable, and maintainable. Laravel, one of the most popular PHP frameworks, provides powerful tools and features to simplify the process of creating API REST.

In this article, we will explore the process of creating a RESTful API using Laravel 8, diving into the core components and best practices to ensure the development of a robust and secure API. From setting up the development environment to defining routes, controllers, and middleware, we will cover every aspect of creating API REST in Laravel 8 to provide you with a solid foundation for your projects.

Whether you are a seasoned Laravel developer looking to expand your skills or a newcomer to the world of API development, this guide will serve as an invaluable resource for building API REST with Laravel 8. So let's get started and learn how to create powerful and efficient RESTful APIs using Laravel 8!

 

Pre-requisites

We need a SQL Database to setup our development environment.

Update the package index:

sudo apt update

Install the MySQL server package:

sudo apt install mysql-server

Once the installation is complete, run the security script to configure your MySQL installation:

sudo mysql_secure_installation

This script will ask you a series of questions about your desired security settings. For a development environment, you can keep the default settings, but for a production environment, it is recommended to follow the security best practices.

Start the MySQL service:

sudo systemctl start mysql

Enable the MySQL service to automatically start when your system boots:

sudo systemctl enable mysql

Now, MySQL should be running on your system. You can verify the status of the MySQL service by running:

sudo systemctl status mysql

If the service is running, you should see an output similar to:

$ sudo systemctl status mysql
‚óŹ mysql.service - MySQL Community Server
     Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/mysql.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
     Active: active (running) since Sun 2023-04-30 15:08:30 IST; 7min ago
    Process: 5649 ExecStartPre=/usr/share/mysql/mysql-systemd-start pre (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)

After ensuring that MySQL is running, you can try connecting to the MySQL server using the mysql -u root -p command again. If you still encounter issues, please make sure that your MySQL root user has the correct password set.

 

Step-1: Setup development environment

Create a new Laravel 8 project named rest_api:

composer create-project laravel/laravel="8.*" rest_api

Navigate into the newly created rest_api project directory:

cd rest_api

Open the project with Visual Studio Code:

code .

Create a new MySQL database for the application using your preferred tool (e.g., phpMyAdmin, MySQL Workbench, or command line). Note down the database name, username, and password. og in to the MySQL server using the mysql command and your MySQL root user's credentials:

mysql -u root -p

Create a new database using the following SQL command:

CREATE DATABASE your_database_name;

Create a new user and set a password for the user:

CREATE USER 'your_database_username'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'your_database_password';

Grant all privileges for the new user on the newly created database:

GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON your_database_name.* TO 'your_database_username'@'localhost';

Apply the changes by flushing the privileges:

FLUSH PRIVILEGES;

Exit the MySQL command line:

EXIT;

We have created rest_api project, navigated into it and opened it with Visual Studio Code. Now create a database for the application as defined in the .env file.

DB_CONNECTION=mysql
DB_HOST=127.0.0.1
DB_PORT=3306
DB_DATABASE=<your database name>
DB_USERNAME=<your databse username>
DB_PASSWORD=<your database password>

Here's what each line of the code does:

  • DB_CONNECTION=mysql: This sets the database driver to MySQL. Laravel supports a variety of database drivers including MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, and SQL Server.
  • DB_HOST=127.0.0.1: This sets the database host to the local machine, which is identified by the IP address "127.0.0.1". If your database is hosted on a different server, you would replace this IP address with the hostname or IP address of the server.
  • DB_PORT=3306: This sets the database port to 3306, which is the default port for MySQL. If your MySQL server is running on a different port, you would replace this value with the appropriate port number.
  • DB_DATABASE=<your database name>: This sets the name of the database that you want to connect to. You would replace <your database name> with the name of your database.
  • DB_USERNAME=<your database username>: This sets the username that you want to use to connect to the database. You would replace <your database username> with your actual database username.
  • DB_PASSWORD=<your database password>: This sets the password that you want to use to connect to the database. You would replace <your database password> with your actual database password.

Steps to create RESTFul API in Laravel [100% Working]

 

Step-2: Make model and migration

php artisan make:model Post -mcr

We create the Post model with controllers and conventional methods.

Output

steve@alila:~/rest_api$ php artisan make:model Post -mcr
Model created successfully.
Created Migration: 2023_04_17_074105_create_posts_table
Controller created successfully.

Steps to create RESTFul API in Laravel [100% Working]

 

The model, found in app/Models/Post.php, is a blueprint for a post. It defines the attributes and methods of a post. You can create custom methods inside the model like user which relates a post to its creator.

public function user() {
  return $this->belongsTo(User::class);
}

The m in mcr stands for migration. Migration file, found in database/migrations/<creation_date>_create_posts_table.php, defines the database column and the data type of the column.

<?php

...
    public function up()
    {
        Schema::create('posts', function (Blueprint $table) {
            $table->id();
            $table->string('title');
            $table->text('body');
            $table->timestamps();
        });
    }
...

The up method creates the id, title, body, and timestamps (created_at and updated_at) columns in the posts table.

c stands for controllers whereas r represent resources. Resources include the seven controller methods, defined in the app/Http/Controllers/PostController.php file.

index: GET to the home page.

create: GET to the create page.

store: POST the details for saving to the database.

show: GET the details a single record.

edit: GET to the edit page.

update: PUT or PATCH details of a single record.

destroy: DELETE the record.

Steps to create RESTFul API in Laravel [100% Working]

Since we will not get a view, we don't need the create and edit functions. We could avoid creating them by adding the --api flag to the artisan command.

php artisan make:model Post -mcr --api

Let's update the database with new records before proceeding to handle rest API. Run the migrate command.

php artisan migrate

Steps to create RESTFul API in Laravel [100% Working]

Now that we have set up project requirements, let me show you how to create api rest laravel 8.

 

Step-3: Set up controllers

In Laravel 8, API routes are defined in the routes/api.php file. Navigate to the routes/api.php and create the routes.

<?php

use App\Http\Controllers\PostController;
use Illuminate\Support\Facades\Route;

Route::get('/', [PostController::class, 'index']);
Route::post('/store', [PostController::class, 'store']);
Route::get('/show/{id}', [PostController::class, 'show']);
Route::patch('/update/{id}', [PostController::class, 'update']);
Route::delete('/destroy/{id}', [PostController::class, 'destroy']);

We link the API endpoints with the controller defining the action.

<?php

namespace App\Http\Controllers;

use App\Models\Post;
use Illuminate\Http\Request;

class PostController extends Controller
{
    public function index()
    {
        return Post::all();
    }

    public function store(Request $request)
    {
        return Post::create($request->all());
    }

    public function show($id)
    {
        return Post::find($id);
    }

    public function update(Request $request, $id)
    {
        return Post::find($id)->update($request->all());
    }

    public function destroy($id)
    {
        return Post::find($id)->delete();
    }
}

 

Step-4: Validate Laravel REST API using Postman

The slash / endpoint triggers the PostController class' index method, returning all posts. From http://127.0.0.1:8000/api URL, let's test the API endpoint using Postman.

Steps to create RESTFul API in Laravel [100% Working]

 

The /store endpoint creates a post using the create method.

Steps to create RESTFul API in Laravel [100% Working]

 

The create method does mass assignment of values to the post record. Note that mass assignment is disabled by default. To enable it, create fillable array with required details in the Post model in app/Models/Post.php.

<?php
  
namespace App\Models;

use Illuminate\Database\Eloquent\Factories\HasFactory;
use Illuminate\Database\Eloquent\Model;

class Post extends Model
{
    use HasFactory;
    
    protected $fillable = ['title', 'body'];
}

The show method returns a matching post's details.

Steps to create RESTFul API in Laravel [100% Working]

 

The update method patches the post details and returns the updated post. The method returns 1 for a Boolean value of true and 200 HTTP status response.

Steps to create RESTFul API in Laravel [100% Working]

Lastly, the destroy method removes the post from the database and sends 1 for true Boolean with a 200 HTTP status response. We could also return a detailed message.

return [
  "status" => 1,
  "data" => $post,
  "message" => "post $post->id deleted successfully"
];

Steps to create RESTFul API in Laravel [100% Working]

 

Conclusion

Building a RESTful API with Laravel 8 is a straightforward process. By following the steps outlined in this blog post, you can create a powerful API that communicates seamlessly with other applications.

We started by installing Laravel 8 and setting up our environment to begin building the API. Next, we created the necessary models and migrations to define the database structure. Finally, we set up controllers to handle HTTP requests and route them to the appropriate actions.

With Laravel 8's built-in features and excellent documentation, creating a RESTful API has never been easier. Now that you have a solid foundation for your API, you can continue to build and expand it to meet your application's needs.

 

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