In the last few years, the utilization of different web services has become very popular with web developers. This growing trend owes a lot to the development of so-called mashup applications, where many of these web services are put to work seamlessly in conjunction, generally using a server-side programming language that is common to all of them. This article, the first in a six-part series, will get you started with using the Yahoo! Developer Framework in PHP 5 to build some useful web services.
However, not all is so easy when it comes to implementing a specific web service, particularly if youíre a PHP programmer whoís taking the first steps into the vast and exciting area of modern web development. Admittedly, building a PHP 5 application that will interact in one form or another with a particular web service wonít always be a painless experience; it can be even more difficult if you donít feel very inclined to work with data that is served in XML format.
Fortunately, not all is lost when youíre developing PHP 5 applications that will use a determined web service, since there are many frameworks available that will permit you to work with them without having to deal directly with XML. One framework thatís becoming quite popular with many PHP developers is the handy Yahoo! Developer Network, located at http://developer.yahoo.com, which offers plenty of thoroughly-documented APIs that allow you to implement popular web services, such as web and image searches directly on your own web sites, using this powerful friendly server-side scripting language.
Of course, thereís the possibility that you donít want to do a lot of work understanding how these Yahoo! APIs can be used within the context of PHP-based applications, which is where this series comes in. In its different parts Iíll show you how to implement, with minor hassles, some of the most useful web services offered by Yahoo!, like web, image and video searches, all from inside your PHP 5 scripts.
In this case, itís not my intention to provide you here with a fully-featured guide on how to use Yahoo!ís Web services with PHP 5, because the best place to go is simply the aforementioned Developer Network. Instead, Iíll offer to you a bunch of code samples that hopefully will assist you in the development of PHP 5 applications that will utilize some of these useful web services.
Now, having introduced the primary goal of this series, itís time to get rid of the preliminaries and start learning how to utilize the different web search services provided by Yahoo!, by using some simple PHP 5 scripts. Letís begin this educational journey now!