Developing an API in plain PHP is time-consuming and error-prone. Thankfully, it’s not necessary. All you need is a great little PHP framework to help you out. Rakesh Patel over at BCW picks out five of the best PHP frameworks for creating REST APIs.
Rakesh starts with Slim. This is a PHP micro-framework that enables a developer to create a complete web service from a single file. Features include app debugging to test your API and the ability to inspect and manipulate HTTP request and response details like method, header and cookies.
Next up is Silex. Silex is built on top of Symfony and Pimple and inspired by Sinatra. It’s known for its concise and intuitive API, its speed and ability to work easily with microservices and many third-party libraries.
Wave, on the other hand, offers a standard MVC architecture and the ability to construct APIs that will return anything from CSVs to JSON and XML. It’s known for being ultra lightweight and optimized for speed through careful resource management and caching.
Limonade is also lightweight. It’s primarily used for prototyping and rapid web development thanks to its simple API, making it similar to Camping in Ruby. It’s also completely self-contained, meaning no pesky dependencies.
Last but not least, Lumen. As its luminous name would suggest, it’s lightning fast, leaving Laravel and other heavy web frameworks in the dust. It offers simple syntax and superfast response times. Keep in mind, though, that it’s primarily meant for use with microservices, not user apps.