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Cakephp for  android apps
22

May

How to use CakePHP as back-end for Android Applications

Introduction

Mobile applications have been used by every smartphone user for daily tasks. Mobile app development has improved quite a lot in recent years. Android applications have captured a significant market. There are various frameworks which are used to create backend of these Android applications. So, when it comes to choosing the right framework, there some of the framework which is best suited.

CakePHP can be used as a back-end for Android applications. For this, it is essential to keep the services at the backend on principles which are based on REST and building it on Java by any CakePHP development company.

The primary idea is to handle all the involved web requests on a particular middle layer using CakePHP that will do user authentication as well as session management and then using the java based services in order to fulfill the client requests. Hence, keeping the APIs completely REST based without having any type of concern about session management or authorization and authentication. So, we now get into the details of setting up CakePHP as backend. It is essential to know the basics of CakePHP as well its structure and installation.

Setup of CakePHP

First, you need to define the basic folder structure of the CakePHP

Making Configurations

For keeping the simplicity, you need to create separate files in the CakePHP.

  1. api.php will be used all the types of global constants that will be used in the particular application. For instance, let’s say the API key as well as its base endpoint URL.
  2. api_url.php will contain all of the API endpoint URLs which are needed to be hit.

Once you have successfully created this particular file, you have to include these files in the bootstrap.php that is present in the config folder. It is because the bootstrap is present in each of the request cycle. All constants, as well as URLs, are present everywhere within the application.

Process of Routing

Once you have done the configurations, you need to take care of all the curls by means of creating it in routes.php which is present in the config folder. Hence you can easily specify the URLs and easily direct it to the right controllers. By this particular way, your APIs are unaffected with the URLs which are at the front end and they remain entirely separated from it. This is an essential part where all CakePHP development services make special emphasis on.

Action on Controller

Now you need to commit few actions on controller front. You shouldn’t do any type of changes in app.php for the given database connection configs It is because you are not using the database and data source is API. You have to take care of it after a while. First, you need to create a controller which should be named ArticlesController as well as its action index.

Now call the model method called “getArticles” which will subsequently call the corresponding API and then go on to fetch the response. There is a function named “checkApiResponse” which is defined in AppController that will take up the particular response and then check for status as well as error codes and then accordingly throw exceptions in case they are needed.

Creating Models

Now you have to create a model named ArticlesTable.php under the folder named Model/table. But before that, you need to create a CustomTable.php that will be subsequently extended by every model. It is done because you will be defining you core GET, POST, PUT and DELETE calls under this particular function that will be accessible by all of the models which extend it.

Now, first go to the folder structure in Model/Table. Create the Articles.php and then define a getArticles function that you have caller earlier in the ArticlesController.php.

Here you are essentially calling the function named “getApi” from the CustomTable. Note that you are extending CustomTable.php, not the Table.php.

Also, you are using the class variable named “$useTable” as you aren’t using any type of database as well as its tables.

Hence you get the overview of getApi which is self-explanatory. In case there are any sorts of errors in the response and you wish to log it then you can complete this action too.

Similarly, you can easily create functions for PUT, DELETE and POST APIs and also use it.

Conclusion

So this is all which is required to do when it comes to using CakePHP as a backend for an Android application development. The main advantage of using this particular type of architecture lies in the fact that you can easily separate out the layers beautifully like logging, maintaining session handling etc. while you keep the APIs quite thin and specific.

There is, however, one disadvantage that there is an overhead at the server level by means of introducing an extra layer between both client and server. To use CakePHP as a backend for Android applications, you need to hire CakePHP developer who has expertise in the above-mentioned process. It is worth noted that each part of this process should be done comprehensively while keeping in mind the role of the application.

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