If you’re new to Magento, you may not realize that every remote API method has a native PHP equivalent. The why, how, and how to identify these models is covered elsewhere, but one thing I forget at my peril is how useful the API methods are when I need to serialize something as JSON or via PHP’s
json_encode( Mage::getModel('catalog/product_api')->load($product_id) ); $data = serialize(Mage::getModel('catalog/product')->load($product_id));
What’s great about the API
load methods is they automatically return a simple PHP array full of scaler values. Compare that to something like this
json_encode( Mage::getModel('catalog/product')->load($product_id) );
While they may seem equivalent, the
catalog/product object is going to have a lot of other object references — which is turn may have other other object references, which in turn may circle back to the product object. This isn’t insurmountable, but is a giant pain in the butt when all you want is a JSON representation of a product’s data. The API models give you this, with the added benefits that they’re relatively stable — array keys added to an API result are much less likely to change version to version.