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Using the Magento API to Safely Serialize as JSON


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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 serialize function.


$data = serialize(Mage::getModel('catalog/product')->load($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


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.

Copyright © Alan Storm 1975 – 2021 All Rights Reserved

Originally Posted: 7th July 2014