Quickstart: Use PHP to call the Bing Web Search API

Use this quickstart to make your first call to the Bing Web Search API and receive a JSON response in less than 10 minutes.

This quickstart requires an Azure Cognitive Services account with Bing Search APIs. If you don't have an account, you can use the free trial to get a subscription key.

See also Cognitive Services Pricing - Bing Search API.

Prerequisites

Here are a few things that you'll need before running this quickstart:

Enable secure HTTP support

Before we get started, locate php.ini and uncomment this line:

;extension=php_openssl.dll

Create a project and define variables

Create a new PHP project in your favorite IDE or editor. Don't forget to add opening and closing tags <?php and ?>.

A few variables must be set before we can continue. Confirm that the $endpoint is correct and replace the $accesskey value with a valid subscription key from your Azure account. Feel free to customize the search query by replacing the value for $term.

$accessKey = 'enter key here';
$endpoint = 'https://api.cognitive.microsoft.com/bing/v7.0/search';
$term = 'Microsoft Cognitive Services';

Construct a request

This code declares a function called BingWebSearch that is used to construct requests to the Bing Web Search API. It takes three arguments: $url, $key, and $query.

function BingWebSearch ($url, $key, $query) {
    /* Prepare the HTTP request.
     * NOTE: Use the key 'http' even if you are making an HTTPS request.
     * See: http://php.net/manual/en/function.stream-context-create.php.
     */
    $headers = "Ocp-Apim-Subscription-Key: $key\r\n";
    $options = array ('http' => array (
                          'header' => $headers,
                           'method' => 'GET'));

    // Perform the request and get a JSON response.
    $context = stream_context_create($options);
    $result = file_get_contents($url . "?q=" . urlencode($query), false, $context);

    // Extract Bing HTTP headers.
    $headers = array();
    foreach ($http_response_header as $k => $v) {
        $h = explode(":", $v, 2);
        if (isset($h[1]))
            if (preg_match("/^BingAPIs-/", $h[0]) || preg_match("/^X-MSEdge-/", $h[0]))
                $headers[trim($h[0])] = trim($h[1]);
    }

    return array($headers, $result);
}

Make a request and print the response

This code validates the subscription key, makes a request, and prints the response.

// Validates the subscription key.
if (strlen($accessKey) == 32) {

    print "Searching the Web for: " . $term . "\n";
    // Makes the request.
    list($headers, $json) = BingWebSearch($endpoint, $accessKey, $term);

    print "\nRelevant Headers:\n\n";
    foreach ($headers as $k => $v) {
        print $k . ": " . $v . "\n";
    }
    // Prints JSON encoded response.
    print "\nJSON Response:\n\n";
    echo json_encode(json_decode($json), JSON_PRETTY_PRINT);

} else {

    print("Invalid Bing Search API subscription key!\n");
    print("Please paste yours into the source code.\n");

}

Put it all together

The last step is to validate your code and run it! If you'd like to compare your code with ours, here's the complete program:

<?php
$accessKey = 'enter key here';
$endpoint = 'https://api.cognitive.microsoft.com/bing/v7.0/search';
$term = 'Microsoft Cognitive Services';

function BingWebSearch ($url, $key, $query) {
    $headers = "Ocp-Apim-Subscription-Key: $key\r\n";
    $options = array ('http' => array (
                          'header' => $headers,
                           'method' => 'GET'));
    $context = stream_context_create($options);
    $result = file_get_contents($url . "?q=" . urlencode($query), false, $context);
    $headers = array();
    foreach ($http_response_header as $k => $v) {
        $h = explode(":", $v, 2);
        if (isset($h[1]))
            if (preg_match("/^BingAPIs-/", $h[0]) || preg_match("/^X-MSEdge-/", $h[0]))
                $headers[trim($h[0])] = trim($h[1]);
    }
    return array($headers, $result);
}

if (strlen($accessKey) == 32) {
    print "Searching the Web for: " . $term . "\n";
    list($headers, $json) = BingWebSearch($endpoint, $accessKey, $term);
    print "\nRelevant Headers:\n\n";
    foreach ($headers as $k => $v) {
        print $k . ": " . $v . "\n";
    }
    print "\nJSON Response:\n\n";
    echo json_encode(json_decode($json), JSON_PRETTY_PRINT);

} else {
    print("Invalid Bing Search API subscription key!\n");
    print("Please paste yours into the source code.\n");
}
?>

Sample response

Responses from the Bing Web Search API are returned as JSON. This sample response has been truncated to show a single result.

{
  "_type": "SearchResponse",
  "queryContext": {
    "originalQuery": "Microsoft Cognitive Services"
  },
  "webPages": {
    "webSearchUrl": "https://www.bing.com/search?q=Microsoft+cognitive+services",
    "totalEstimatedMatches": 22300000,
    "value": [
      {
        "id": "https://api.cognitive.microsoft.com/api/v7/#WebPages.0",
        "name": "Microsoft Cognitive Services",
        "url": "https://www.microsoft.com/cognitive-services",
        "displayUrl": "https://www.microsoft.com/cognitive-services",
        "snippet": "Knock down barriers between you and your ideas. Enable natural and contextual interaction with tools that augment users' experiences via the power of machine-based AI. Plug them in and bring your ideas to life.",
        "deepLinks": [
          {
            "name": "Face API",
            "url": "https://azure.microsoft.com/services/cognitive-services/face/",
            "snippet": "Add facial recognition to your applications to detect, identify, and verify faces using a Face API from Microsoft Azure. ... Cognitive Services; Face API;"
          },
          {
            "name": "Text Analytics",
            "url": "https://azure.microsoft.com/services/cognitive-services/text-analytics/",
            "snippet": "Cognitive Services; Text Analytics API; Text Analytics API . Detect sentiment, ... you agree that Microsoft may store it and use it to improve Microsoft services, ..."
          },
          {
            "name": "Computer Vision API",
            "url": "https://azure.microsoft.com/services/cognitive-services/computer-vision/",
            "snippet": "Extract the data you need from images using optical character recognition and image analytics with Computer Vision APIs from Microsoft Azure."
          },
          {
            "name": "Emotion",
            "url": "https://www.microsoft.com/cognitive-services/en-us/emotion-api",
            "snippet": "Cognitive Services Emotion API - microsoft.com"
          },
          {
            "name": "Bing Speech API",
            "url": "https://azure.microsoft.com/services/cognitive-services/speech/",
            "snippet": "Add speech recognition to your applications, including text to speech, with a speech API from Microsoft Azure. ... Cognitive Services; Bing Speech API;"
          },
          {
            "name": "Get Started for Free",
            "url": "https://azure.microsoft.com/services/cognitive-services/",
            "snippet": "Add vision, speech, language, and knowledge capabilities to your applications using intelligence APIs and SDKs from Cognitive Services."
          }
        ]
      }
    ]
  },
  "relatedSearches": {
    "id": "https://api.cognitive.microsoft.com/api/v7/#RelatedSearches",
    "value": [
      {
        "text": "microsoft bot framework",
        "displayText": "microsoft bot framework",
        "webSearchUrl": "https://www.bing.com/search?q=microsoft+bot+framework"
      },
      {
        "text": "microsoft cognitive services youtube",
        "displayText": "microsoft cognitive services youtube",
        "webSearchUrl": "https://www.bing.com/search?q=microsoft+cognitive+services+youtube"
      },
      {
        "text": "microsoft cognitive services search api",
        "displayText": "microsoft cognitive services search api",
        "webSearchUrl": "https://www.bing.com/search?q=microsoft+cognitive+services+search+api"
      },
      {
        "text": "microsoft cognitive services news",
        "displayText": "microsoft cognitive services news",
        "webSearchUrl": "https://www.bing.com/search?q=microsoft+cognitive+services+news"
      },
      {
        "text": "ms cognitive service",
        "displayText": "ms cognitive service",
        "webSearchUrl": "https://www.bing.com/search?q=ms+cognitive+service"
      },
      {
        "text": "microsoft cognitive services text analytics",
        "displayText": "microsoft cognitive services text analytics",
        "webSearchUrl": "https://www.bing.com/search?q=microsoft+cognitive+services+text+analytics"
      },
      {
        "text": "microsoft cognitive services toolkit",
        "displayText": "microsoft cognitive services toolkit",
        "webSearchUrl": "https://www.bing.com/search?q=microsoft+cognitive+services+toolkit"
      },
      {
        "text": "microsoft cognitive services api",
        "displayText": "microsoft cognitive services api",
        "webSearchUrl": "https://www.bing.com/search?q=microsoft+cognitive+services+api"
      }
    ]
  },
  "rankingResponse": {
    "mainline": {
      "items": [
        {
          "answerType": "WebPages",
          "resultIndex": 0,
          "value": {
            "id": "https://api.cognitive.microsoft.com/api/v7/#WebPages.0"
          }
        }
      ]
    },
    "sidebar": {
      "items": [
        {
          "answerType": "RelatedSearches",
          "value": {
            "id": "https://api.cognitive.microsoft.com/api/v7/#RelatedSearches"
          }
        }
      ]
    }
  }
}

Next steps

See also