What OpenSocial Apps Do You Want?

So, as I mentioned last week, we’re putting the finishing touches on the OpenSocial work for Connect.

The OpenSocial container is finished and ready for app development right now. We just need to add an app directory and tweak the profile and home pages to accept OpenSocial apps.

One line item on our development plan is “populate the app directory”. OpenSocial has been available since late last year, and the app directories on Ning, orkut, MySpace, hi5 and iGoogle are full of OpenSocial apps. We are planning to see if we can import some of the apps in our directory, e.g. the Gadgets built by Google, but not that many will make the cut.

We’ll probably get some helping building a few seeded apps too, to fill up the directory a bit.

So, here comes your chance to pitch in and help decide the future of Connect, and eventually Mix:

What Apps Should We Seed?
If you browse the app directories of consumer OpenSocial containers, you’ll find a lot of consumer apps for sharing social stuff like music, movies, horoscopes, pictures, etc.

We plan to have some of this, since one positive effect of Connect is bringing Oracle employees closer together; all the acquisitions and remote employees means that you no longer work with people you see in the office every day.

Browsing the app directories of these networks, you’ll also find integrations with popular apps like Twitter, GMail, Flickr, Maps, etc. The APIs of these apps make them easy to work with, and integrating them into Connect adds value for people who use them.

I have a list of productivity apps I’d like to see, including a world clock, a news/blog feed, a Post-It style app for personal notes, a socialized version of our bug database. Of course, the standard web portal favorites always make the list: stocks and weather. Useful, yes, but also boring.

What do you think should be on the list? What would you really use on a frequent basis?

Do You Have an App You Want to Integrate or Build?
When we first started talking about OpenSocial apps, the use cases were for Mix. One need area for apps is community integration. Building apps to bridge the various communities (Mix, OTN forums, Eddie’s Oracle Community, OAUG Knowledge Factory, etc.) provides a way for people to centralize their Oracle experience in Connect.

For example, I could add apps for each of my identities into Connect and simultaneously keep up with each community, all from Connect. This approach is powerful for employees

Another use case is integrating an internal app into Connect; Noel’s OraTweet is a perfect candidate for an OpenSocial app. He could reach way more people through Connect, using the network effect, with no impact on his underlying infrastructure (APEX and PL/SQL). Lots of employees use Twitter, more all the time, and I think an integrated client, using an Oracle backend would be interesting to people inside the firewall.

Plus, his work would be spread across the company, showing off his development chops for all to see. Everybody wins.

Are You Stoked to Build OpenSocial Apps?
If reading all this has you excited to get your feet wet with OpenSocial, this is your chance to get started. Connect is ready today, meaning the container is implemented and deployed. It hasn’t been prettied up yet, so you’ll need to mind the exposed wires and un-spackled drywall, but your app would be in among the first in the directory when we deploy the changes. So, you’d enjoy first-in status; think iLike on a smaller scale.

Sure, Connect is internal to Oracle, but we plan to deploy OpenSocial to Mix eventually. So, your apps may be externally visible too.

Our plans for Mix mean we those of you who aren’t Oracle people can also start thinking about OpenSocial. When we deploy to Mix, we’ll likely seed apps to fill the directory, so I’ll probably be repeating this message.

What do you think about all this, i.e. OpenSocial on Connect/Mix, what apps we should have, how can you help?

Find the comments.




  1. There are Twitter gadgets for iGoogle, not sure about other containers, but I assume so. For our container, we investigated a Twitter gadget, and I can't remember the exact reason we skipped it. OraTweet works better for us, for obvious reasons.

  2. Pingback: bridge directory
  3. We ran into some problems with Twitter, but I can't recall what they were. Isn't there a Twitter app for Orkut? That's surprising.

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