OpenSocial Update

I haven’t blogged about our OpenSocial progress since Rich finished up his last mockup revisions a few weeks ago.

Not a whole lot to report, Rich got pulled away to work on a Mix hardware upgrade for a week, then he took a well-deserved break. My guess is he’s refreshed and back cranking out the Javascript and JRuby for the new home and profile pages.

Anthony has been very busy working on the Shindig 0.8 containter implementation, tweaking it and getting it ready for OpenSocial apps. We’re already hosting some app development. I talked about Ed’s OraTweet app, and I think Carl was poking around, getting ideas.

We’re also working with some friends in Denver who have been building some apps that we think will be desirable to employees. Since we can use the gadgets Google donated to the OpenSocial Foundation, I’m not worried about a sparse app directory anymore. We do need some Oracle-focused apps, though.

One of the guys just finished a Bug DB app that I hear has demoed well to his management team. If you’ve used Bug DB at Oracle, you’ll recall that knowing what person maps to which user ID is a bit of a challenge. That’s one of the requirements he’s met with this app; the app can show real names and profiles for each update using the Connect data.

The Denver guys are moving on to add network visualization to Connect, which has been missing from the beginning. When Rich developed Connect, he added what he calls the management bar, which functions like  organizational breadcrumbs. The goal was to show a different visualization than the typical org chart. People like the management bar, and the official corporate directory adopted it.

We’ve always wanted to add more visualizations, but never had the time or tools to do so. So, our Denver friends are working to implement a sweet visualization tool as an OpenSocial app. The tool just so happens to be built by our friends in APAC. Remember the guys who helped with OpenSocial?

We have lots of friends.

Anyway, the tool can model networks and other social objects, so I’m thinking we might be able to show visual relationships between people and ideas, groups, questions, maybe comments, as well as interpersonal network ties.

Very cool stuff and eyecandy-licious.

Back to Anthony for a second, none of this cool stuff would be possible without his work on the container. OpenSocial is still very early in its development life, not even a year old yet. So, Anthony has been working his ass off to make it do what we need.

For example, he’s implemented the OpenSocial REST API, new in 0.8, which will allow apps to get profile data from Connect in a structured and secure way. The OpenSocial REST API doesn’t include all the profile metadata that some apps will need, like organization data or title, which any visualization would use.

So, Anthony is also creating a Connect REST API to allow access to these profile metadata. This will drive the visualizations and can be used by other apps inside the firewall that want to integrate Connect profile data into their apps.

Cool stuff is happening, even though I don’t have much to show. If you want to get involved with OpenSocial apps or have an idea for an inside-the-firewall app that would rock, drop a comment or send me email.




  1. Glad to hear that OpenSocial REST API has been implemented and even Connect REST API is ongoing. I think Connect will become a very useful public information repository. Thanks for your great jobs!

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