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This demo has been co-created with Prem Mascarenhas, who works in SAP Global Delivery.

 Prem’s URL : /people/prem.mascarenhas/blog

 

 This topic was also delivered by us in a Extraordinary APJ Call. 

 

You just can’t escape it… do you even want to?? Well allright, there are different schools of thought there but one thing is for certain. Productivity tools like social networking based technologies do help you out, and if you use a portal in your organisation, then integrating it to a platform might just give you the benefits and usage increase that you are looking for in your community.

 

The information in this blog pertains to the Facebook integration while in later blogs of this series , I will look into integration platforms within the enterprise boundary. 

 Social Networking and its integration

Several Social Networking Sites have released APIs for applications to connect to them and perform operations. Open Source projects have been setup with APIs to connect to them like the Open Social initiative : http://wiki.opensocial.org/index.php?title=Main_Page.

One Platform where SAP has already an integration is  Twitter. [Search for Twitter and CRM.]

The next step might be the integration with Open Id initiative for a common platform for SSO to various sites? ( maybe in a different blog ๐Ÿ™‚ )

 

Part II of this blog can be found at : Facebook and SAP Portal -II : Under the hood. 

 

Facebook – An Interesting Case Study 

  With which SAP Product does one integrate with Facebook, well the most obvious answer is either CRM or more so the Portal.

 Facebook can be integrated with any web based solution, but since the portal is the face of SAP users, and integration of Facebook with the Portal is acceptable. Also, the portal has different collaborative features  like worklists , application integration, enterprise search ( through SAP Enterprise Search ) which can be utilised as well.

Development of applications on Facebook or connecting to Facebook is accomplished through several Client Programming Script / Languages.

 

 ( Craig Cmehil wrote a blog on this quite early : Facebook meet the Community, Community meet Facebook…)

 

How does Facebook allow you to connect? 

Some of the official supported APIs are :

 

  • PHP 5 based
  • JavaScript Client Library
  • ActionScript 3.0
  • .NET Facebook API ( 3rd Party Supported )

 

Some of the unofficial API’s which work , but are not supported by Facebook ( hence unofficial ๐Ÿ™‚ )

 

  •  ASP
  • Google Web Toolkit
  • Java
  • SmallTalk
  • Perl 

 

 In this blog, we have used the official JavaScript client Library along with Facebook’s official FBML tags and Query Language FQL.

Scenario:

The case in this blog represents where a user logs into the Portal . Facebook connect login and the state has been included in the masthead and the user can perform functions based on the facebook role content defined. this scenario is upported by a feature called FACEBOOK CONNECT.

The 5 Golden Integration Steps:

  1. The first step is to create a Facebook Application for your self. This is what will connect with your portal and allow it to use the Facebook API
  2. The second step is to use the the FBConnect code and keys within your HTML / JSP page. This will allow you to call the API.
  3. Now when you have connections, you need to interface with the Facebook Template ( or actions if you want ) to get and set some basic data, like disclaimer, template for content posting.
  4. Utilise the FBML / FQL to provide content for Facebook and to facebook.
  5. Finally create and iview out of the JSPs and add them to a Portal Role and/or your header navigation to give a nice look and feel.

 

 

In the second part of the blog, I will delve a little deeper into the 5 steps mentioned above and will have online videos for you.

Hope this helps you. Would love your comment

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