Introduction

This is the starting point for developing OpenSocial based applications for Ning Networks. This guide will get you up and running as quickly as possible.

What is OpenSocial?

From the OpenSocial specification:

OpenSocial is a set of APIs for building social applications that run on the web. OpenSocial’s goal is to make more apps available to more users, by providing a common API that can be used in many different contexts. Developers can create applications, using standard JavaScript and HTML, that run on social websites that have implemented the OpenSocial APIs. These websites, known as OpenSocial containers, allow developers to access their social information; in return they receive a large suite of applications for their users.

OpenSocial on Ning

Ning currently supports a subset of the OpenSocial 0.8.1 APIs and the Gadgets Specification. The Ning Developer Network contains the full list of supported features.

When OpenSocial applications are used as network-wide applications they are called Ning Apps. When an OpenSocial application is used only on profile pages, they are called Profile Apps. Ning Apps are added to a Ning Network by the Network Creator. Profile Apps are added by members to their profile pages.

What OpenSocial can do

Add a new feature to a Ning Network
Ning Apps can integrate with member profile pages in addition to standalone pages accessible from the main navigation
Access information on a remote server from a Ning Network
If you have content that is accessible via a REST API, you can securely access it from your application
Get information about the viewer and their friends
The OpenSocial API provides access to the viewer’s profile information and information about their friends

What OpenSocial can not do

Retrieve member data from custom profile questions or features such as photos, videos, forums, etc.
This type of information falls outside the scope of the OpenSocial specification. We are working on ways to extend the specification to provide access to all member content
Integrate with existing features:
There is currently no filter or plug-in system for Ning Apps that would allow you to extend or enhance the built in features