Wednesday, September 10, 2008

SNAPP - Converting your existing websites into opensocial application

A few days ago, I had written about the bug that I discovered in iRead. That was the time when I was working on a framework; and I just managed to complete it. We decided to call it SNAPP, short for Social Network APPlication. This blog post is a quick introduction about the framework. The technical details will follow.
SNAPP is a simple framework that can help convert an existing website into an opensocial application without really having to worry about the API that Orkut or MySpace expose. Some of the problems that developers face porting existing sites include
  1. AJAX calls have to be changed since the applications are not hosted on the domain of the website.
  2. User management can no longer be handled using cookies directly.
  3. Work needs to be done to create new JSP/PHP pages.
  4. Security needs a whole new look.
SNAPP tries to address these by opening a modified website page inside another iFrame that points to the domain of the website. This way, user management and AJAX calls still remain unchanged. The modification can simply be making the page work in the dimensions specified by Orkut or MySpace.
Opening the website iFrame however denies the site, data provided by opensocial. Hence, SNAPP posts most of the required data when the iFrame is loaded. Subsequent calls can be made by the cross-domain inter-frame communication module on SNAPP. This ensures that the its is easy to start applications with SNAPP, and extension can also be done easily.
Watch out this space for updates on SNAPP. SNAPP is an opensocial project, so please do pitch in with our ideas. If you own a website and want to make an opensocial application out of it, please do write to me. Would be glad to help.

2 comments:

Wouter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wouter said...

Hi,

Now that you ask - I have a website that I am thinking of converting in an OpenSocial app. Actually that's been the idea from the start.

It's a multiplayer RTS game in php that relies quite heavily on AJAX techniques:

It's called Dice Attack and found over
here.

I'll be following your project with interest! (while continuing to work on mine :-))

Regards,

W.

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