Facebook Programming: Facebook Platform


Facebook Application Programming Step by step tutorial - part 1. Facebook is an incredible site. At the time this tutorial was written, this site reaches ranking second only to Google in the achievement of visitors. What does it mean? Facebook could attract so many visitors. This site even has defeated Friendster friendship site that had been rampant.

But here we are not going to discuss the problem of how to collect friends through Facebook. We will be concentrated into our problems how to make an application on Facebook.

In facebook, we know the term Facebook platform. Said about platform is very common we hear. Yes, many people say about the "platform". The politicians we like to discuss about the party platform, the coalition must be based on platforms, and so on. The soccer players also discuss platform play. Techniques and strategies are part of the platform to win the game.


Figure 1.1 News Feed Application

Facebook Application

How many applications do you get after registering on Facebook. You can check with the following steps:

  1. Log in to your Facebook page.
  2. In the lower left corner, click the Applications button.
    You'll get a menu display as shown in Figure 1.2. The menu displays the applications that you can use right now.


    Figure 1.2 Faceboook Main Menu

  3. To search for other applications, you can click the link Browse More Applications. To edit an existing application, you can click the Edit Applications link.


    Figure 1.3 List of applications used by a user

From the explanation above, is can you imagine what is meant with Facebook Platform? Yes, Facebook Platform's like a house foundation on which to build the rooms. Fun, home owners can build rooms by knock down model. He can put any part of the building and unload at any time he likes.

Figure 1.3 shows an example list of applications used by a user. He can display a list of applications based on the intensity of usage, which has applications in bookmark it, has been authorized, and so on. Then you can adjust settings on the application. So, this practically is the central of your application control.


Figure 1.4 Setting of application

Third Party Application

Well, fun, Facebook does not only display their application himself. Anyone can create and run applications on Facebook. This is one of the uniqueness of Facebook. this site is not only friendship site that collects just friends, but it also could be developed in accordance with user needs.

You can use Facebook when saturated. Even at the time did not want to meet or greet friends. You can search for game applications on Facebook. One of the popular game is Farmville. In this game, you're not just playing alone, you can also neighbors and help your neighbors. Thus, the concept used in applications is community development.


Figure 1.5 FarmVille game application

So, What is Facebook Platform?

By definition, Facebook platform can be interpreted: framework programming that enables application developers create applications that can interact and integrate with Facebook core services. Example, application named Super Wall application.


Figure 1.6 Supperwall application

Super Wall application is not created by Facebook team but by other developers. In the application, you can display wall in a different format. You can display the status of your friends in this application. This means, the application can interact with your data on Facebook service standards.

Mmm ... you should mention that Facebook is a place to integrate all the applications you need. You can build financial applications, appointments, and other business applications. You can use Facebook as a portal of all the data you need. That is the advantage of the Facebook platform.

Facebook Application Architecture

Well, we'll compare how common web application architecture with applications on Facebook. Below is a standard web architecture:


Figure 1.7 Standar web architectur

When you want to open a web page, you send an HTTP Request to the server. On the server there will be a process involving the application and database. The results of this process, an HTML document will be sent to your browser.

Now we see how the Facebook platform works. When you open an existing application on Facebook, you send an HTTP Request to the facebook server. Your request will be forwarded to the owner of the server application. There is some information (eg user id) that will be requested from the server to the server application for Facebook. Next, Facebook server will respond and send data to the server application. After the application is processed on the server, it sends the document in a format that is sent to the FBML Facebook servers. By Facebook document is processed and produces an HTML document that is sent to your page.


Figure 1.8 Facebook architectur

Facebook Framework Components

In the Facebook platform, there are parts where you will incorporate in your code:

  • Facebook API
  • FBML (Facebook Markup Language)
  • FQL (Facebook Query Language)
  • Facebook Javascript

Facebook API

API stands for Application Programming Interface. Facebook API is the heart of your application. Facebook API is a Web services programming interface to access the main Facebook services (profile, friends, photo, event) and the function of Facebook (login, redirect, update the view). API is REST-based architecture (Representational State Transfer).

Facebook Markup Language

Facebook Markup Language is a language like HTML but versions of Facebook for display a canvas page in Facebook. Here are three facts about FBML:

  • FBML also contains a subset of HTML elements. Common elements such as p, ul, and h1 is also part of FBML.
  • FBML also support for script and style elements. Javascript is not supported in the usual script. However, some javascript code can be supported on the Facebook Javascript. Elements of style can not you use to access the external style sheets. You can only use internal CSS.
  • FBML provides some extensions for the user interface (UI) in particular.

Facebook Query Language

Facebook Query Language (FBQL) is a SQL-based interface to the Facebook data. Through FBQL, you can access many tables in the database such as Facebook users, friend, group, group_member, event, event_member, photo, albums, and photo_tag. FBQL is a query language similar to the SQL standard, but there are some limitations:

  • SELECT statement must be one table at a time
  • Join query is not allowed
  • A query must be indexed

Facebook JavaScript

As mentioned above, Facebook does not support Javascript elements standard in the script. However, there are some Javascript code (which in a very limited number) that can be run on Facebook through the Facebook JavaScript. Here's the difference between the Facebook Javascript and Javascript:

  • Facebook provides an alternative implementation of the DOM using JavaScript DOM standard.
  • Many implementations FBJS objects with a standard Javascript, but there are many differences.
  • When processing the code in the script element, he will relate the function and variable names of the application.

Well, you now understand a little what it Facebook Platform. Now it's time to begin to know how to use it. Please follow to the next chapter.

Next: Facebook Programming: My First Facebook Application




Bookmark and Share Tag: facebook Category: PHP Framework Post : November 02nd 2009 Read: 169,192

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