Facebook Programming: My First Facebook Application

Facebook Application Programming Step by step tutorial - part 2. You have to know at a glance about the Facebook platform in the previous post. Now it's time for you to taste the Facebook platform. In this tutorial, we will begin to create a simple Facebook application. Let's get started! In this post, you will learn how to make an application on Facebook through stages:

  1. Registration application
  2. Use Facebook Platform

Registering Your Application on Facebook

Before you start making the application, you must register your application on Facebook. Why be registered? Because, you need the API Key in making an application on Facebook. API Key is the key in which your application can interact with services on Facebook. It kind of password for your application.

Think of a theme prior to the application that you created. Next consider a name for the application. The name will be a brand for your application. After that do registrations. Here are the steps to register the application on Facebook:

  1. Open your browser. Point to www.facebook.com / developers.

    If you are not logged in, then the page that appears is the login page. You need to login. Figure 2.1 shows the front page facebook.com/developers, where you will start making applications.

    facebook2.01 Figure 2.1 Front page facebook.com/developers

  2. Click the Set Up New Application located in the upper right.

    Notice the arrow in Figure 2.1. Next you will get form as in Figure 2.2.

    facebook2.02 Figure 2.2 Form create new applications

  3. Enter the name of the application on the Application Name item.

    Consider carefully the use of the name. These names will be the brand of your application. He will appear on Facebook pages. Suppose that in this example I named Yumie Tester.

  4. Select items Agree to declare that you have read and accept the rules created by Facebook.

    If you want to read the rules (Facebook Terms), click the link Terms Facebook. We recommend that you read to find out the boundaries of the use of Facebook.

  5. Click the Create button Application.

    Before clicking the Create Application button, make sure you have selected items Agree. If not, you will not be able to continue.

    After clicking the Create Application button, you will get an application form setting as you can see in Figure 2.3. If you look at the left side of the form, a menu will appear. The menu shows the grouping of items settings.

    facebook2.03 Figure 2.3 application settings menu

    Well, we'll start from setting the basic things in the Basic menu.

    facebook2.04 Figure 2.4 form the basic settings

  6. Write a brief description of your application is on the Description field.

    Make a statement with the marketing language. Make it interesting and gives a clear picture of the application. The hope, could attract a lot of Facebook users to use the application.

  7. To display your application icon, click the link Change your icon.

    This step is optional. You may pass. But if you do, you'll get a form as shown in Figure 2.5.

    Click the Browse button to take a picture you want to make icons. Image format that you can upload a JPG, GIF, or PNG. File icons are also not exceed 5 MB. Size to be used is 16 x 16 pixels. If your image exceeds the size will be adjusted by Facebook.

    Check the item "I certify that I have the right to distribute this photo and that it is not pornography". Next click the Upload Image button. Wait a few moments. Once successful, the icon will appear on your setting page.

    facebook2.05 Figure 2.5 form to upload icon

  8. If you want to display the logo, click the link Change your logo.

    This step is also optional. You can upload your logo or not. If you click on the link to upload a logo, you will get the form as shown in Figure 2.6.

    Feel free to upload your logo image. Images can be formatted JPG, GIF, or PNG. Not exceed 5 MB. Maximum size 75 x 75 pixels. If more than would be adjusted by Facebook. Check the item "I certify that I have the right to distribute this photo and that it is not pornography". Next click the Upload Image button.

    facebook2.06 Figure 2.6 Form to upload a logo

    Figure 2.7 Picture icons and logos successfully uploaded

  9. If developernya more than one, you can add them to Developers field.

    In this field, you can add more than one developer. Way by typing in a name other than your developers. You can register more than one name.

  10. Write your email in Developer Contact Email Address and User Support.

    This is a medium of communication between the user and your application as an application developer. Through this channel, you will get feedback from your users. By default, will be listed email address you used to register on Facebook. But you can replace the need for this application alone.

  11. Click the Canvas menu.

    There is some information that we deliberately let the first. The target here, you can create applications quickly without having to mess around a lot of settings. Detailed settings we will discuss as we develop the application.

    Figure 2.8 menu item Canvas

  12. In item Canvas Page URL, add the name as the URL of your application in facebook.

    This URL must be unique. There should not be the same application. Suppose that in this example I use the name "yumietester". So your URL application http://apps.facebook.com/yumietester/.

  13. On Canvas items Callback URL, type the address where you save your application.

    Address here is the address of the server / hosting where you save the application. For example, http://fb.geniofam.com/ app. Facebook will access the page and retrieve content from that page.

  14. Render Method on the item, choose FBML.

    Here we will use in making FBML Facebook application page.

  15. Click the Save Changes button.

    Figure 2.9 Registration successful application

    After saving these settings, you'll get a page like in Figure 2.9. In this page, you will find information on your application ID, IP Key and Application Secret. We recommend that you store the information meetings. That is the password for your application to communicate with the Facebook servers.

Getting Client Library File

Before you begin creating applications, you need a Facebook Client Library first. You must download it from the website Facebook. Here are the steps:

  1. Download the file in the client library developers http://www.facebook.com/ pages / apps.php.

    Find the download link at the bottom right. Click the link Download the Client Library.

    Figure 2.10 Link to download the client library file

    Save the file to your local computer.

    Figure 2.11 Download client library file

  2. Next extract (uncompress) the file.

    You can use winrar or 7-zip to extract the file. After you extract, you will get a structure like Figure 2.12.

    Figure 2.12 client library file structure after the extracted

You'll get a folder called facebook-platform. Inside the folder are two folders:

  • footprints are examples of Facebook applications at PHP5.
  • php is the folder that contains the PHP 5 library files .
Upload all the files to your server.

Upload Client Library Files to Server

Here I will demonstrate how to upload files to the server. The assumption, you have CPanel facilities in your hosting. I have a domain name geniofam.com. The application will be placed on the subdomain fb.geniofam.com/app. The following steps create a subdomain to start uploading the file:

  1. Open your domain cpanel page.

    Suppose that in this exercise I use a domain geniofam.com. So to access cpanel address will be used http://www.geniofam.com/cpanel. You'll get a form to sign. You need to login.

  2. Open the pages of your subdomain.

    After successful login, you will get the main page CPanel. Find the link on the Domains Subdomains.

    facebook2.13 Figure 2.13 Link subdomains on cPanel main page

  3. Create a new subdomains.

    You'll get a form to create a subdomain. The number of subdomains you can create depends on the hosting policy (and of course the package you choose).

    Fill in the name of the item Subdomain subdomain. While the document root is automatically written to the access path to the root of your subdomain. Click the Create button.

    facebook2.14 Figure 2.14 Creating a new sudomain

  4. Back to front page CPanel.

    We will create an FTP account for your subdomain. For that go back to the front page CPanel.

  5. FTP Accounts Open page.

    FTP Account link found on the Files. Next you'll get a form to register a new account as shown in Figure 2.16.

    facebook2.15 Figure 2:15 Link to this page FTP Accounts

  6. Write down the username for the new account.

    Login item, type the username for the new account. If you're going to use it, then it merged with username @ domainname. For example, fb@geniofam.com.

  7. Specify the account password.

    Enter the password for the account password on the item. Below the input box there are indicators that indicate whether a password is a strong password (not easily guessed) or not. Use a combination of letters, numbers and spaces. If you do not want to worry about passwords, please click the Generate Password button.

    facebook2.16 Figure 2.16 Form add FTP accounts

  8. Repeat password.

    Retype the password in Password field (Again). This is to ensure that you remember the password that you specify.

  9. Determine the subdomain directory.

    If you only allow them to access the ftp account specific subdomain the subdomain directory list. Consider three steps.

    You can specify a disk space quota for the account. If not, you can let the unlimited.

  10. Click the Create FTP Accounts.

    Wait a while until the new FTP accounts created. If successful, you will get a view as in Figure 2.17.

    Figure 2.17 FTP Accounts successfully created

  11. Open your FTP program.

    There are many FTP programs you can use. Here I use Fire FTP. An add-on (extra program) for Mozilla FireFox Brower. You can get it in http://fireftp.mozdev.org/. I love the Fire FTP, because it integrates with the FireFox browser. Although there are limitations in the feature.

    facebook2.18 Figure 2.18 Fire FTP FTP program in a FireFox browser

  12. Upload Client Library File.

Alternatively, you can use the included File Manager in CPanel. Here are the steps:

  1. Click the File Manager link on the main page CPanel.

    File Manager link located in the Files group. If you use this, you do not need to unpack first. Because cPanel has a facility to extract the compressed file.

    facebook2.19 Figure 2.19 Link to the File Manager

  2. Select the Document Root for subdomains.

    Figure 2.20 Selecting a subdomain

    After clicking the File Manager, you will get a dialog box. Choose Document root for the subdomain you have created. Thus, the file manager will automatically display the file structure on the subdomain.

  3. Create a new folder named "app".

    Once entered into the page file manager, a direct position on the subdomain you choose. In the subdomain directory has only cgi-bin directory.

    facebook2.21 Figure 2.21 The position in subdomain fb

    Click the New Folder button to create a new folder. The button is in the toolbar at the top.

    Figure 2.22 key create a new folder

    After clicking the button on the toolbar, you'll get a dialog box. Write the name of the new folder on the New Folder Name the item. After that, click Create New Folder button.

    facebook2.23 Figure 2.23 Creating a new folder named app

  4. Open the app folder.

    App folder you created successfully. To upload a file in the app folder, you must open the folder first. Way by double-clicking on the folder app.

    facebook2.24 Figure 2.24 Creating a folder app

  5. Opening the upload page.

    After opening the app folder, now it's time you upload a file compression client library. Click the Upload button on the toolbar.

    facebook2.25 Figure 2.25 key file upload

  6. Upload file client library.

    After opening upload page, click the Browse button. Select a file compressed client library that you want to upload. Once successfully uploaded, you will get a sign like in Figure 2.27. Close the upload page. Return to the page file manager.

    facebook2.26 Figure 2.26 Form upload files

    facebook2.27 Figure 2.27 File successfully uploaded

  7. Extracts client library files.

    You should already have a file on the client library in the file manager. If not appear, you can click the Reload button.

    After a look, click the file, then click the Extract button on the toolbar.

    facebook2.28 Figure 2.28 Select a file to be extracted

    After clicking the Extract button, you'll get a dialog box. Click the Extract File (s) in the dialog box.

    facebook2.29 Figure 2.29 a confirmation dialog box to extract the location of the file

    Wait a few moments to appear the dialog box that displays a list of files extracted. For example you can see in the picture 2:30.

    Click the Close button to close it.

    You've managed to upload and extract the client files on the library web server. Now you're ready to create your first Facebook application.

Next we will begin to write the code. Usually, I write computer code using an editor like Dreamweaver. After that just upload the web server. Techniques such as uploading the files we have done the above. So, we will not be discussed again.

Figure 2.30 The results of the extraction of client library files

Build My First Simple Application

Now you're ready to write your first code. Create a new file named index.php. Write the following code:


// Get these from http://developers.facebook.com
$api_key = '2c73ae8529134aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa';
$secret  = '3c041a7cbd797aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa';

include_once './facebook-platform/php/facebook.php';

$facebook = new Facebook($api_key, $secret);
$user = $facebook->require_login();


Hello <fb:name uid='<?php echo $user; ?>' useyou='false' possessive='true' />! 
Wellcome to Yummie Tester!
Upload the file on your web server. Put under the app folder.

To test this, point your browser to http://apps.facebook.com/yummietester or name that you have registered. The next display will appear as in Figure 2.31.

Figure 2.31 Confirmation of application will access your data

Click the Allow button to allow you to open the application. Next you'll get a view like Figure 2.32.

Figure 2.32 A preview of Yummie Tester

Congratulations you have successfully created a simple application on Facebook.

Showing Friends

After a successful showing simple application, we will try to make it a little more cool. Ie, by displaying a list of your friends. Change the code in index.php in app became like this:


// Get these from http://developers.facebook.com
$api_key = '2c73ae8529134d74eaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa';
$secret  = '3c041a7aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa';

include_once './facebook-platform/php/facebook.php';

$facebook = new Facebook($api_key, $secret);
$user = $facebook->require_login();

<h1>Yummie Tester</h1>
Hello <fb:name uid='<?php echo $user; ?>' useyou='false' possessive='true' />! <br>
Your id : <?php echo $user; ?>.

You have several friends:<br>
$friends = $facebook->api_client->friends_get();

foreach($friends as $friend){
	echo "<li><fb:name uid=\"$friend\" useyou=\"false\"></li>";	
Code to display the friend is located at:

$friends = $facebook->api_client->friends_get();
foreach($friends as $friend){
	echo "<fb:name uid=\"$friend\" useyou=\"false\">";	
After you run, you will get something like this:

Figure 2.33 Displaying a list of friends

Application Profile

Every application has an application of a profile page. On this page you can put information on the application. In addition, on the same page, there is a wall where users can interact with each other. One example can you see in Figure 2.34. This page is your front application information page. There is a wall where visitors and users can interact.

Figure 2.34 About page of a gaming application

To view the profile page of your application, you can follow the steps below:

  1. Open http://www.facebook.com/developers address in your browser.

  2. Click on the link See My Applications.

    After clicking the link, you will get a list of pages that you create the application.

    Figure 2.35 Link to go to the application list pages

  3. Select the application.

    In the application list page, there may be some applications that you have created. Choose an application you want to see the profile.

    Figure 2.36 page list of applications

  4. Click the link View Application Profile.

    To edit the information in the application profile, you can click the Edit Application Profile.

facebook2.37 Figure 2.37 The main page to edit and configure the application profile page

For example, we will try to edit the application information. For that click the pencil icon in the Application Information. Select the edit link in the popup menu that appears.

You'll get a page to edit the application information as in Figure 2.38.

Figure 2.38 Form editing application information

The following information from the form above:

  • Description of Application is an explanation of the application that you create.

    The explanation should include usability, features, and benefits of application you create. The more solid the more you make a good sentence.

  • Select the appropriate category for your application in Category.

    If you make just for practice, you can not fill it. But if you create a real application, you should choose the appropriate category for the application.

  • Select whether the information the company or individual developers to be shown on the items Developer Information.

    If you choose Individual Developers, then that will appear is a list of developers who build these applications. Developer's name has been at the time you filled out an application configuration. Next you are asked to fill in an explanation of these developers.

  • Fill in your company name Company Name item. You can fill out the information a company or organization that embodies the developers.

  • Write the company's website at items Company Website. If the company or organization has a website, you can publish it.

  • Explain about the items the company About the Company. You can expose a company profile or your organization in this field. Here, you can all your company's promotion of it.

After that, you can click the submit button to save the changes that information.

To change or add a logo, you can click the tab Step 2: Picture.

Previous: Facebook Programming: Facebook Platform
Next: Facebook Programming: Facebook API

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