Experimenting with new Adobe Social service library

November 3rd, 2009 by Slav

Adobe has recently unveiled their new social media library on Labs. It is a framework that allows user to connect to a several popular social media networks at once and get the information from the users profile, get a friends list, post updates, post news items etc… All in all pretty useful stuff. To get acquainted with this framework I made a little demo app that connects to twitter and facebook, get user’s profile info, enables to send simultaneous status update, and gets a list of friends.

 Social network demo

Here are some of the things I noticed when playing with the package:

 Pros:

+ easy to implement (you don’t have to worry about parsing json, knowing REST api’s , authentication, asynchronous javascript loading / responses.. all of it is done behind the scenes for you.

+ easy to use :  The actual API itself is quite simple event based, not too many commands and parameters..

+ small in size : The file you need to embed (that acts as a framework proxy) has only about 9K!

Cons:

– reliability : This might be due to the fact this is still only a technology demo, or a connectivity issues, but I experienced quite a few connection problems (especially to a twitter api)

– features : Some things are not implemented (at least I didn’t see them). Like for example to get user’s last status update. You can change it / set it , but not get it ? Maybe this will be implemented later.. Or to get a news feed from Facebook.

 – strong typing of returned value objects : This bugged me quite a bit. You get a Response object for example that contains a several value objects such as User, Identity etc.. These objects doesn’t exist in the AS3 (client side of framework) though, although they probably exist as a typed value objects in PHP or some back-end language..(I saw them strongly typed in Flex debugger) So you have to code against a documentation, or create your own client side version of these objects (if you have time)..

 – authentication in separate html windows : there isn’t a way (or at least I didn’t see one) how to pass a user authentication data to a social network so you can log him/her automatically. The way it happens is that the new html window opens the user types in his/her login and then you get a callback and the new windows / tabs try to close automatically. This is a bit awkward, it would be much better if we could login user automatically and have a login interface in flash/flex once and then remember users login data (perhaps in SharedObject) and don’t ask for it every time he/she needs to connect..

Overal, despite couple of small problems, it’s seems like a great step forward to a unified share networks API that was till not virtualy non existant for a flash developers!

Posted in AS3, flash, Flex

8 Responses

  1. Yoz

    nice, it seems they have already fixed fb connecting issue (click again to verify session) by javascript calls

  2. Davo

    Great post!

    Any chance to get the source of your demo?

    Best,
    D.

  3. phihochzwei

    Hi there,

    could you maybe upload your source, for I am trying for DAYS now to get this shit working and currently I am only facing problems :(

    Kind regards,

    Jens

  4. phihochzwei

    By the way:

    I you do, the first beer in Brighton this year will be on me 😉

  5. Slav

    phihochzwei : I added view source on right click…
    Looking forward to meet you at FOTB :)

  6. phihochzwei

    Awesome :)

    In the meantime (which means at 2 o´clock tomorrow morning :) ) I found my problem. It simply was some sort of “flood protection” within twitter, and some issues with the connection establishment in general.

    NOW things run smooth :)

    But nevertheless, a big thank you. See you in Brighton.

  7. social media websites

    Really beneficial….look onward to coming back.

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