Creating and Integrating with OpenSocial Gadgets

OpenSocial is a public specification for creating web applications using standard technologies like HTML, CSS, and Javascript. It was originally developed by Google, Myspace and others to standardize common social networking API’s but has evolved into a general platform for building web applications. Whereas “standard” applications work with data on a per-user basis, “social” applications share data within well defined networks, facilitating communication of information between groups of users. OpenSocial applications, called gadgets, are similar to portlets because they can be added to your portal’s pages and used for all kinds of tasks. Gadgets are characterized as being simple, widely available, and easy to deploy.

In this chapter, we’ll cover the following topics:

  • OpenSocial gadget basics.
  • Using PubSub to allow gadgets to communicate with each other and with portlets.
  • Liferay’s gadget editing environment.

Let’s first look at the structure of an OpenSocial gadget and consider the concepts involved with OpenSocial gadgets.

OpenSocial gadget basics

An OpenSocial Gadget is specified in an XML document that has two parts. The first part of the document specifies meta-data declaring gadget dependencies, defining characteristics about the gadget,...

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Accessing third-party applications from your gadget

Is there data on sites like Evernote, Facebook, Google, Netflix, Photobucket, Twitter, or Yahoo you’d like to access in your OpenSocial gadgets? Perhaps you’d like to provide a gadget for portal...

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Gadget/Portlet Communication with PubSub

Have you ever wanted your gadgets to communicate with each other or with portlets? You can do so with PubSub. It is a messaging pattern in which publishers send messages to topics and subscribers...

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Using the gadget editor

As part of Liferay’s OpenSocial integration, the OpenSocial Gadget Editor is included with Liferay Portal. The gadget editor is a complete development environment for gadgets, providing syntax...

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Summary

OpenSocial gadgets offer a plethora of new features to Liferay that present new opportunities for your portal customization. You’ve learned the anatomy of a gadget, how to access third-party...

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