Open-Xchange releases Facebook friends from lock-in
When Google's new social network Google+ appeared, developers like Mohamed Mansour created quick utilities to transfer their Facebook friends over to Google+, but they were quickly shut down by Facebook. The developers at Open-Xchange thought they should do something about this, and have now added a service on their groupware platform which can import friends from Facebook, using only official, unblockable, Facebook APIs. The software can then take this information and associate it with email addresses and other information by scanning a user's IMAP-based email accounts. More importantly, it can then freely export these newly derived contacts in vCard format, ready for importing into GMail, Google+ or any other service.
Rafel Laguna, Open-Xchange CEO, gives step by step details of the process in a blog posting. The process uses an extension to the company's Social OX feature. At the moment, the service is only available on ox.io, the hosted, and free, demo version of the Open-Xchange software. In the next release of Open-Xchange – which comes as a professional edition or the GPLv2 licensed community edition – the Social OX Facebook import functionality will be incorporated to allow users to configure their own import/index/export service.