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16 March 2010, 10:22

OpenSocial 1.0 specification published

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The OpenSocial Foundation has released the OpenSocial 1.0 specification. OpenSocial is designed to allow web services to offer gadgets and services which can be incorporated into "containers" – social networking or portal sites. The 1.0 version of the specification is split into the following modules; Core API Server, Core Gadget Server, Social API Server and Social Gadget Server, with separate Core Data and Social Data documents covering data models.

According to the announcement, during the development of OpenSocial it became clear that the previous "one size fits all" approach was not appropriate for some of the possible applications. For example, one use of OpenSocial gadgets would be in network management or issue tracking, where the gadgets would be used to form a dashboard for different servers and services; in this case the social networking aspects of OpenSocial would not be required.

This prompted drafting the specification in a modular form, so that it could address these varied use cases, with the Core API Server and Core Gadget Server offering the data services and gadget services, less the social elements, and the Social API Server and Social Gadget server covering the social networking services and gadgets. The developers also incorporated a number of extension points into the specification to allow companies implementing OpenSocial to extend the functionality in a more manageable and compatible way.

OpenSocial was launched in November 2007 as a cross-platform alternative to FaceBook's Platform and has been developed by Google, MySpace and other social networking companies; Most social networks, except for Facebook, are working on, or have an implementation of, OpenSocial.


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