Cool Core Tools for Creating Advanced Facebook Apps - dummies

Cool Core Tools for Creating Advanced Facebook Apps

By Jamie Crager, Scott Ayres, Melanie Nelson, Daniel Herndon, Jesse Stay

Facebook provides several tools for creating highly sophisticated apps — apps that post to users’ timelines, add tabs to user pages, prompt users to add friends, query and display information from databases, collect funds, initiate chat sessions, and many other functions. The following list takes a look at some of the more commonly used tools and what features they can add to your apps:

  • Ads API: Part of the Graph API, the Ads API allows you to place advertisements in your apps or create apps that generate and manage ads on Facebook. To use this tool, you must apply and meet certain criteria. Check here to find out more about the Ads API.

  • Chat API: You guessed it. This tool allows you to integrate Facebook Chat into other chat applications, such as instant messaging apps, web-based chat apps, and mobile instant messaging apps. You must use the Jabber/XMPP service to make the connection between Facebook Chat and your application.

  • Dialog boxes: Dialog boxes are used for just about everything on Facebook, including apps that collect payments. You can use Facebook dialog boxes in your apps, on third-party sites, and so on. There are several types of dialog boxes, including Friends, Feed, Pay, Request, and Send, and you can display them as pages, pop-ups, and in iframes.

  • Facebook Query Language (FQL): If you’re familiar with database applications, you know about SQL. FQL differs from SQL in that it queries Graph API data instead of a SQL database. Most of the query language is similar to SQL, although it isn’t nearly as robust in math and other functions.

  • Internationalization API: This API translates your app (or website) among the 70 languages Facebook supports. Pretty cool, right? Be forewarned, though: Even for apps built in Facebook canvas pages and iframes, the translation is not automatic and must be set up for each language you want to use.