Google I/O and LinkedIn’s Open Social Integration
June 3, 2008
This past week, I was invited to and attended the Google I/O conference in nearby San Francisco. Not only did I attend some sessions covering Google technologies, but I also spoke to the developer community about LinkedIn's OpenSocial integration.
For the inaugural year of the conference I thought Google did a good job organizing and structuring the sessions around high-level areas such as Social, Mobile, AJAX, etc. I'm a big believer in learning by doing so it was great to see the speakers incorporate example code and live demos. One of the sessions I found most interesting was about Google Guice, a dependency injection framework. It takes advantage of annotations in Java 5 to do away with all the hairy XML files those of us who use Spring are familiar with.
During my talk, I explained how LinkedIn's OpenSocial integration is being built around Shindig, an open source implementation of the OpenSocial specification and gadgets specification. Shindig uses Google Guice for dependency injection, so attending this session was an opportunity to learn more about how Shindig is put together and whether Guice is a technology worth using in other parts of the LinkedIn architecture.
To summarize my talk (without all the marketing fluff), our philosophy at LinkedIn is a bit different when it comes to OpenSocial and social networking in general. We serve a community of professionals who want productivity apps and tools to assist in their professional lives. This is quite a bit different from other containers where entertainment and socializing are the focus of most third-party apps. Our OpenSocial Platform is built on Shindig (currently spec level 0.7) and it leverages existing LinkedIn RESTful APIs as well as supports RESTful server-to-server calls. We will have a sandbox available to partners this quarter and hope to publicly launch it next quarter.
It doesn't look like Google has posted a video of the talk yet. In the meantime, you can checkout my slides (31-35) below.
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While we already have a number of launch partners, we're interested in selecting a few more. The main apps we're looking for are those that extend professional profiles and those that target specific verticals. As we build experience and a world-class support infrastructure, it's likely we'll open our partner program to a wider audience in the future.