Wednesday, 25 November 2009 17:04

Facebook embraces new Microsoft .NET SDK

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Facebook is arguably the king of social networking right now and Microsoft-based software developers can now leverage the Facebook user base via the same technologies they are accustomed to.

Previously third-party applications produced for Facebook – Farmville, the multitude of quizzes and others – were predominantly developed using PHP or JavaScript.

Corporate developers meanwhile have sought means of constructing apps using the same familiar technologies they are accustomed to, specifically Visual Studio, ASP.NET, Silverlight and WPF.

Such applications need not be confined to those which typically run within Facebook – and let’s face it, a lot of the available Facebook apps focus on trivia and minutiae.

Consider the possibility, however, of a more conventional application – such as a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system – which could hook into Facebook? Perhaps the list of contacts would link to their Facebook profiles and automatically keep up to date as e-mail addresses and mobile numbers are changed.

The new Facebook Software Developer Kit – or SDK – from Microsoft caters for both these scenarios and makes a way for developers to interact with Facebook using conventional Microsoft technologies, whether producing Windows Forms applications or web passed apps in ASP.NET or Silverlight.

Actually, the Facebook SDK is not entirely a recent innovation with two previous incarnations under its belt. The difference is this time the newly released version 3.0 SDK is now officially supported by Facebook itself, joining the ranks of the PHP and JavaScript libraries.

In fact, in a Facebook Technology Tasting event earlier this year the standout demos were from Microsoft, producing visually appealing and feature rich applications within just 72 hours.

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David M Williams

David has been computing since 1984 where he instantly gravitated to the family Commodore 64. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from 1990 to 1992, commencing full-time employment as a systems analyst at the end of that year. David subsequently worked as a UNIX Systems Manager, Asia-Pacific technical specialist for an international software company, Business Analyst, IT Manager, and other roles. David has been the Chief Information Officer for national public companies since 2007, delivering IT knowledge and business acumen, seeking to transform the industries within which he works. David is also involved in the user group community, the Australian Computer Society technical advisory boards, and education.

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