The Social Business Toolkit is designed around the following main components.
IBM is working closely with open standard consortiums, Business Partners, and customers to provide a consistent set of application programming interfaces (APIs) that maximize reuse and return on development investment. Aligning with this objective, the Social Business Toolkit team offers a set of APIs to help developers create both on-premise and cloud applications that integrate social capabilities, features, and functionality.
The APIs that are supported by the Social Business Toolkit are based on Open Authorization (OAuth), a protocol that provides a way for company applications to interact with APIs on the behalf of users without knowing their authentication credentials. Both OAuth 1.0a and 2.0 are currently supported.
For more information, see the API Reference tab in this wiki.
User interface (UI) extensions are available for adding menu options and buttons on the IBM Connections Cloud UI. UI extensions allow users to launch external applications directly from the Connections Cloud user interface and also pass information to those applications about the current context. For more information, see "Understanding UI extensions".
The Social Business Toolkit development team offers various test environments for interacting with and adopting the capabilities and functionality of the toolkit. These test environments are designed to help developers learn about and experiment with the products, services, and components that are being developed in the IBM Social Business space.
CA1 test environment for Connections Cloud
IBM Advanced and Premier Business Partners can use the CA1 development and test environment at http://apps.collabservnext.com
to test applications on pre-release code. This environment is ideal for testing applications that you eventually plan to make available to other companies, not just your own company. No formal review process of certification is required, however access to this environment requires a teaming agreement and a signed nondisclosure agreement.
IBM Collaboration QuickStart for Social Business
This IBM Connections Cloud image provides instant access to three leading products in social software - IBM Connections, IBM Domino, and IBM Sametime. Designed for ease of use and minimal administration, this image is preinstalled with 85 user profiles, including names, email addresses, user photos, and more to get you up and running without any installation, hardware, or maintenance work. For more information, see IBM Collaboration QuickStart for Social Business sbt
Resources are available to introduce developers to social APIs, help them learn how to make effective calls, and guide them through the process of integrating applications with Connections Cloud.
Sample developer application
A sample developer application is now available to walk you through the process of developing an application that integrates with Connections Cloud. The application includes a working example to help you understand the steps required, including code sample to give you a head start on the development process.
Alongside the sample developer application, Social Business Toolkit team has published a detailed white paper on IBM developerWorks that includes information about the overall process and requirements for integrating applications with Connections Cloud. The white paper includes steps for authenticating/authorizing via the Open Authorization (OAuth) protocol, calling Connections Cloud service APIs to do a useful task, and extending the user interface to show an integrated look.
For more information, see Developing an IBM Connections Cloud application
on the IBM developerWorks site.
Security for integrated applications
Business Partner applications that integrate with Connections Cloud have access to various forms of security protocols for accessing user information and application data.
Business Partner applications are registered with the Connections Cloud server using the OAuth protocol. Using a key and secret pairs, OAuth allows users to grant access to their account data on the Connections Cloud server without providing their credentials to the application itself. Both OAuth 1.0 and OAuth 2.0 are supported.
For more information, see Working with internal applications
in the Connections Cloud Social wiki.
Business Partner applications use a federated identity implementation so users can share identity information between their organization and Connections Cloud. The federated identity implementation allows your application to authenticate users and then vouch for their identity to other services that might not have access to their authentication credentials. Identity information is provided to Connections Cloud in an authentication handshake that is enabled by Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML). For more information, see SAML federated identity management
in the Connections Cloud Social wiki.
The integration server lets Connections Cloud administrators manage users provisioning information in environments that use a combination of on-premises administrative management and cloud-based service and subscription management. The integration server periodically processes data files that are created and uploaded using a secure file transfer mechanism. The integration server allows you to continue using your on-premises management systems and periodically upload user data.
Next topic: Developing cloud applications