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 API Reference
and Open Authorization
User interface (UI) extensions are available for adding menu options and buttons on the IBM SmartCloud
™ for Social Business UI. UI extensions allow users to launch external applications directly from the SmartCloud for Social Business UI and also pass information to those applications that are related to 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.
C1 test environment for SmartCloud for Social Business
IBM Advanced and Premier Business Partners can use the C1 development and test environment at http://www.test.lotuslive.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. For more information, see Choosing your integration environment
IBM Collaboration QuickStart for Social Business
This IBM SmartCloud 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. The goal is to get you up and working quickly without any installation, hardware, or maintenance. For more information, see IBM Collaboration QuickStart for Social Business
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 SmartCloud for Social Business.
Social Business Toolkit API explorer
The API explorer is a test environment for learning about and experimenting with social APIs that are built for both cloud and on-premise applications. Use the API explorer to make API calls, see the response of those calls, and access the documentation for those APIs - all within a single interface. For on-premise applications, see Using the API explorer for IBM Connections 3.0.1
. For cloud applications, see Using the API explorer for IBM SmartCloud for Social Business
Sample developer application
A sample developer application is now available to walk you through the process of developing an application that integrates with SmartCloud for Social Business. 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 SmartCloud for Social Business. The white paper includes steps for authenticating/authorizing via the Open Authorization (OAuth) protocol, calling SmartCloud for Social Business service APIs to do a useful task, and extending the user interface to show an integrated look.
For more information, see Developing an IBM SmartCloud for Social Business application
Security for integrated applications
Business Partner applications that integrate with SmartCloud for Social Business have access to various forms of security protocols for accessing user information and application data.
Business Partner applications are registered with the SmartCloud for Social Business server using the OAuth protocol. Using a key and secret pairs, OAuth allows users to grant access to their account data on the SmartCloud for Social Business 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
Business Partner applications use a federated identity implementation so users can share identity information between their organization and SmartCloud for Social Business. 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 SmartCloud for Social Business in an authentication handshake that is enabled by Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML). For more information, see SAML federated identity management
The integration server lets SmartCloud for Social Business administrators manage users provisioning information in environments that use a combination of on-premise 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.
Documentation is available to help you learn about developing both cloud-based and on-premise applications for social business. It includes a detailed API Reference, steps for integrating applications with SmartCloud for Social Business, using OAuth for API access, using the sample developer application, and more.
To get started, go to the IBM
Social Business Toolkit category page
in the IBM Social Business Development wiki.
IBM offers two communities where Business Partners, Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), and other application developers can interact with other people who share a common interest in building social businesses and using the tools and resources that are available with the Social Business Toolkit.
To access general discussions, share ideas and experiences, and learn about the latest events and announcements, see the IBM
Social Business Toolkit public community
on IBM Greenhouse. IBM Greenhouse credentials are required to contribute content.
A private SmartCloud for Social Business community is also available for developers who want to integrate their applications with SmartCloud for Social Business. To request access to this community, send an email to LLP@us.ibm.com.
Next topic: Developing cloud applications