My first facebook app in 2 hours?!

Hi again !

This Friday’s post is about building a Facebook app ! How long will it take from zero to the  “Hello Facebook”  app ? My bet this time is 2 hours.
After all, it only took me 1h 48min 52 seconds to build and deploy an Android app. As in that post , I’ll make use of the Grindstone software to help in the time tracking . So let’s begin !!

[21:10 GMT] Just spent 19 minutes to choose this  page image,  format it, and begin writing the post. Will now look on google for info.

[21:15 GMT]  Found the Facebook website for developers here. To begin , you must register yourself as a Facebook app developer. To do that just click here. You’ll be presented the following image :

I’ll go with the Need For Tech Facebook account, for demonstration purposes.

[21:25 GMT] Lost some time with a problem uploading images. After this small step you arrive at a welcome page for developers where you can see some probably-usefull-in-the-future info. You can skip that and just click on the ‘Setup new application

[21:30 GMT] Fullfill the name of your application and click ok. I will call it ‘Need for Tech Hello World’

After this you will be prompted for basic a security check. I won’t put a printscreen of that here !

[21:35 GMT] After the previous security check you’ll arrive to a page will a couple of menus like in the picture below

However, you will only need for now to input some basic information.After pressing “Save Changes” in the bottom of the page you’ll arrive here :

[21:45 GMT] Now it’s time to choose the start method. You can either, click on link get started clickly with sample code, or you can choose to download the client library together with the sample application from here. We will go with link to  download of the client library.

[21:55 GMT] Hummm…Not being proficient in PHP programing I begin wondering if this challenge was a good idea as I read in a big blue button “download the PHP sdk”. Well, it’s late to turn back now, so well keep moving. Just download the kit and what’s next? We need a webserver?! I thought we could freely host this somewhere …..

[22:30 GMT] Took a deep breath, and lemon lipton ice tea. Let’s read a bit more on theory to check what’s really needed.Well heck YES! We DO need a PHP server, as the Facebook app hosted on Facebook, is just a canvas. Inside the canvas, it must point to somewhere else.  So here’s what I’ll try, after downloading the Facebook’s PHP library I’ll just follow the mini tutorial here

[22:46 GMT] I’ve sucessfully uploaded Facebook PHP library to my host along with index.php used to display the hello world.  Now I’m told I must configure the Facebook canvas so I go the “Edit Settings” on the “My application” page and edit the following field under the tab”Facebook Integration”

[23:05 GMT] If you inserted properly your appID and secret as described here, you can now access your canvas URL and check for the result. My result was :

So I did it 🙂  And this time it took me only 5 minutes less than my estimate to do it ! A close shot !! Next steps? Hard to tell. It basically depends on what you want to do. I recommend reading the documentation  here and buying a “PHP for dummies”  book if you never used it like me.


ps: I’ve already removed my app from my host, so you won’t find at the url I presented in this example