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Rails Development for the Facebook Platform


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Rails Development for the Facebook Platform


Since the Facebook Development Platform was released in May 2007, more than 12,000 Facebook applications have been launched. You can distribute your Rails application to potentially millions of users on Facebook. But to do that, you’re going to need to play by the rules. Learn how to design your Rails app for Facebook from Mike Mangino, an experienced Rails and Facebook developer.

About this Title

Available in: DRM-free Theora Ogg, iPod/iPhone 3 Video, iPad/iPhone 4 Video, and Quicktime Video
Download and watch when and where you want

By watching these video tutorials, you’ll cut through the hype and jump straight to making something real. You’ll learn how to quickly build a realistic Facebook application from scratch using the popular Ruby on Rails framework. After deploying the core Rails application, you’ll learn how to add social features such as profile updates, news feeds on walls, and sending messages to friends. Follow along with these screencasts, and your application could be the next hit on Facebook!

Whether you’re thinking about using the Facebook platform or you’re already on your way, you’ll likely learn something new in each of these episodes. In addition to the videos, you can also download the source code for each episode so you can experiment on your own.

  • Watch a free sampler movie of this screencast series.
    (3 mins, QuickTime | Ogg)


Contents & Extracts

In this screencast series we’ll build Run Tracker, a real Facebook Platform application, from configuration to deployment. The final application will allow you to track the times and distances of your runs, and runs of your friends.

  • Part 1: Building an App From Scratch (50 minutes)

    We’ll create the core Rails application running on Facebook, with a form for entering run information and listing you and your friends’ runs. You’ll learn how to:

    • create a Rails application: models, controllers, and views
    • install and configure the facebooker plugin from GitHub
    • register your Rails application with Facebook
    • setup up Tunnlr so Facebook can talk to your local application
    • use the facebooker_authentication plugin to authenticate Facebook users
    • access user information from Facebook
    • create a Facebook form
    • use Facebook view helpers and FBML tags
    • make a layout to create a tabbed interface in the Facebook style
  • Part 2: Adding Social Components (53 minutes)

    We’ll extend the application to include social features so you can share your run progress with friends. You’ll learn how to:

    • publish app-specific information to a user’s profile area
    • allow a user to add your application to their profile
    • create news feeds that show up on your and your friends’ walls
    • create one-line and short-story templates, and publish them
    • create multiple template versions to aggregate news
    • send notifications to other users
    • add flash messages for better feedback


These screencasts assume you have some basic Rails knowledge.


Mike Mangino is the founder of Elevated Rails and author of Developing Facebook Platform Applications with Rails. He has been building applications for the web since 1995. He has been developing for the Facebook Platform since its launch and has contributed to several of the most popular Facebook applications.

In his spare time, Mike is an avid runner. He has completed several marathons and hopes to eventually qualify for Boston.