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Integrating with other sites

The API is still being finalized. This is a preview...

SpicyNodes can be an integral part of your web site or online application, serving as a visualization engine for hierarchical or linked data. SpicyNodes has an XML-based API, which makes it very easy to integrate into many applications and CMS systems. Developers can speed up the process by devising XML-based interfaces of converters to use with a CMS. This greatly benefits CMS vendors, since using an industry standard technology guarantees quick deployment and reliable operation.

Integration possibilities are expanded by widgets - small objects that provide a webmaster or a developer with a uniform means of control over the operation of a program or an online service.

Types of widgets

The widgets most often employed are so-called HTML widgets, typically consisting of a portion of restricted HTML code. Other widgets are built around specific CMS systems and are either completely platform-dependent, or merely loosely coupled to the platform. Non-HTML widgets make use of the system’s API, which makes them powerful tools.

SpicyNodes’ integration abilities have been boosted by adding three types of non-HTML, platform-dependent widgets: simple, user-defined, and dynamic.

  • Simple widgets. Essentially, simple widgets are compiled SFW files that contain data. For increased security, data can be hard-coded, which eliminates the XML structure and any means of accessing it.
  • User-defined widgets. User-defined widgets are generated from data entered by using a SpicyNodes editor and sport a user-defined style. With them, information can be loaded directly by reading the SpicyNodes structure and passing the IDs to the Flash objects as parameters.
  • Dynamic widgets. Created dynamically from content dynamic widgets are automatically fed to the system. This content can be either user-based, like excerpts from a blog, or can be any kind of external content that changes over time.

Integrating with a CMS sitemap

Most of the deployed CMS systems already include a table of contents, typically generated automatically by a portion of code, which is a part of the system’s underlying mechanisms.

During TOC generation, text entries are extracted from the existing conceptual backbone and their formats are set by previously adjusted parameters. The underlying structure that is used to shape the TOC can also be used to obtain XML. Then, the formatting parameters can be set to make the file appear in a certain syntax.

If the syntax is compatible with SpicyNodes, it is simple to generate a sitemap integrated into a CMS. Once input into SpicyNodes, the TOC entries appear as nodes and fully utilize SpicyNodes’ interactivity. As with any SpicyNodes implementation, the resulting sitemap is friendly, naturalistic, and customizable, and will enable a user to fully explore a web site.

Widgets for social networking platforms

In recent years, the popularity of social networking has exploded. Several social networking sites make extensive use of widgets, e.g., referred to as “applications” in Facebook’s vernacular. Several social networking services have APIs, which are open to various degrees.

In Facebook, widgets may appear either inside a user profile, and thus be visible to any logged-on user, or they can be placed inside the so-called application canvas, the default view for an application. Any installed application appears in the application canvas as a link in a menu. Owing to Facebook’s convenient API, simple, user-defined, and dynamic SpicyNodes widgets can all be seamlessly integrated.

Friendster, a lesser known social networking site, does not have an official API. Currently, Friendster can accommodate simple and user-defined SpicyNodes widgets.

One appealing application for SpicyNodes is a visualizer of the “social graph,” indicating the relationships between users, their friends, and friends-of-friends. Social networking sites differ in the extent to which the social graph is available programmatically.

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