Orkut Application Platform

On-Site Application Developer Guide: Application Pages

In this section, we will discuss a little bit about the several pages through which users can interact with your application in the Orkut environment and what are the correct URLs to reach each of them.

Contents

Canvas View (App Canvas Page)

A view is each of the contexts on Orkut where your application can appear. There are currently two possible views: canvas and profile. The Canvas View is rendered when the user runs your application (by clicking the application on his profile, for instance) in full page mode. In this mode, your application occupies most of the screen, as illustrated below.



Application's Canvas View Page

The Canvas View is what most people are referring to when they say "running an app" on Orkut. The URL for an application's Canvas Page is:

http://www.orkut.com/Application?appId=000000000000

(The 000000000000 represents the AppID of the application)

This URL may sometimes contain an additional parameter userId that identifies the user who is viewing the application (which, in fact, can only be the user who is logged in). When making a link to an application's Canvas Page, always remove the User ID part, since it will not work for other people if you leave it there. So your links should only have the appId= parameter.

You may also notice that the "/Application" portion of the URL ends up being changed to Main#Application when you visit the URL. However, for consistency, you should always use /Application on your links.

Profile View

The profile view is rendered when your application appears as part of the user's profile. The user can choose which application to display on his or her profile: the chosen application appears in the space that would be otherwise occupied by the "About Me" feature, as illustrated below:



Application in Profile View

We will give more details about Profile View in the Profile View section, but it's important to keep in mind that Profile View is a somewhat limited context because Orkut only allows plain HTML and OpenSocial templates in this view.

Naturally, since an application in Profile View renders within a user's profile, there is no particular URL for it.

Application Directory

After your application is submitted and approved, it will appear in the Orkut Application Directory, which users can access by clicking their "manage applications" link or by clicking "Applications" in the top menu and then "Add Applications".

The Application Directory shows the top applications and allows users to perform searches or browse application categories.

The PublicAppInfo Page

An application's PublicAppInfo page is the one obtained by visiting the following URL:

http://www.orkut.com/PublicAppInfo?appId=000000000000

This page displays the general information about your application and contains a button that allows the user to add it. This page is called "public" because it does not require the user to be logged in to Orkut. Therefore, it makes a good landing page for advertisements, as it will not redirect the user to a login page, unlike what the "AppInfo" page (described below) will do.



An application's PublicAppInfo page

If the user is logged in, then this page will automatically redirect to the "AppInfo" page (if the user does not have the app installed) or the App Canvas Page (if the user has the app installed). If the user is not logged in, then clicking the "Sign in to add this app" button will take the user to the sign-in page, after which he will be taken to the "AppInfo" page to add the application.

The AppInfo Page

Unlike the PublicAppInfo page, the AppInfo page is internal (that is, the user has to be logged in to see it). It displays information about the application and gives the user the opportunity to add the application.



An application's AppInfo page

There is little reason to link to this page directly, but, should you need it, the URL for it is:

http://www.orkut.com/AppInfo?appId=000000000000

Page Flow Summary

The following chart summarizes the decision and redirect flow that takes place when a user clicks a link to the Canvas Page of an application:



Decision and page redirect flow for App Canvas Page
http://www.orkut.com/Application?appId=000000000000

And the following chart summarizes the decision and redirect flow that takes place when a user clicks a link to the Public App Info page of your application:



Decision and page redirect flow for Public App Info Page
http://www.orkut.com/PublicAppInfo?appId=000000000000

Some important observations:

  • When providing a link to your application in an email or other form of communication, the preferred target is the App Canvas Page, since that will allow the user to reach your application in the smallest possible number of steps.

  • If you are under a restriction not to cross a domain boundary (as is the case, for example, with the policy for certain advertisement products), then you should use the Public App Info page, since it will remain in the orkut.com domain. If you were to use the App Canvas Page target, it would cause a redirect to the login page, which is in a different domain (google.com, as opposed to orkut.com).

  • If your link is targeted at a particular country, you should use the country-specific Orkut domain in the link. So, for example, is your audience is primarily Brazilian, the link to your application's Canvas Page should be: www.orkut.com.br/Application?appId=000000000, whereas if you are targeting an Indian audience, you should instead use www.orkut.co.in/Application?appId=00000000. To target an international audience, use orkut.com. This is an important consideration because, depending on browser cookie settings, the user might be forced to log in again because of a change in the domain, even if the user was logged in before, so it's best to use the domain where user is most likely to be already logged in.



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