Accessing Twitter and Facebook APIs from a groupware system

Group Hug

Article from Issue 151/2013

The Open-Xchange and Zarafa groupware systems can tap into the APIs of Facebook, Twitter, and Xing, but you need different tactics for each service – keep in mind that the information yield is sometimes quite meager.

Individual or business, almost every Internet user now owns numerous user accounts with social web services. Juggling and coordinating these accounts is not simple: Friends chat on Facebook and colleagues network on Xing, and they all wait for tweets on Twitter. On-demand, modern groupware systems like Open-Xchange and Zarafa tap into the data of the social web and merge it with existing data (a server-side mashup). Groupware users thus automatically find their contacts from Facebook, for example, in their address books – or at least that’s the basic idea.


The Open-Xchange Groupware (OX) product is backed by the eponymous company in Nuremberg, Germany; the company in turn has its origins in the SUSE environment with SLOX (SUSE Linux Open-Xchange Server). Besides commercial versions, a free Community Edition is released under the GPLv2. Customers of 1&1 should be familiar with OX; the company uses the groupware as a hub for its email services in one hosting variant named of MailXchange.

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