Thursday, June 23, 2011

I love it! embed.ly in IBM Connections

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The other day I was catching up on my podcasts and heard of this service called http://embed.ly. It sounded very cool because it promised to make content embedding very easy. It leverages the open format oEmbed to convert links in a webpage to embeddable content.

This got me thinking about whether or not I could use this to spice up the activity stream in Connections. That way if someone shares a link via a microblog, wiki, blog, forum, etc, the actual content would be embedded into the Connections experience and I don't have to leave the site. I looked around in embed.ly's page and stumbled upon this tutorial.

In the tutorial, I noticed that all it took was 5 lines of code. I *had* to give it a try! I launched my Connections demo server and, in fact, after adding those 5 lines of code, content in Connections started to become alive.

Here's a quick demo that demonstrates how it looks:

So how did I do it? Simply follow these steps and you'll be up and running in no time:

  1. If you haven't yet, copy footer.jsp to the customization directory. For example, copy <WAS_PROFILE_ROOT>/installedApps</cellName>/Activities.ear/oawebui.war/nav/templates/footer.jsp to <IC_INSTALL_ROOT>/data/shared/customization/common/nav/templates
  2. If you haven't yet, copy header.jsp to the customization directory. For example, copy <WAS_PROFILE_ROOT>/installedApps</cellName>/Activities.ear/oawebui.war/nav/templates/header.jsp to <IC_INSTALL_ROOT>/data/shared/customization/common/nav/templates
  3. Switch to the <IC_INSTALL_ROOT>/data/shared/customization/common/nav/templates directory
  4. Open header.jsp with your favorite text editor
  5. At the beginning of the file, look for the last <div class="lotusRightCorner">. Just before that, add the following code:

    <script src="http://code.jquery.com/jquery-1.4.4.min.js"></script>
    <script src="http://scripts.embed.ly/jquery.embedly.min.js"></script>
    


  6. That's 2 lines of code. We are almost there. Now, save and close the file
  7. Open footer.jsp with your favorite text editor
  8. Scroll to the very bottom of the file and add the following 3 lines (NOTE: Updated on 31/Aug/2011 to reflect some changes required by embed.ly, mainly the 'key' parameter and the 'urlRe' parameter. The urlRe parameter specifies which domains you want to embed. To pick and choose which domains you want to embed [for example, if you only want to embed content from YouTube], then go here: http://embed.ly/tools/generator . In the example below, I've chosen to embed all services that embed.ly supports as of 31/Aug/2011):

    <script type="text/javascript">
    
    function callEmbedly() {
    
    $('div.lotusContent').embedly(
            { 
                    maxWidth: 450, 
                    wmode: 'transparent',
                    method: 'after', 
                    key: 'e0a98aba95ef11e09dcd4040d3dc5c07',
                    urlRe: 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            });
    }
    
    setTimeout(callEmbedly, 8000);
    </script>


  9. That's it!! 5 lines of code as promised! Now, save and close the file.

Easy, right? Now, everywhere a link shows up in Connections (again, it could be a forum, blog, wiki, status update, etc), the link will be automatically converted into the embeddable object).

To sign up for a free embed.ly account, go here. Another alternative is oohEmbed.

Enjoy!

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