Building Social Applications using Connections Cloud and WebSphere Portal: SBTSDK

To build social applications, I strongly suggest using the Social Business Toolkit SDK.  While Connections Cloud has simple to use REST APIs, the SDK provides a ready to go foundation.  Admittedly, the SDK is large and can be confusing at first.  In it you’ll find code for a variety of technology platforms: Domino, iOS, PHP, Java, Javascript.  We, developers, tend to want to jump right in and start code.  Don’t.  If you don’t start with the SDK, you’ll find yourself building authentication mechanisms, HTTP clients, XML readers, etc … stuff you really don’t need to re-invent.

There are two ways to get the Social Business Toolkit SDK:

  • Download the SDK and sample web applications from OpenNTF.   Since the SDK and samples are pre-packaged, this allows you to simply install and get going.
  • Download the SDK source and build the projects from GitHub.  While this takes more time, the code is more recent.  The last package posted on OpenNTF is over a year old at the time of writing.

Downloading the Social Business Toolkit SDK from OpenNTF

To download and install, see documentation.  High level steps are:

  1. Download the latest version of the SDK.
  2. Extract the zip and locate the file \samples\ear\sbt.sample- (or similar name).

Building the Social Business Toolkit SDK from GitHub

The documentation on building the source is a bit dated.  Most developers will be able to follow the steps below.

  1. Download the source (e.g. download ZIP) from the SocialSDK repo on SBTSDK GitHub.
  2. Import the maven projects into Eclipse.  The Import -> Maven -> Existing Maven Projects is an option in later versions of Eclipse.  If you do not have this, consider downloading the M2Eclipse plugin.
  3. Depending on how you import, you may need to update the Project Explorer view to include the working set.Maven SBT Working Set
  4. Select the sbt.sample project -> Export -> EAR File.

Installing the Social Business Toolkit SDK Sample

  1. Install the EAR (either the one from Downloading Step 2 or Building Step4) using WAS admin console.  I’m installing the SDK directly to the Portal server.
  2. Verify the application by visiting http://<portal>:<port>/sbt.sample.web/ in a web browser.  (The default port for Portal is 10039.)

SBT Home


Congratulations, now you can get started.

One thought on “Building Social Applications using Connections Cloud and WebSphere Portal: SBTSDK”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.