Sharing Data with the Ning Content Store
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Hi, I’m David Sklar and I am one of the software architects here at Ning. I wanted to kick off my first blog post with a little more information on the Ning Content Store. The Ning Content Store enables and encourages social apps on the Ning Playground to share data. Public content that one app saves in the Ning Content Store is not only available in pivot views but in queries from other apps, too.

This has some novel and potentially interesting consequences.

For example, you can write an app that uses data from another app. Do you like the photos in How Much Do I Rock but want to use the code in Storyteller to have users write collaborative stories based on each photo? No problem. Clone Storyteller, slap in some code that queries the content store for photos from How Much Do I Rock and you’re in business.

There’s no need for screen scraping, bugging the author of How Much Do I Rock? for a web services API, fretting over licensing issues, or any angst at all. The shared data in the Content Store is just that – available for all apps to share.

This sharing is not without bounds. While an app can read the public content created by other apps, it can’t change it. Only the app that creates a content object can edit or delete it. You can mash up public content as far as your creativity takes you, but you can’t go scribble all over someone else’s stuff without their permission.

Among the small group of people who’ve played around with the Ning Playground, each has their own “favorite thing”. Some people have gotten excited by the easy cloneability and setup of apps, some people like that a developer desn’t have to worry about hosting, provisioning, and database setup.

For me personally, I think that that apps that cooperate and share data via the Content Store are going to demonstrate some of the slickest new ideas that we’ll see as the developer community grows. But that might just be me.