Ringside to Unveil Social App Server

The new company's product will enable integration of social networking applications into any Web site.

Ringside Networks on March 25 will formally launch as a company and also launch what it calls the first open-source social application server that seamlessly integrates Facebook applications with any Web site.

The company will launch at the Open Source Business Conference in San Francisco.

According to Bob Bickel, a co-founder of the company and former JBoss executive, Ringside will announce a beta of the Ringside Social Application Server, an open-source platform that enables businesses to weave social capabilities directly into their existing Web sites while seamlessly integrating with social networks such as Facebook.

"Companies have spent far too much time and effort building their brands, Web sites, content and applications to hand over social networking to some third party," Bickel said in a statement. "Ringside Networks gives them a way to get control over this important new way of interacting with their users and customers, while still being able to tie into the big social networks."

Moreover, in a blog post on March 17, Bickel said, "We at Ringside Networks view Open Source as a way to not only bring innovation to the market, but as a way to enable others to unlock the power of social networking in new and innovative applications."

The Ringside Social Application Server includes a Social Application Engine that enables Web site developers to quickly build, customize and deploy their own social applications as well as the included set of standard social applications such as user profiles, friends, groups, comments, ratings, favorites and events.

Ringside also delivers support for federated social graphs for integrating Ringside-based social graphs with other social networks, such as Facebook. In addition, the product features an extensible API and tag library to enable developers to extend Facebook's API and markup language, as well as define their own application-specific APIs and tags to handle custom behavior and improve Web site integration.

A future version of the Ringside Social Application Server will support OpenSocial compatibility and interoperability to provide the ability to seamlessly work with other social networks such as MySpace, Hi5, Orkut and Bebo in a standard manner.

Matt Assay, a blogger on all things open source, on March 21 said Ringside's offering "has a range of cool features, like the ability to gather -social intelligence.' In other words, the Ringside platform allows business owners to gain insight into the social graph of users, relationships, groups, interactions, and sharing that is occurring on their website. Suddenly, socializing becomes smart business. In my work with Alfresco, I see demand for this sort of application growing stronger by the day."