Facebook Application Helper

Facebook Application Helper

Released 6 years ago , Last update 5 years ago

Connect Facebook Users to your application, save their access tokens, read streams/walls, make your website ready for a Facebook Tab Application and much more!

If you want to develop a Facebook tab application or want to use the Facebook API for users of your website, this library will help you get there quickly and without hassle.

This library consists of a PHP-part for server-side processing and a JavaScript-part to manage your application in the browser, such as chaining your own events to Facebook-API calls.

A look at the demo site is worth it!

Feature list:

  • Connect Facebook users to your application and save their access tokens via AJAX in your database for later use.
  • Recognize and manage the Facebook de-autorization process
  • Set and get open graph tags
  • Request users permissions from Facebook
  • Check if a user is connected to your application
  • Auto-resize your application tab height when in iFrame mode
  • eventListener for the Facebook loaded event
  • Add events to be called when user is connected with the app
  • Check if specific permissions are granted by the user
  • Check if user is already connected to your app (via PHP or JS)
  • Post to the users stream without displaying a popup
  • Read and save walls/streams of pages and users
  • get the users permission to manage their pages
  • popup nice dialogs in FB layout to display success messages or inform the user before he has to allow your app etc.
  • Much more! (see below)
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Standard License

  • Perpetual license

  • 1 site, unlimited servers

  • No distribution (hosted use only)

  • Commercial use


Ultimate License

  • Perpetual license

  • Unlimited sites, servers

  • No distribution (hosted use only)

  • Commercial use


1. Unzipping

Unzip the zip-file under your document root folder (be careful when overwriting files!). In case you already have a .htaccess file in your document root, merge your existing one with the .htaccess file included in the package.

2. Install the MySQL table

Copy the content of install.sql to your MySQL console or phpMyAdmin to run the mysql install. One table will be created.

If you want to use the wall-reader feature, install the required tables for this by calling fbHelperWallReader::installTables() after the Installation-Procedure.

3. Edit the config.inc.php

Set your database connection for saving the user tokens from Facebook. If you added a prefix to the created table from step 2, add the same prefix to the APIDBPREFIX-constant.

4. Edit the config.ini.php


In this section are the settings for the debugging tool included in the package. At the very least, set your E-Mail-address so that you can be informed by the PHP scripts in case an error occurs. The logpath is relative from the root where the index.php is running.


For this section you need a Facebook developer account and an existing Facebook application. If you don't have one of those, create it at this point. Add your application ID and application secret to the configuration. For your first app use the general.* settings to set up your app.

If you want to use your application in a Facebook Tab, fill in the page.id and the page.name . Those are needed to force a redirect to the correct Facebook page or to create deep links in your App.

The options restricted.pages and restricted.redirect are used to store the URL which the user will be redirected when the iFrame is not loaded by the correct Facebook page.

5. Download FirePHP / Facebook SDK

Those 2 packages are needed to run the fbHelper:


Facebook SDK

6. Ready to test

Have a look at the example.php to get some usage suggestions and read the HowTo Section below for more information.

HowTo / Usage

If you want to use logging/debugging please check the right configuration for DAD.

Check the DAD (debugging) configuration

To check which debugging configuration is loaded, use the following code-snippet:

echo "DAD configuration:";
echo "";
echo "";

Check if logfile is writeable

echo "DAD Logfile writeable:";
echo "";
echo "";

This method outputs an array with the target filename and a key success to tell you whether the file is writeable or not.

Check if the MySQL-Table is installed

echo "SQL Table installed:";
echo "";
echo fbUsers::sqlInstalled() ? 'Yes' : 'No';
echo "";

If all is ok, you can start developing your facebook application!!! Start a session and include the boot.inc.php

$iniHandler = iniHandler::getInstance('main');
$appScope = 'general';      // use the scope here from the [facebook]-section in config.ini.php

Because you are able to manage several applications you have to set a scope for each application. The default application will have the scope "general".

Read your appId from the configuration file, set the app namespace (scope) and assign the appId and secret to your facebook helper:

$appId = $iniHandler-getIniSetting('facebook.'.$appScope.'.appId');
$appSecret = $iniHandler-getIniSetting('facebook.'.$appScope.'.secret')
$tmpFbHelper = fbHelper::getInstance($appId); // init the fbHelper

You can get the facebook helper each time by calling it by the appId:

$tmpFbHelper = fbHelper::getInstance($appId);

... or call it by the namespace (after set once by setAppNamespace()):

fbHelper::setAppNamespace($appScope, $appId);
$tmpFbHelper = fbHelper::getInstanceByNamespace();

If you want redirect the page to your facebook tab when opened out of facebook, type following. But be sure that you set up the page.id and page.name options in config.ini.php!


Open Graph

Before your is finished you can set open graph options:

// set some open graph options we can display later in our html  section
    'title'         =  'My OpenGraph Title',
    'type'          =  'article',
    'url'           =  'http://example.net/',
    'image'         =  'url-to-my-open-graph-image.jpg',
    'site_name'     =  'The target Site Name',
    'description'   =  'The open Graph description...'

...and check if any are set and output them in the head:

// if we set some opengraph-tags (ogIsSet()) we can output them by use getOgSetting()
if(is_a ($tmpFbHelper = fbHelper::getInstanceByNamespace(), 'fbHelper') && $tmpFbHelper-ogIsSet()){

    getOgSetting('title', 'escaped'); ?"/
    getOgSetting('type', 'escaped')?"/
    getOgSetting('url', 'escaped'); ?"/
    getOgSetting('image', 'escaped'); ?"/
    getOgSetting('site_name', 'escaped'); ?"/
    getOgSetting('description', 'escaped'); ?"/    
    isPageFan() ? 'Yes' : 'No') . "";

Check if facebook user is connected to the app (when in facebook)

echo "Is Connected: ". ((bool)$tmpFbHelper-isConnected() ? 'Yes' : 'No') . "";

Deeplinking into your page tab

If any appdata are set by $GET you can force your application to deeplink to the originally requested page. The method performDeeplink() will look for those data and perform the deep link:


If you want to have some Javascript functions called after the Facebook JSDK is loaded, you can add function-names to or fbHelper:

$tmpFbHelper-addJsInitMethod('funcNameToCallAfterInit'); // add a function name
$tmpFbHelper-getJsInits(); // returns a string in JS format with the functions to call

Read and save wall/stream of user or page

If you want to read the content of a uses/page stream/wall you have to save the accesstoken of a user in your database. After saved an accesstoken you can add a wall-entry:

fbHelperWallReader::saveWall($wall_id, $user_id, $appId);

Once a wallReader is registered in your database you can fetch the wall and save the posts:


The $fbsource is equal to the $wallid we have saved in the step before. After calling this the latest 500 posts are saved to our database. Those items can now be retrieved any time:

$objWall = new fbHelperWall($fb_source);
$posts = $objWall-retrieveItems()-getItems();

Several filters can be set to define which posts exactly to search and return.

Use cases

Init the Javascript fbHelper:

<script type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8">
// <![CDATA[
jQuery(window).load(function () {

    fbHelper.setOption({ 'fbLang' : 'en_US',
                         'canvasResizeInterval' : 1000
    fbHelper.initFB({ appId: '<?=$appId?>' }, <?=fbHelper::getInstance($appId)->getJsInits()?>);
// ]]> 

This code may output something like:

<script type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8">
// <![CDATA[
jQuery(window).load(function () {

    fbHelper.setOption({ 'fbLang' : 'us_US',
                         'canvasResizeInterval' : 1000
    fbHelper.initFB({ appId: '1234567890' }, Array("funcNameToCallAfterInit()"));
// ]]> 

Use case "Connect for commenting"

If you want to let a user connect to your app before commenting something in your app or if you want to make a stream publish to his stream/chronic the following code might help you with this:


<div id="comment">Click here to comment!</div>

<script type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8">
// <![CDATA[

var isConnected = function(someParams) { 
    console.log('The User is connected to our App...'); 
    // do some ajax for commenting and perform a stream publish

var isNotConnected = function(someParams) { 
    console.log('The User is NOT connected to our App...'); 

function bindCommentSubmit() {
    jQuery('#connect').click(function() {
        var appScope = 'general';
        fbHelper.loginAndSave('publish_stream', appScope, 
                            {   func : isConnected, 
                                params : ['xx'],
                                cufa : true
                            } ,
                            {   func : isNotConnected, 
                                params : ['yy'],
                                cufa : true

// ]]>

What does this code do?

Once the Facebook Framework is loaded, it will call bindCommentSubmit() to bind a click-event to our button. When the user clicks the button the fbHelper will look if the user is already connected to the app and has provided the permission to "publish_stream". If we have the permission the isConnected method is called with the params-array ['xx'] (or whatever you want). If not the browser will display the facebook connect window for requesting the permissions. If the user granted the permission the script will perform an ajax call to the php fbHelper to store the accessToken from the user. After that the isConnected method is called. If the user deny the prompt the isNotConnected method is called.

Further Usecases

Feel free to comment and request custom use-cases. I will be glad to help you!

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  • PM perera malinda 5 years ago