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Social Markup Language (SML) is the latest markup language for Facebook developers and marketers. SML generates HTML and Javascript codes on the hosting server, enabling developers to save time, work with greater efficiency, and increase productivity lost upon re-coding apps and integrated sites whenever Facebook upgrades its platform. Involver, the company which created SML, states that any developer that can write basic HTML, CSS or Javascript code will be able to use SML to build social network applications easily and effectively. The code uses Involver’s extensive library of apps, which includes infrastructure for contest generation, profile tabs, poll creation, comment management and more. SML interfaces with Involver’s Audience Management Platform (AMP) via a unified dashboard to help create social media apps similar to multi-platform marketing campaigns.

To begin with, Involver SML code and language was used internally to build major heavy-use apps. Soon after, many of Involver’s clients and customers already used SML code constructs and language, incorporating them with social media applications. For example, Facebook’s polling place location service was created after brands wanted more control over both the design and the function of Facebook applications.

While the Facebook Markup Language (FBML) is being deprecated in lieu of Javascript and proprietary Social Plugins, there is the inevitable comparison between FBML and SML. Distinctions exist in that SML is a server-side language with similarities to template-derived markup languages that is used to generate Facebook-compliant js, css, html code and calls content extracted from external social plugin modules to the app’s forefront.

Over the course of a year and a half, Involver had fully developed SML to put the power of Facebook and other social web app creation tools directly at the fingertips of all front-end HTML, CSS and Javascript developers. As SML progressed even further, the Graphical User Interface (GUI) was included in the SML suite and sped up the application development process, this allowed content managers to make updates to their apps without additional developer assistance simply by presenting the content in its final form via a customizable and familiar WYSIWYG interface. The content can be viewed dynamically, mitigating potential format issues such as widow and orphan text, image orientation and placement, and other similar problems that are not obvious by simply looking at the code. The result then is more robust, less error-prone code that can be quickly and easily used by content writers who may not have specific coding experience or knowledge. By freeing the content writer from the tedium of code compliance, work flow became even more manageable, efficient and predictable; enabling more precise delivery time management, with the resulting pages validated as error-free from a Facebook QA perspective. SML therefore became an effective method to create developer-quality coding that does not require direct developer intervention.

Setup, installation, and implementation also is as user-friendly since it is accomplished with self-installation via familiar wizards to guide the process. Furthermore, SML generates platform-independent code, regardless of the hardware or operating system. Perhaps, the only platform-dependence is the installation package. Currently, SML is Windows-based, however installers for Unix, Apple, and other popular developer platforms are in testing and are anticipated to be deployed when SML is commercially released. While pricing details for a commercial SML have not been officially released as well, it is anticipated that when used in conjunction with low overhead, cheap webhosting, SML constitutes quite a good ROI.

Indeed, the pending release of the SML client is representative of a fundamental change to Involver’s business strategy, because its robust feature-rich concept and construction methodology will be nearly ubiquitous and enable others to further differentiate themselves from other companies – such as Buddy Media – that are also in the Facebook marketing business. Already, more than 125,000 public Facebook pages use Involver’s SML-coded apps; the formal release of SML will just ensure steady and continued growth in the future.

 

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Posted by Gwen Davis

3 Comments

  1. Ugh, why is there no date on your articles? It is incredibly annoying, especially in this industry. The first thing I look at on an article, is the date. I do this to determine how relevant this is to TODAY.

  2. Agreed, put a date. or you are beyond obsolete

  3. the date is in the url: inspriationalfeed/2011/04

    unless you dont know how to read.

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