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Open Social Open Social • 13 August 2019

Open Social JSON API Extension


Note: This feature is not part of the default Open Social product (basic/distro) but can be ordered as an extension module.


First things first; an API allows software applications to connect with each other, which means they can communicate and share data. 

Open Social, by definition, is an open online community solution. We are Drupal-based, meaning our code is open for anyone to use, and we accept help from thousands of Drupal developers to make our product awesome. It only makes sense that we have an Open Social API that opens our software to connect with other software applications such as MoneyBird. 


What can the Open Social API do?

Currently, our API can be used to READ the information on Open Social (aka, pull data such as a list of all your events including title, location, and images). It can potentially also create, update, and delete information on Open Social, but that part is still experimental.

Here’s a list of all the content types in your Open Social community that can be ‘read’ or ‘pulled’ by our API:

  • ​Users + Profile
  • Events
  • Event enrollment
  • Groups
  • Group membership
  • Topics
  • Post
  • Comment
  • Taxonomy terms
  • File

The list of all the content types that can not be ‘read’ or ‘pulled’ (yet) by our API:

  • Landing page
  • Books
  • Page
  • Private messages
  • Notification/Stream item/Message

However, these can be added fairly easily on request.


How can I use the API?

The API can be very useful for managing your online community. Here are some use cases to show you how! 

  • Use Case 1: Retrieve all upcoming events from Open Social and present them as a list on your corporate site to attract new members or inform website visitors of company activities. 


  • Use Case 2: Or, if you have lots of events in the community, you can take it a step further: collect the locations of the events and add them to your corporate site. Let users search for events according to location. Or show all events on a map to make them extra visible!

    Note: This means you can also show events in community groups to attract new community members.


  • Use Case 3: Retrieve all addresses from your users and compile a map to show where your users are based so they can find each other more easily or have a good overview of where other members come from.


  • Use Case 4: Retrieve a list of all your members once a week from Open Social and upload them in your CRM.


Note: If you would like the API to be enabled on your platform, contact your team to discuss the possibilities.


What’s the difference between pushing and pulling information?

As explained above, the API can be used to PULL information out of Open Social. However, a different process is used to PUSH information from Open Social too, for example, a CRM. These actions are usually not done via an API but with Webhooks or apps like Zapier.

Note: If you’d like to set up PUSH actions, please contact your team. Explain your use case so that the team can give you an estimation and planning.


Open Social App for Zapier


Zapier is an online service that allows you to easily connect your apps and automate workflows.

For example, Zapier can be used to connect Open Social with MoneyBird (an online accounting tool). This ‘connection’ would allow you to send sales invoices straight from MoneyBird to Open Social. Read more about this process


However, there are many other possible use cases: 

  • A new message on Slack every time a new post is created on Open Social.
  • A new tweet is posted every time a new topic is created on Open Social.
  • Add a new user to Mailchimp to add the users to email campaigns.
  • Create a Google calendar event for events on Open Social or add every new profile to a Google Sheet.

Feel free to add your use cases to it because the specifications of this feature still need to be determined and are under development.