Integrating LinkedIn to mobile apps and SharePoint using Azure

LinkedIn integration - how we did it

Integrating LinkedIn to mobile apps and SharePoint using Azure

When building our new website there was a requirement to display the latest articles from our BrightStarr SharePoint LinkedIn group. We also wanted to display the articles on our intranet and an internal native mobile application.

LinkedIn provides an API that you can integrate to pull off filtered and ordered posts, so integration wasn't a worry. It uses OAuth and again, building this into a SharePoint component wasn't an issue. What bothered me was that we were going to reuse this at least three times. There was also a caching requirement and our website receives more hits than the daily threshold permitted by the LinkedIn API.

My thoughts naturally went towards a common app where I could cache once and then feed the three individual implementations. The more I thought about this, the more it made sense. I effectively set up a proxy to the LinkedIn API. My proxy caches the latest posts for say, a couple of hours, and my intranet webpart, website server control and native app can all consume from that service. It also meant that configuration was in a single place.

I then had to consider hosting. Where would I put this app? BrightStarr have a robust and redundant website hosting environment, but I felt I was being biased towards the website. I needed somewhere more central and at least as reliable. Where better than Microsoft Windows Azure; scalable, redundant and simple to deploy to. From there the build was simple:

  • From there the build was simple:
  • Proxy service: RESTful service deployed to Azure, used OAuth to connect to LinkedIn RESTful service.
  • Website server control: simple control that consumes XML from the proxy service, transforms it and renders it to the page.
  • Intranet webpart: inherits from the same component as the website server control, just renders it as a webpart.
  • Native app: again, consume web service and perform simple transformation.

Sam Hassani Principal Consultant

‘Sensible’ Sam is an asset to the consulting team. Having jumped the fence from Microsoft a few years back, he now consults and designs large scale SharePoint, O365 and Azure solutions for BrightStarr. His conscientious approach got him his nickname, and although he’s not afraid to take risks, he’s always a safe bet. Delivering stable, well thought out solutions time and time again.

In his previous job, he specialized in SharePoint, working in the field and with the product team, Sam is genuinely excited by his vocation and speaks at conferences and events with enthusiasm. Just don’t get him started on hybrid search! At the weekend Sam likes to ride his road bike and hang out with his young son.

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