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Learn the basics of building complex, data-driven applications with the Facebook PHP SDK and MySQL. Author Ray Villalobos first introduces the fundamentals, such as checking to see if a user is logged into an application, accessing Facebook user data through the Open Graph API, and making complex API calls with the Graph API Explorer. The course then dives into building an application with API paths and Facebook Query Language (FQL) calls. Along the way, you'll discover how to post to a user's wall, upload photos, integrate with webpages, and more.
Using FQL lets you access the Open Graph in a way that is not exactly like Graph API paths. So let's take a look at how to test FQL access with the Open Graph Explorer. You can find the Open Graph Explorer at this URL. Once you're in the Explorer, click on the FQL tab. It's not as easy as the Path Explorer because you don't have the easy to use expansion Plus signs that you do with the Graph API, so you really have to know what commands you want to send and type them in manually. It's a good idea to have the FQL documentation on another tab.
So, for example, I can come in here and type in what looks like an SQL query. I'm going to hit Submit, and I basically get my user information. So looking at this you may think, hey, I can just get all the columns by using the star token. Let's try that. If you submit that, you'll get an error. Notice that SELECT * is not supported. Please manually list the columns you are interested in. So this is proof that using an FQL query is not exactly like using an SQL query.
So let's try a few fields. Remember that to make queries in FQL you have to use at least one indexable field in the WHERE clause. So for users the main indexable fields are uid, username, and name. If you ever want to check, just go to the Facebook Query Language documentation and take a look at the tables on the left-hand side. When you click on a table, say like Album, you can see the fields that are indexable, there should be at least one of those in the WHERE clause, and you can see the other fields that you can search for. Let's take a look at the user fields.
So there's a lot of information that we can gather from this. Let's go back and try a subquery. So this query lets me get all my friends at once. If I want to, I can limit the query with the LIMIT field, and I can offset the query with the OFFSET field. That allows me to paginate through different data. Let me get rid of these for a second, and I'll hit Submit again. You may notice that there are some friends that haven't rated any movies, like this first friend right here, and this other one down here. So we can actually test for that in our query.
So we'll add AND movies not equal to nothing and hit Submit. And that allows me to get only the friends that have recommended movies. So there's a lot more you can do with the FQL Explorer. Make sure that you browse the FQL documentation and take a look at the different tables and try requesting some of these different fields.
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