Starting with Active Social 1.8, you will be able to create and allow other applications to add content to the journal. In my previous blog post I covered Journal Types and the purpose they serve for managing the journal content. In this blog post I'm going to cover Access Control in more detail along with creating Custom Journal Types. Access Control - the gatekeeper for the Journal API
The journal API has a couple layers of security. The available security methods also depends on the particular API method being used. However, in order for any application to send data to the journal it must be registered for a particular journal type. Applications are added to a journal type using the Access Control tab in the journal type editor. All you have to do is enter the name of the application and click the "add" button. At that point an Access Key will be automatically generated. As you can see in the screen capture below you also have options to enable/disable and delete an application.Access Key - the key for sending sending data
The Access Key does more than just provide an extra layer of security. We researched various modules and how they could add Journal integration. We felt it was extremely important to continue to offer as much flexibility as possible. We also wanted to make sure that it was easy for third-party modules to add integration, and add the integration in such a way that there was very little room for error. For example, as I mentioned in a previous post, the next update for Active Forums will include Journal support for any forum. We have added an area in the Active Forums control panel where you can enter the Access Keys for topics and replies. Once the Access Keys are entered, you will then have two checkboxes for each forum to enable or disable the journal integration. The screen captures below show the settings that will be available in Active Forums.Main SettingsForum Settings
The Access Key is also stored with each Journal entry. This allows for generating statistics and also easy removal of entries generated by a particular source if necessary. Keep in mind that each access key is unique to a particular journal type. What happens when you have a module, such as Ventrian Property Agent, that is used for multiple purposes throughout a site? You create a Custom Journal Type!Custom Journal Types - now the fun begins!
The Journal API can be used to create content for any journal type. If one of the included journal types doesn't fit your needs you can simply create your own. A custom journal type functions just like a system journal type. Creating a Custom Journal Type
Start by clicking the Create New Journal Type button.
Next, you enter a unique name for the journal type. Select where the Journal Type can be used. Choose if the journal type can be used for notifications. Select an icon that will be used to identify the entry. Click Save.
After clicking the save button you will immediately be taken to the main journal type editor.
As you can see below, the new custom journal type is now available just like any other journal type.
Now that you can create your own journal types you will probably want to know how to use them. My next blog post will cover Journal API code samples and the Active Social 1.8 beta release.