Skip to content
MacOSX Interface to Facebook graph API
Find file


PhFacebook: easy-to-use MacOSX framework for the Facebook API


PhFacebook is an embeddable MacOSX framework to easily access Facebook's API.

  • Uses Facebook's new 'graph' API internally, handles OAuth in a WebView for you and returns JSON strings.

  • Comes with a sample application to show you how to use it.

  • Supports extended permissions.

  • Localized in English and French.


  1. Set your Facebook Application Type

    • Go to your Facebook application page.
    • Select your application in the left-hand column (if you have more than one application).
    • In the Summary section, note the "App ID/API Key". This is YOUR_APPLICATION_ID, used in section 3.
  2. Build PhFacebook.framework

    • Open "PhFacebook.xcodeproj" and "Build for Archiving" in the Product -> Build menu. This should build both the Debug and Release version. If it does not, check your Build Schemes in Product -> Edit Scheme…
    • Select "PhFacebook.framework" in the Finder. It should be in the "Release" folder; you probably don't want to embed the Debug version.
    • Drag it to your "Frameworks" folder in your Project list and add it to the appropriate target.
    • In your appropriate target, under "Build Settings", select "Runpath Search Paths" in the "Linking" category, and enter "@loader_path/../Frameworks" (without the quotes). This step is essential for linking, as the Framework is built with a "@rpath" search path, which will be replaced at runtime by your application.
    • In your appropriate target, add a "Copy" build phase. Set its destination to "Frameworks".
    • Drag "PhFacebook.framework" to this Copy build phase to ensure it is embedded in your application.
    • Verify that you can build and run your application and there are no linker or runtime errors.
  3. Prepare to use PhFacebook.framework

    • Import where appropriate.
    • Create a new PhFacebook* object and set yourself as the delegate: PhFacebook* fb = [[PhFacebook alloc] initWithApplicationID: YOUR_APPLICATION_ID delegate: self];
    • Implement the PhFacebookDelegate protocol: - (void) tokenResult: (NSDictionary) result; - (void) requestResult: (NSDictionary) result; @optional - (void) willShowUINotification: (PhFacebook) sender; - (void) didDismissUI: (PhFacebook) sender; These methods will be called by PhFacebook when an authorization token was requested or an API request was made. More information below.
    • See the sample application if you have any issues.
  4. Request an authorization token: [fb getAccessTokenForPermissions: [NSArray arrayWithObjects: @"read_stream", @"publish_stream", nil]];

    • Just list the permissions you need in an array, or nil if you don't require special permissions.
    • There is a list of permissions.
    • Your delegate's tokenResult: will get called with a dictionary. If [[result valueForKey: @"valid"] boolValue] is YES, the authorization request was successful.
    • If PhFacebook needs to display some UI (such as the Facebook Authentication dialog), your delegate's willShowUINotification: will get called. Take this opportunity to notify the user via a Dock bounce, for instance.
    • If the authorization was not successful, check [result valueForKey: @"error"].
    • Note: the framework may put up an authorization window from Facebook. Subsequent requests are cached and/or hidden from the user as much as possible.
    • Therefore: request a new token (and check its validity) for every series of operations. If some time elapses (for instance, you auto-check every hour), a new token is in order. It is cheap to call this method.
  5. Make API requests

    • You do not need to provide the URL or authorization token, PhFacebook takes care of that: [fb sendRequest: @"me/friends"];
    • Your delegate's requestResult: will get called with a dictionary, whose "result" key's value is a JSON string from Facebook.
    • You can use a JSON parser to turn the string into an NSDictionary, for instance SBJSON.
    • If the JSON string contains no data, check that you requested an authorization token with the correct permissions.
    • The API is documented.


The sample application requires your Application ID to function properly. The first time you build the application, it will create a (non-versioned) file called ApplicationID.h. You must edit this file with your Application ID from this Facebook page before the sample app will build.

Tips and Tricks

  • Embedding a framework is easier if you set up a common build folder in Xcode -> Preferences -> Building -> Customized location.
  • Linking frameworks can sometimes be a black art. You may have to add @loader_path/../Frameworks to the "Runpath search paths" in Xcode (thanks to Oscar Del Ben for the tip).
  • You can #define ALWAYS_SHOW_UI in PhWebViewController.m to help you debug the framework, since by default the framework tries to hide UI as much as possible.
Something went wrong with that request. Please try again.