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Facebook Plugin

The purpose of the Facebook plugin is to provide a seamless way to connect your cakePHP app to everyone's favorite social networking site -- Facebook. The goal for this plugin is to not only provide extremely useful dynamic features but to also provide a complete interface to the Facebook API.


  • 1.0 Initial release alpha
  • 1.1 Added API feature
  • 1.2 Initial release beta
  • 1.2.1 Minor Bug fixes and tests
  • 1.3 Added FacebookInfo class for easy reference to plugin details anywhere.
  • 1.4.0 Added FacebookApi library. Useful for access to FacebookApi from anywhere.
  • 1.5.0 Added facebook Permissions prompts
  • 1.5.1 Facebook Connect can accept settings like all the core components in cake 1.3
  • 1.5.2 Added Facebook.Connect user method to retrieve user data much like Auth.
  • 1.5.3 Added Facebook status() function to helper.
  • 1.5.4: Fixed a bug in Facebook.Connect that would white screen if session was in an unstable state coming in.
  • 1.5.5: Bug fix for helper use only with init. Was dependant on Connect Component, but not anymore
  • 1.6: Facebook.Connect will now update a user table if it exists but a facebook_id is not found.
  • 1.6.1: Facebook::share will now property set the beginning url if no url is passed in
  • 1.7.0: Updated to the latest version of the official Facebook PHP SDK and made everything more future-proof (Theaxiom /
  • 1.7.1: Fixed broken tests from update 1.7.0
  • 2.0.0: Feature updates:
    • FacebookHelper::loader() is no longer needed and is now deprecated
    • Users now created if auth is detected and no user is present with logged in facebook_id
    • FacebookHelper::logout redirect option now allows array based cakephp urls
    • New Features:
      • FacebookHelper::like() creates like button with various options
      • FacebookHelper::activity() created activity feed with various options
      • FacebookHelper::friendpile() created friendpile widget with various options
      • FacebookHelper::recommendations() create recommendations widget with various options
  • 2.0.1: New Setting ConnectComponent::createUser boolean. If set to true (default) upon a successful facebook login, and the facebook_id is not found in the User table, the component will attempt to create a new user from introspection on the Auth component. Turn this feature off by passing in 'createUser' => false when setting up the Connect component.
  • 2.0.2: New helper method getConfig() available within the FacebookInfo library. Use this to pull in facebook configurations instead of trying to rely on loaded configuration files from other sources.
  • 2.0.3: Updated Facebook::share to allow fbxml option instead of defaulting to not use fbxml. fbxml => true is required if the page loads facebook->init();
  • 2.1.0: Improved preformance and new Facebook::disconnect function.
  • 2.1.1: various minor bug fixes.
  • 2.2.0: Updated Facebook PHP SDK
  • 2.3.0: Added new Facebook::likebox to replace Facebook::fanbox()
  • 2.3.1: Security Update: facebook user creation now generates random passwords.
  • 2.4.0: Adding three Authentication callbacks: beforeFacebookSave, beforeFacebookLogin, and afterFacebookLogin
  • 2.4.1: Adding custom locale to plugin.
  • 2.4.2: minor bug fixes.
  • 2.4.3: Fixed duplicate user entry when User primaryKey is not 'id'.
  • 2.5.0: Optimizations and minor fixes (special thanks to
    • New callback feature for FacebookHelper::init() (page refresh is still default).
    • Nicer FacebookHelper::share() now uses Router instead of environment and $this->here
    • Optimization, Moving __syncFacebookUser to after Controller->beforeFilter() so $noAuth can be changed in the beforeFilter if need be.
  • 3.0.0: Upgraded to Facebook PHP SDK v 3.1.1
  • 3.0.1: Added CakePHP 2.0 support
    • the AuthComponent in 2.0 has been redesigned significantly, making the guesswork done by the FacebookPlugin much harder to acheive

    • As such, you now have to set the model in which you want the Facebook plugin to interact with if you want User/Auth integration via database

    • You must set this when defining the Facebook.Connect component

    • If you do not set a 'model' key, integration with your Auth Model will not happen automatically.

        //Example AppController setup
        public $components = array('Session',
        	'Auth' => array(
        		'authenticate' => array(
        			'Form' => array(
        				'fields' => array('username' => 'email')
        		'authorize' => 'Controller'
        	'Facebook.Connect' => array('model' => 'User')
  • 3.1.0: Added new facebook social features (registration and send)
    • FacebookHelper::registration() creates a registration form prepopulated with their facebook information.
    • ConnectComponent::registrationData() a useful shortcut to parsing a successful registration post to facebook.
    • FacebookHelper::sendbutton() creates a nice send button.
  • 3.1.1: Updated Facebook PHP SDK to latest release.
  • 3.1.2: Updated Facebook PHP SDK to latest release v3.2.1.
  • 3.1.3: Updated Facebook PHP SDK to latest release v3.2.3.

About Plugin

Feature List

  • Full featured authentication via facebook. Facebook Authentication will work with or without a user login system in place. Works seemlessly with your already built user authentication via AuthComponent - OR - it can work as your primary authentication system.
  • Create dynamic customizable facebook content with extreme ease.
    • Share (let your users share what they find on your site)
    • Like (let your users like what they find on your site)
    • Send (let your users send what they find on your site)
    • Login/Logout (facebook users can login and logout with a single click .. no registration required)
    • Registration (facebook users can register on your application with pre-populated data from their profile)
    • Activity (allow users to show your applications and friends activity)
    • Friend Pile (display your applications friends)
    • Recommendations (display recommended urls based on the current page)
    • Fan Boxes (allow users to become a fan of your application)
    • Profile Pictures (display a logged in user's profile picture)
    • Live Streams (create dynamic live stream events through facebook and give access through your site)
    • Comments (connect with your uses by allowing them to comment on any part of your site with facebook comments)
    • Status (display a user's status)
  • Access to Full Facebook API anywhere in your app. Built custom content directly from the Facebook API with the built in access to the full Facebook API

Install and Setup

  • First clone the repository into your app/Plugin/Facebook directory

      git clone git:// app/Plugin/Facebook
  • Load the plugin in your app/Config/bootstrap.php file:


Once installed, if you wish to use any other features other than the share button you'll need to get an api_key and secret for your application.

  • Create an app from facebook at this url:

  • Once you generate an api_key and secret you'll need to create a file app/Config/facebook.php You can find an example of what you'll need and how it is laid out in /Facebook/Config/facebook.php.example

      $config = array(
      	'Facebook' => array(
      		'appId'  => 'YOUR_APP_ID',
      		'apiKey' => 'YOUR_API_KEY',
      		'secret' => 'YOUR_SECRET',
      		'cookie' => true,
      		'locale' => 'en_US',


You can use all or some of the Facebook plugin as you see fit. At the very least you will probably want to use the Facebook Helper

public $helpers = array('Facebook.Facebook');

If all you want to use is the share feature of the Facebook plugin you're all done.

$this->Facebook->share(''); //(default is the current page).

Nothing else is required for the Facebook share feature. Hoever, to use the more advanced features you'll need to prepare your page a little to handle the fbxml tags.

Edit your Layout to take advantage of advanced facebook features

  1. In your layout it's highly suggest you replace your <html> tag with <?php echo $this->Facebook->html(); ?> This is required for some of the facebook features to work in IE.
  2. At the bottom of the page include <?php echo $this->Facebook->init(); ?> To load the facebook javascript api to scan your page for fbxml and replace them with various dynamic content.

Example layout

<?php echo $this->Facebook->html(); ?>
		<title><?php echo $title_for_layout ?></title>
		<?php echo $content_for_layout; ?>
	<?php echo $this->Facebook->init(); ?>

Authentication (Facebook Connect/Graph System):

Despite the name, the Facebook Connect component takes immediate advantage of the new powerful Facebook Graph API

To use this feature you will first need to update your facebook application with the connect url of your application's url. This is done on the facebook application settings. Now all you need to do is add the Facebook.Connect component to your app_controller.

public $components = array('Facebook.Connect');

That's it. You're now ready to accept facebook authentication.

Login/Logout buttons

Creates a login button: Facebook->login() ?>

Create a login button that asks for extended permissions (

<?php echo $this->Facebook->login(array('perms' => 'email,publish_stream')); ?>

Create a logout button:

<?php echo $this->Facebook->logout() ?>

Each button has multiple options, review the API to see all available options

Registration Form

Create a registration form with default fields and width. Default is posting to self.

<?php echo $this->Facebook->registration(); ?>

Create a custom registration form.

<?php echo $this->Facebook->registration(array(
	'fields' => 'name,gender,location,email',
	'width' => 600,
	'redirect-uri' => ''
)); ?>

Processing Registration Data.

To access the registartion data posted by your registration user, use the convienient ConnectComponent::registrationData() function.

if($user = $this->Connect->registrationData()){

Use the data in $user to finish the registration process on your own (save a new user, find/update the user, etc..)

CakePHP Auth + Facebook.Connect

Facebook.Connect will play nice with a variety of Authentication systems. It has nearly seamless integration with CakePHP AuthComponent.

note Since the CakePHP 2.0 AuthComponent revamp, ConnectComponent doesn't have the introspection available anymore. It is necessary to tell Connect what model you store your users data in for the automagic to work like so:

//Example AppController.php components settup with FacebookConnect
public $components = array('Session',
			'Auth' => array(
				'authenticate' => array(
					'Form' => array(
						'fields' => array('username' => 'email')
				'authorize' => 'Controller'
			'Facebook.Connect' => array('model' => 'User')

To integrate with CakePHP Auth, you'll need to alter your users table (or whatever table your Auth component uses) and add a new field -> facebook_id.


Since you already have an authentication system, the logout step will need to also log out the user from your authentication system. You do this by passing a redirect to $facebook->logout() to your system's logout authentication action.

In this case you should set the label or img option if you want the logout button to be displayed.

<?php echo $this->Facebook->logout(array('label' => 'Logout', 'redirect' => array('controller' => 'users', 'action' => 'logout'))); ?>


<?php echo $this->Facebook->logout(array('redirect' => array('controller' => 'users', 'action' => 'logout'), 'img' => '/Facebook/img/facebook-logout.png')); ?>

This will log out of the facebook authentication and then redirect to your authentication logout for you to finish the logout.

Facebook Auth Callbacks

There are three callbacks available to use, each are defined in the controller and are optional to use.

  • beforeFacebookSave handle the user to save into the users table. If returned false, creation is haulted.

      //Add an email field to be saved along with creation.
      function beforeFacebookSave(){
      	$this->Connect->authUser['User']['email'] = $this->Connect->user('email');
      	return true; //Must return true or will not save.
  • beforeFacebookLogin Handle the user before logging the user into Auth.

      function beforeFacebookLogin($user){
      	//Logic to happen before a facebook login
  • afterFacebookLogin Handle any needed functionality right after a successful Auth Login

      function afterFacebookLogin(){
      	//Logic to happen after successful facebook login.

Advanced Helper Feature Examples

<?php echo $this->Facebook->comments(); ?>
<?php echo $this->Facebook->picture($facebook_id); ?>
<?php echo $this->Facebook->recommendations(); ?>
<?php echo $this->Facebook->like(); ?>
<?php echo $this->Facebook->livestream(); ?>
<?php echo $this->Facebook->activity(); ?>
<?php echo $this->Facebook->friendpile(); ?>

Facebook API

You can access the Facebook Api from anywhere in your app. You'll need to include the Api first

App::uses('FB', 'Facebook.Lib');

Then you can instanciate it or, if you're running PHP 5.3.x you can make static calls on it.

PHP version 5.2.x

	$Facebook = new FB();

PHP 5.3.x



You can set the locale of the plugin through the helper declaration or through the config/facebook.php configuration file (see top of document).

public $helpers = array('Facebook.Facebook' => array('locale' => 'en_US'));

Facebook locales:

Read the Docs

I encourage you to read the documentation and API for this plugin to see all the features and options for each feature. The API is here: