Beginners Guide To OpenSocial & Orkut Sandbox! [covering FAQ]

In this post, I will try to clear your doubts on orkut sandbox and opensocial API. In the end I will be listing resources that you can use and bookmark!

#What is OpenSocial?

From wikipedia,

OpenSocial is a set of common application programming interfaces (APIs) for web-based social network applications, developed by Google, and released November 1, 2007. Applications implementing the OpenSocial APIs will be interoperable with any social network system that supports them, including features on sites such as MySpace and Friendster.

Except facebook almost all social networking sites are using OpenSocial. Means you can safely assume if you write application for orkut using OpenSocial API it will work on other sites (like MySpace, LinkedIn, etc) almost without change! πŸ™‚

#What is orkut sandbox?

First lets get relevant definition of sandbox from wikipedia

"The term sandbox is commonly used in the development of Web services to refer to a mirrored production environment for use by external developers. Typically, a third-party developer will develop an create an application that will use a web service from the sandbox, which is used to allow third-party team to validate their code before migrating it to the production environment"

So think of Orkut Sandbox as orkut mirror where you can write application using Open Social API. Its like creating a fake orkut account to test new orkut hack. Think of sandbox as a fake profile with some features added/removed and created by orkut itself for you to test applications!

#Cool… How to signup for orkut sandbox?

By default sandbox access is disabled for a orkut account. You can request access to sandbox using orkut sandbox sign up form. The sandbox access is completely free and will require you to have orkut account beforehand.

After submitting sign-up form you get mail from Google (normally in 2-3 days) indicating status of your request.

#How to access sandbox? Where it is?

Sandbox is extension to your existing orkut account! After receiving confirmation mail from google you can just log on to to enter into sandbox. Also you can modify any orkut pages’ URL to get its view from sandbox.


will become..[some_num]

This small URL change once resulted in scrapbook hack which enabled people to read locked scrapbook via sandbox!


#Sandbox Limitation

OpenSocial API Calls will operate on sandbox whitelisted friends only. This means to test your applications you need either your friends to gain sandbox access or add people who have access to sandbox as friends. There is an orkut sandbox community where you can find people with sandbox access and add them.

This limitation is enforced for security reasons as explained by Arne Roomann-Kurrik!

Also private information like email addresses of users can not be accessed! So spammers do not think about sandbox as a way for your evil intentions πŸ™‚


If you are not familiar with words like sandbox, API use following wikipedia links…

Best starting point for developers…

Worth bookmarking….

Finally if you need to communicate…

Let me know if I missed anything! Happy coding… πŸ™‚


Sajid March 24, 2008

Simple Awesome πŸ™‚

Rahul Bansal March 24, 2008

Glad to know… you like this! πŸ™‚

Shankar Arul July 25, 2008

That was a really helpful primer to open social for a beginner like me !

Rahul Bansal July 27, 2008

Glad to know it helped you… πŸ™‚

sandip patel September 15, 2008

hey any one can help me in google opensocial Api in that i want to access the message part such a way that i can send a message to any person in orkut.
so, please give u r ideas and facts about opensocial API that how can i access to the primary email of the perticular user.

Rahul Bansal September 18, 2008

Better search for solution using Google.
I haven’t explored OpenSocial in detail. πŸ™

Saravanan Ramamoorthy February 4, 2009

Great Article!! It really helps for the beginner.

Rahul Bansal February 5, 2009

Thanks buddy for your encouraging comment… πŸ™‚

nanhar September 30, 2009

dude, sandbox din work.. pls find another cure

pramod December 13, 2009

i could not sent friends request
when i try to do that
i can see one dialogue
you are not allowed to take this action temporarily
please make the answer through my e mail also please

Tushar October 9, 2010

just cool!!!!!!!!!!!