Facebook has just announced that the new Dashboard API is now available for testing. According to the dashboard roadmap the Facebook Dashboard API lets you integrate your application into the Application Dashboard or the Games Dashboard (depending upon the type of application you have). These dashboards help users discover and engage with your applications on Facebook. They display which application’s users and their friends recently used as well as any news your applications wish to communicate to users.
The Dashboard API integrates with the Games and Application Dashboard in two ways: It gives you the ability to post news items to a user’s dashboard, providing information to the user and giving the user the opportunity to take action. It lets you set a counter as a lightweight way for you to inform your users to take action within your application.
There will also be two types of news that the applications can post on to the dashboards – Global and Personal News Items. Global News Items will be visible to all of the users of the app, while the Personal News Items will be a way to communicate with only 1 user of the app.
The Dashboard API lets you set the counters that appear next to your application bookmark under the profile picture (if the user bookmarked the application) and in news items on the dashboard. The counter informs the user in a lightweight way to take an action in your application.
After you set the counter for a user, Facebook clears the counter when the user clicks your application’s bookmark. However, when the user visits your application’s canvas page, you must call dashboard.clearCount to reset the counter.
Also, in this week’s code push Facebook updated some API calls (events.invite, group FQL table), so that they can now work without session keys.