This tutorial is for developers with a broad but not necessarily deep background in web development who are interested in building Facebook web applications. Although Facebook Desktop and Mobile apps are covered where applicable, the content of this book is about straight web applications. Material covered includes how to plan an app, API details and FQL calls, and how to market and attract users, so there should be something for all participants in Facebook app development.
The author assumes you already know your way around web development in the areas of HTML, CSS, PHP programming, and SQL/database design. You don't need to be an expert with any of them, and the author makes suggestions on good books on all of the supporting technologies. The following is the detailed table of contents for the book, which is currently not included in the product description:
Chapter 1. Introducing Facebook Platform - A general overview of Facebook, Facebook Platform, and an introduction to the opportunity it represents.
Chapter 2. Ideation and Strategy - If you don't have an idea in mind already for an app, this chapter helps you out by giving you some ideas for some applications that you can extend. Shows techniques for doing app design quickly and with the best possible results.
Chapter 3. Hello World - Walks you through the classic Hello World first programming example.
Chapter 4. Architecture and Design - Covers the best architectures for Facebook apps, provides some recommendations for database performance, and produces an overview of the design and user experience of some winning applications.
Chapter 5. Setting Up Your Environment - Learn about all the things you need to download in order to get started. Learn how to add apps to Facebook, how to set up a test account, and how to get information on the latest changes to Facebook.
Chapter 6. Facebook Markup Language (FBML) - FBML is the glue that holds the Facebook Platform together. Covers all of the tags, discusses some odd behaviors you might encounter, and explores some great tricks for building better frontends.
Chapter 8. Facebook Query Language (FQL) - As FBML is to HTML, FQL is to SQL. This chapter examines the schema of the various database tables to which you have access, and catalogs some really useful FQL queries you can use in your apps.
Chapter 9. Facebook API - Digs deep into the code of the API that connects everything together. The chapter goes through each of the objects and methods you have at your disposal, and gives you some tips and tricks for desktop apps. The chapter covers the API using the official Facebook PHP Client, but it shouldn't be too hard to convert these examples into your language of choice.
Chapter 10. Marketing Your App - Supplies some general marketing options for Facebook applications and some techniques for measuring your success at attracting people to your app.
You should be able to use the book either by reading cover to cover or by skipping around in it. It is well-illustrated and the code is well commented. Highly recommended. Also recommended for those just starting out is FBML Essentials, since a good understanding of FBML is essential for success.