LinkedIn and SharePoint…don’t do it

Here’s what the finished web part looked like, it is partly based on the MSDN example which you can view: here.

However, after getting everything working I have to strongly recommend not to pursue building LinkedIn support (or support for any other social networking platform) directly in to your MySite. As part of how LinkedIn and similar social networking sites work you have to use OpenAuth for authorizing your application, which is fine, however once the end user OK’s your application you can sign in directly to LinkedIn as the end user. Bypassing any and all privacy and security settings the end user has set and running actions underneath that end users context. This is done by design. You can see the example uses this method for posting as the end user on there LinkedIn profile. So, if you still want to do this, check with both Legal and HR first beforehand.

If you don’t follow the design patterns for LinkedIn and OpenAuth you can still get a subset of this working using only publicly accessible fields like you see in search results. However this of course has very limited usability as most users have the default privacy settings of: Name, Current Title, and Location. Very little detail, and the process of making more information public is something most end users won’t go for.

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