Open Collaboration Services

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Official Social Desktop/OCS API logo

The Open Collaboration Services (OCS) is a technology that facilitates Open collaboration, a pattern of collaboration, innovation and production.[1] OCS is an open and vendor-independent REST-based API for integration of web communities and web-based services into desktop and mobile applications. It allows to exchange relevant data from a social network between the site and clients such as other websites and applications or widgets running locally on the user's machine or mobile device. The protocol has been designed so that all applications can access multiple services providing OCS APIs.

The API was designed by as part of the Social Desktop especially as a cross-desktop backend provider.[2] The API got standardised by so that third-party providers are able to implement OCS API.

Non-KDE environments using the API include the Maemo Downloads application store[3] and Apps for MeeGo.[4]


OCS consists of multiple modules, of which both servers and clients are free to choose which to implement. In the 1.6 version[5] of the OCS specification the modules are:

  • Person - user data
  • Friend - social graph
  • Message - in-site messaging between users
  • Activity - activity streaming
  • Content - downloadable content
  • Fan - content favoriting
  • Knowledgebase - access to FAQ items
  • Event - calendaring
  • Comments - content commenting
  • Private data - private key-value store
  • Forum - discussion topic structure
  • Buildservice - application software building


  1. ^ Levine, Sheen S., & Prietula, M. J. (2013). Open Collaboration for Innovation: Principles and Performance. Organization Science, doi: 10.1287/orsc.2013.0872
  2. ^ "Presentation of the Open Collaboration Services and of the Social Desktop on". 
  3. ^ "Henri Bergius on Akademy, MidGard, Open Collaboration Services and GeoClue". KDE. 2010-07-23. 
  4. ^ "Apps for MeeGo service". 2012-02-13. 
  5. ^ "Open Collaboration Services v1.6". Retrieved 2010-11-19. 

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