Spring Social LinkedIn Reference Manual

Craig Walls

Keith Donald


© SpringSource Inc., 2011

Table of Contents

1. Spring Social LinkedIn Overview
1.1. Introduction
1.2. How to get
2. Configuring LinkedIn Connectivity
3. LinkedIn API Binding
3.1. Retrieving a user's LinkedIn profile data
3.2. Getting a user's LinkedIn connections

1. Spring Social LinkedIn Overview

1.1 Introduction

The Spring Social LinkedIn project is an extension to Spring Social that enables integration with LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is a social networking site geared toward professionals. It enables its users to maintain and correspond with a network of contacts they have are professionally linked to.

Spring Social LinkedIn enables integration with LinkedIn with LinkedInConnectionFactory, a connection factory that can be plugged into Spring Social's service provider connection framework, and with an API binding to LinkedIn's REST API.

1.2 How to get

The following Maven dependency will add Spring Social LinkedIn to your project:


As an extension to Spring Social, Spring Social LinkedIn depends on Spring Social. Spring Social's core module will be transitively resolved from the Spring Social LinkedIn dependency. If you'll be using Spring Social's web module, you'll need to add that dependency yourself:


Note that Spring Social LinkedIn may release on a different schedule than Spring Social. Consequently, Spring Social's version may differ from that of Spring Social LinkedIn.

Spring Social LinkedIn uses Spring Social's OAuth1Template to add OAuth 1.0a authorization headers to requests sent to LinkedIn. OAuth1Template uses the Commons Codec library when calculating request signatures. Therefore, you'll also need Commons Codec in your project:


Consult Spring Social's reference documentation for more information on Spring Social dependencies.

2. Configuring LinkedIn Connectivity

Spring Social's ConnectController works with one or more provider-specific ConnectionFactorys to exchange authorization details with the provider and to create connections. Spring Social LinkedIn provides LinkedInConnectionFactory, a ConnectionFactory for creating connections with LinkedIn.

So that ConnectController can find LinkedInConnectionFactory, it must be registered with a ConnectionFactoryRegistry. The following class constructs a ConnectionFactoryRegistry containing a ConnectionFactory for LinkedIn using Spring's Java configuration style:

public class SocialConfig {
    public ConnectionFactoryLocator connectionFactoryLocator() {
        ConnectionFactoryRegistry registry = new ConnectionFactoryRegistry();
        registry.addConnectionFactory(new LinkedInConnectionFactory(
        return registry;



Here, a LinkedIn connection factory is registered with ConnectionFactoryRegistry via the addConnectionFactory() method. If we wanted to add support for connecting to other providers, we would simply register their connection factories here in the same way as LinkedInConnectionFactory.

Because consumer keys and secrets may be different across environments (e.g., test, production, etc) it is recommended that these values be externalized. As shown here, Spring 3.1's Environment is used to look up the application's consumer key and secret.

Optionally, you may also configure ConnectionFactoryRegistry and LinkedInConnectionFactory in XML:

<bean id="connectionFactoryLocator" class="org.springframework.social.connect.support.ConnectionFactoryRegistry">
    <property name="connectionFactories">
            <bean class="org.springframework.social.linkedin.connect.LinkedInConnectionFactory">
                <constructor-arg value="${linkedin.consumerKey}" />
                <constructor-arg value="${linkedin.consumerSecret}" />				

This is functionally equivalent to the Java-based configuration of ConnectionFactoryRegistry shown before. The only casual difference is that the connection factories are injected as a list into the connectionFactories property rather than with the addConnectionFactory() method. As in the Java-based configuration, the application's consumer key and secret are externalized (shown here as property placeholders).

Refer to Spring Social's reference documentation for complete details on configuring ConnectController and its dependencies.

3. LinkedIn API Binding

Spring Social LinkedIn offers integration with LinkedIn's REST API with the LinkedIn interface and its implementation, LinkedInTemplate.

To create an instance of LinkedInTemplate, you may pass in your application's OAuth 1 credentials, along with an access token/secret pair to the constructor:

String consumerKey = "..."; // The application's consumer key
String consumerSecret = "..."; // The application's consumer secret
String accessToken = "..."; // The access token granted after OAuth authorization
String accessTokenSecret = "..."; // The access token secret granted after OAuth authorization
LinkedIn linkedin = new LinkedInTemplate(consumerKey, consumerSecret, accessToken, accessTokenSecret);

If you are using Spring Social's service provider framework, you can get an instance of LinkedIn from a Connection. For example, the following snippet calls getApi() on a connection to retrieve a LinkedIn:

Connection<LinkedIn> connection = connectionRepository.findPrimaryConnection(LinkedIn.class);
if (connection != null) {
    LinkedIn linkedin = connection.getApi();

    // ... use LinkedIn API binding

Here, ConnectionRepository is being asked for the primary connection that the current user has with LinkedIn. If a connection to LinkedIn is found, it retrieves a LinkedIn instance that is configured with the connection details received when the connection was first established.

Once you have a LinkedIn you can use it to interact with LinkedIn on behalf of the user who the access token was granted for.

3.1 Retrieving a user's LinkedIn profile data

To retrieve the authenticated user's profile data, call the getUserProfile() method:

LinkedInProfile profile = linkedin.getUserProfile();

The data returned in the LinkedInProfile includes the user's LinkedIn ID, first and last names, their "headline", the industry they're in, and URLs for the public and standard profile pages.

If it's only the user's LinkedIn ID you need, then you can get that by calling the getProfileId() method:

String profileId = linkedin.getProfileId();

Or if you only need a URL for the user's public profile page, call getProfileUrl():

String profileUrl = linkedin.getProfileUrl();

3.2 Getting a user's LinkedIn connections

To retrieve a list of LinkedIn users to whom the user is connected, call the getConnections() method:

List<LinkedInProfile> connections = linkedin.getConnections();

This will return a list of LinkedInProfile objects for the user's 1st-degree network (those LinkedIn users to whom the user is directly linked--not their extended network).