Hi all,

I'm working with someone who uses Ning for their community, but has a large content and download site as well. They have requested a change to that site, so that users can sign up for a Ning account from that site, without having to redirect them to Ning first.

The particular scenario is as follows:

- User selects something they want to download.
- User enters their name and email address, and checks the button saying "please sign me up for the forum"
- User clicks "OK". Their download begins, and they receive a verification email from the Ning forum asking them to verify their account.

I looked through the API, but could not find anything which looked like it would allow me to create a new user. Is there some other way that I can trigger the sign up process without (a) redirecting users to the Ning sign up page, and (b) requiring users to enter their details in two places?

Kind regards,


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Hi everyone,

Just checking in... Is the lack of replies because no one knows the answer, or is this forum inactive? Perhaps there's somewhere else I could ask these sorts of questions?

Kind regards,


As far as I know you cannot create a user via the API. I've been looking through a lot of posts trying to figure out if authenticating a user with OAuth logs them into ning, and I have seen it mentioned several times that you cannot create a user via the API.

I posted a similar question on the Creators forum several months ago and got a negative answer from Eric Suesz. See here: http://creators.ning.com/forum/topics/automatic-registration-of

Yeah, their API is designed to add delete and update photos (see examples).

I'm thinking the only way to do all of these things externally (SSO, or external signup) would be to create your own login/signup form on your external site, and then take what you need and manually POST the rest to ning.

That's what I'm going to end up doing for my SSO solution since the Ning API does not have a way to generate a session id for a user when authenticated via API. I will lose the ability for members to sign on via google/facebook/twitter etc, but IIRC those users can't even be authenticated via the API anyway which means I don't want them using it anyway. 

The signup process is trickier than just SSO, maybe you could create a helper page on your ning site and frame the signup page inside that, so you can post through both pages? You'd have to work out your SOP workaround but there's a couple ways that can be done. Obviously you would want to include the acceptance to the Ning TOS in your version of the signup form.

That was pretty much the conclusion I came to, yes. The tricky part about creating a local form then submitting the results to Ning is that the Ning signup form has a Captcha on it, which pretty much makes it impossible to repost data from a form on another site.

You can change the captcha in your signup form to a specified question and hard code the answer into your form. Not an ideal situation IMO, but without API support what can you do?

Yeah, we don't have any automated way to sign people up.  We may do this in future, but I can't say whether it will be generally accessible or not.  Member import is definitely a popular feature request, but it's more complicated than it sounds due to spam, etc :)

It's not just about importing members, its having the ability to create a seamless experience between external content and Ning. If we had our own API key/tokens we could control SPAM just as well as Ning does(nt). If I have a user creating an account on my external content (after validating with captcha or email or whatever) and I automatically created him an account - how is that any different than what a spammer can already do with Ning?

Ning is great if you are happy with what it provides out of the box, but if you are trying to integrate it into a larger platform, it is impossible at this time. To provide any custom applications/content that rely on member authentication is impossible at worst, hacky and riddled with security holes at best. 

I ended up deciding to move to another platform that I can actually integrate my system with, but I'm not knocking Ning - for what its intended to do, its a great platform. 

No offence taken - I can certainly see it being a useful feature.  All the best for your site in its new home!

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