Sun Microsystems is sponsoring a project for building and hosting social applications that would run on social network sites like Facebook and OpenSocial.

Called zembly, the project currently is in a private beta stage. With zembly, applications can be developed in whatever language is preferred and run on different types of devices, including mobile and desktop systems.

Sun plans to elaborate more on zembly in the future. But plenty of details can be found on the Zembly project site.

"At zembly, you easily create and host social applications of all shapes and sizes, targeting the most popular social platforms on the web. And you do it along with other people," the zembly web page states. "Using just your browser and your creativity, and working collaboratively with others, you create and publish Facebook apps, Meebo apps, OpenSocial apps, iPhone apps, Google Gadgets, embeddable widgets, and other social applications."

Zembly serves as sort of a Wikipedia for social applications, according to the zembly site. Participants can author social applications using a browser, collaborate with others, use popular web APIs to build applications, and publish these applications to multiple social platforms.

Applications developed with zembly consist of widgets and services. Users only need to some basic scripting with JavaScript and HTML. And the Web serves as a "palette," the site states.

"At zembly, you don't have to create everything yourself. The whole point of zembly is to reuse and combine not just what other people at zembly create, but to rely on the APIs and data from anywhere on the web. And it's easy, usually just one line of code," zembly said. Applications developed are hosted at zembly for free.

Participants receive their own profile that can be customized and then accessed by others.

Services furnished by web APIs can be integrated into zembly. Web API providers already doing so include Amazon Web Services, Dapper, Flickr, Google, Meebo, Twitter, Yahoo Developer Network, YouTube,, and Zvents.

Sun technologies powering zembly include the Solaris OS, Java, Glassfish application server and the MySQL database. Sun's cloud computing platform also is used. Todd Fast, who has served as a Sun engineer, is chief architect for zembly.