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you can use GameSparks or any other 3rd party service via HTTP.
E.g. see http://forum.photonengine.com/discussion/8577/webhooks-with-gamesparks1
no, Photon does not have a backend/database built-in.
With Photon Cloud you could
- use it together with PlayFab (where they would do the persistence for you)
- use it with webhooks and host your own backend/DB
With Photon Server
- you can use any DB accessible from .NET code
- use it with either self-hosted DB or 3rd-party DB1
I think there is some confusion here - let me try to clarify.
1. Photon with out-of-the-box Facebook auth is available for our cloud only. This is what you set up via your dashboard.
2. Photon self-hosted with Facebook auth requires some more setup and a Facebook Authentication Provider (i.e. a proxy-auth-http-service), that does the actual authentication against Facebooks Graph API. For the Photon Cloud we host this provider for you. For Photon self-host, you will have to do that yourself.
Regarding the settings in your Photon Server config this would look something like:
Please see https://github.com/exitgames/photon.custom-authentication for a dummy implementation of an Authentication Provider.
<AuthProvider Name="Facebook" AuthenticationType="2" AuthUrl="https://your-facebook-auth-provider-url" appid="your-facebook-appid" secret="your-facebook-secret"/>1