Microsoft expands its set of Live programming interfaces

Summary:Microsoft is adding to the set of application programming interfaces (APIs) underlying its evolving Live developer platform, company officials said at Microsoft's Mix '07 conference in Las Vegas.

Microsoft is adding to the set of application programming interfaces (APIs) underlying its evolving Live developer platform, company officials said at Microsoft's Mix '07 conference in Las Vegas.

Microsoft released to testers "a bevy of new APIs, controls, etc.," according to a blog posting on the Windows Dev blog.

New to the line-up: A Live Contacts API, a Live Spaces Photo Control and Windows Live Data Protocols.

"To date, access to Windows Live Contacts has been exclusively through our Contacts Control, but now we also offer an API for Contacts as well," explained the Live Dev team on its blog. "The Windows Live Contacts API is a RESTful API that works on Address Book objects. The Contacts API offers a more granular control over the user experience than the control, and allows users to grant and revoke permission to their data on a site-by-site basis. Windows Live Data provides the protocols to manage the permissioning process."

In January, Microsoft officials acknowledged that the company was honing its Live platform developer vision. The Live team said it was working to create and open up two categories of Live application programming interfaces (APIs). One of these categories is infrastructure APIs, specifically, identity, relationship, storage, communications, payment/points, advertising and domain APIs. The other is application services APIs, including instant-messaging/VOIP, search, Spaces (blogging), mapping, mail/calendar and classifieds APIs. Underlying all of these APIs is adCenter, Microsoft's online-advertising platform.

Also at the Mix '07 conference this week, Microsoft is doing a lot of show and tell sessions to encourage developers and designers to build their own Live services atop the Microsoft Live APIs. Microsoft also is exposing developers attending this week's conference to Microsoft's "Live in a Box" set of APIs, code samples and tutorials designed to help them learn to use the Live SDKs.

In addition, Microsoft also announced simpler and more standardized pricing and licensing terms for its Windows Live APIs. On the Live Dev blog, Microsoft outlined the new terms:

"Microsoft is enabling access to a broad set of Windows Live Platform services with a single, easy-to-understand pricing model based on the number of unique users (UUs) accessing your site or Web application. These terms are intended to remove costs associated with many Web applications and provide predictable costs for larger Web applications.

"There are some exceptions to the UU-based model: (1) Search: free up to 750,000 search queries/month, (2) Virtual Earth: free up to 3 million map tiles/month; and (3) Silverlight Streaming: free up to 4GB storage and unlimited outbound streaming, and no limit on the number of users that can view those streams. Beyond these limits websites and users will be required to conclude commercial arrangements for these services with Microsoft."

Microsoft officials promised at last year's Mix that they'd simplify and codify the Live licensing terms and conditions. A year later, they made good on their word.

Topics: Microsoft, Windows


Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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