Custom Button SDK 

Windows Live Toolbar Custom Button SDK

The Windows Live Toolbar Custom Button Software Development Kit (SDK) shows how you can extend Toolbar with custom buttons. This SDK provides a quick overview of how users can install publicly available buttons and create their own simple buttons. Most of this SDK, however, shows how you can use XML to create more sophisticated custom buttons, and how you can distribute those buttons to users.

In order to use or develop custom buttons, you must have installed Windows Live Toolbar version 3.0 or higher installed. Custom buttons are not supported by previous releases of Windows Live Toolbar.

What is a Custom Button?

Custom buttons make Windows Live Toolbar more relevant to users. Each user can customize the Toolbar to reflect how he or she uses the Internet. Custom buttons can provide functions such as the following:

·         Shortcut access to a Web site, including links to various locations in the Web site.

·         The ability to search a Web site directly from Toolbar.

·         The ability to display information in the button’s menu or to display information in an HTML window that drops down from the button.

Each custom button is defined by a single XML file and one or more icon files, which are all stored on the user’s computer in a location known to Toolbar. In addition, users can upload custom buttons to the Windows Live Gallery and share them with the rest of the Windows Live Community.

Packaging custom buttons for distribution simply involves packing the XML and icon files into a cabinet file.

Default Custom Buttons

Windows Live Toolbar comes with the following three custom buttons:

Gallery button

Provides shortcuts to the services and content on the Windows Live Gallery Web site (http://gallery.live.com), and helps users to customize Toolbar by:

·         Linking directly to the home page, Make a button, and Help areas of the Windows Live Gallery.

·         Using Toolbar’s Search box to search the Windows Live Gallery for content to further customize Toolbar

·         Connecting to Gallery RSS feeds that provide custom button recommendations. The user can install the recommended buttons with a single click.

MSN Links button

Provides a shortcut to the MSN home page, and links to various content on the MSN Web site.

News button

Provides shortcuts to the services and content on the MSNBC Web site, and helps users find the content they want by:

·         Linking directly to the MSNBC home page.

·         Using Toolbar’s Search box to search MSNBC.com.

·         Providing a categorized menu of news headlines, based on RSS feeds from MSNBC.com. Users can navigate to the full article by clicking the headline in the menu.

Users can choose to submit buttons to be hosted on the Windows Live Gallery. Users can submit buttons that reside on their local computer, or buttons they have recently created using the Make a button page of the Windows Live Gallery. Buttons hosted on the Windows Live Gallery are publicly available.

Web site owners can use this function to distribute buttons that advertise their site’s content and services.

Creating Custom Buttons

With the tools available on the Make a button page of the Windows Live Gallery, users can create their own simple custom buttons by filling out a Web form. The form resides at http://gallery.live.com/createcustombutton.aspx.

Hosting Custom Buttons

In addition to submitting custom buttons to the Windows Live Gallery, Web site owners can host custom buttons on their own sites. For example, a Web site may host a button that provides functionality related to the Web site content, or a button generated in response to user interest or subscription information gathered by the Web site.

See Also

 

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