[Webcasts, Windows Live] "How Cool Are Windows Live Gadgets?" (Live For You! Webcast Series)

Last week, I delivered a presentation on Live Gadgets as part of the ongoing Live for You! Webcast Series. Many thanks to those of you who were able to attend. My goal was to show you just how easy it is to build gadgets as part of the Live platform.


During the presentation, I explained how gadgets are high-level components designed to provide complete functionality for visual and application logic. These gadgets execute inside the context of Windows Live and are supported through a number of APIs. I also explained just how easy it is to build these gadgets. If you've built a Web site and/or have some experience with technologies like HTML, JavaScript, and XML then you have all the skills necessary to build a gadget for Windows Live.

During the presentation, I showed you how classes like Module, Web.Bindings, and Web.Network provide much of the infrastructure necessary to build plumbing for your gadgets. These are other classes are provided as part of the Live platform.

Finally, I showed you how to build these gadgets using a local Web server like IIS. As it turns out, building these gadgets on the local machine turns out to be incredibly easy. Establishing your development environment involves four (4) key configuration settings:

1. Trusted Sites

Trusted Sites refers to your browser's configuration. If you're using Internet Explorer, make sure to add *.live.com and *.start.com to the Trusted Sites zone. Doing so will allow you to cross-reference gadgets from your local machine and from the Live platform.

2. Security

While developing these gadgets, you'll want to enable cross-domain access inside of Internet Explorer. By default, this configuration setting is disabled to help thwart cross-site scripting attacks.

3. Caching

Caching in Internet Explorer is enabled by default. You'll want to make sure to disable this option in order to pull down the latest & greatest version of your gadget.

4. Script Debugging

Script debugging is disabled by default in Internet Explorer. Enabling this option will provide you will debug prompts if/when your JavaScript raises an error.


Your one-stop-shop for everything related to Live Gadgets can be found at microsoftgadgets.com. (You should mark this as a favourite in Internet Explorer.)

In the meantime, if you have any questions about building gadgets for the Live platform, please feel free to add a comment!

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