Why Live Connect?
Over 500 million people love to use Live services like SkyDrive, Hotmail and Windows Live Messenger. Live Connect is the developer platform that gives you API access to these services helping your websites, apps and devices to increase their breadth of functionality and take advantage of this broad user base.
Integrate SkyDrive, Hotmail and Messenger into your experience
Users love websites and apps that work with the services that they already use. With a few lines of code you can use the APIs for SkyDrive, Hotmail and Messenger to bring useful information into your experiences and allow your users to get your app’s data as they use SkyDrive, Hotmail and Messenger across a variety of Live experiences.
SkyDrive: There are billions of photos and documents stored by millions of users in SkyDrive today. You can integrate users’ photos, videos and documents into your experiences with Live Connect. You can enable scenarios such as:
- Access to Photos: Connect your app, device or site to SkyDrive to let users upload, view, share or print photos from within your experience
- Access to Documents: Connect your app, device or site to SkyDrive to let users open, save, access, and share documents from within your experience
Hotmail: With the API you can integrate great Hotmail features into your site, app or device to drive user engagement. Check out these examples of what you can do with the API:
- Save to Calendar: You can have users save calendar appointments to their Hotmail calendar and remind them of important events in the future – this will help drive users back to your experience and keep you top of mind.
- Friend Finding: You can help a user identify which of their Hotmail contacts and friends are already members of your site or app and ask them to become friends in your experience. This will let you strengthen your sense of community and enable more sharing and socializing in your app or website.
Messenger: Windows Live Messenger is the most widely used Instant Messenger service in the world, using the APIs you can leverage it in your website. Here are a couple of ways you can integrate with this great service:
- XMPP Interface : You can integrate Messenger into your Web-based, desktop, or mobile instant messaging products by connecting to our XMPP service.
- Status Update: Update a user’s status to let their friends know that they are enjoying your website or app and help drive new users to your experience.
- Sharing Badge: With a couple lines of code, the sharing badge lets your users share your content with their friends in Messenger and Hotmail on the web, client and mobile devices. Through this large network your content and experience is more discoverable by new users.
Streamline sign-up and sign-in using Microsoft accounts
Leverage the identity of users with Microsoft accounts to speed up sign-in and registration flows for your apps and websites whilst bringing the familiarity and trust of the Microsoft brand to your experience. You can build an experience that lets users sign in by using their Microsoft account and add profile information to the experience to make it feel more familiar and personal so the user is more likely to stay engaged with your application or website. Live Connect can also help users discover friends and other contacts that use your website or app.
When you start developing with Live Connect, the first thing to know is that a user’s identity is divided into two categories:
Authentication: This is the process by which users identify themselves by using their Microsoft accounts. This identification can come from a user providing credentials to sign in to a site, such as when commenting on a blog post. Before visiting your site, many users have likely signed in with Microsoft account credentials through services such as Hotmail and in the future by signing into their Windows PC; by using Live Connect for authentication, you can reduce the number of steps users take to sign in to your site to a single click or no click at all if the user is signing into Windows with their Microsoft account.
Profile access: Profile information is the data users store with Live. Once a user provides a Microsoft account, your site can access information such as first name from that user’s profile. Profile access helps you personalize your site to a specific user, and reduces the amount of repeated information that a user would otherwise have to supply when registering with your site.