Glossary for Windows Live Messenger Connect

Current information about Live Connect is now available in the Windows Live Developer Center. The information in the following sections is provided for legacy purposes only.

The following terms are important to your understanding of Windows Live.

Term Definition

absolute URI

The full URI that specifies the location of a resource. The absolute URI is a combination of the base URI and the relative URI for the resource. Also called a resource URI. See also base URI, relative URI.

access token

A data structure that enables a client to acquire user data from a protected resource. Access tokens are short lived. When an access token expires, a client application can use a refresh token to acquire a new access token. This process can continue until the duration of the user's consent is reached. See also refresh token, OAuth WRAP.


The component of a scope that specifies the type of activity that an application is allowed to perform on the resources specified by the scope. Examples of actions are View and Update. See also scope.

Activities (resource)

A resource that exposes user activities in social web applications.


A description of an action (represented by a verb) that was performed at an instant in time by an actor, with some social object. An activity can also have a target, which is the object into which or to which the action was done.

activity feed

A collection of activities. See activity.

Activity Streams

A standard for representing users' social networking activities on the web. For more information about the standard, see the Activity Streams site (

Add page

The place in Windows Live where users learn about your application and connect it to Windows Live. Your application's Add page is located at<DecimalVersionOfYourClientID>.


Asynchronous JavaScript And XML. A set of technologies consisting of a client-side script framework, server controls, and more. Messenger Connect enables AJAX-style programming for Windows Live resource data. See also Microsoft Ajax.


A folder on Windows Live SkyDrive.

application contact

A contact with whom a user can chat in the context of a particular Messenger Connect-based application. Each application can have different application-contact groups.

application ID

Obsolete. See client ID.

application management site

A Windows Live website on which developers can create and manage the information that is related to their applications that integrate with Windows Live. This site provides you with a client ID and secret key for each application that you own. To work with the application management site, go to

application message

A customized message type that enables users to send and receive different types of data in the messaging client. The default application message type enables users to send JSON data, but other types can be defined.

application presence

A customized presence type that enables you to define additional user presence information.

application type

One of the ways in which your integration with Windows Live can be accomplished. Messenger Connect supports these application types: web applications and desktop applications. When you create an application on the Windows Live application management site, you choose one of these types. See also application management site.

Application Verifier Token

A value that uniquely identifies an application during delegated authentication. For OAuth WRAP, this token is replaced by the verification code.


An XML-based syndication format for web content and metadata, for describing feeds. Also, an application-level protocol for publishing and editing web resources. For more information, see the Atom website at


The process of verifying the identity of a user, computer, process, or other entity by validating the credentials that are provided by the entity.


The process of granting a person, computer process, or device access to certain information, services, or functionality. Authorization is derived from the identity of the person, computer process, or device that is requesting access; identity is verified by means of authentication. See also authentication.

authorization server

The entity that provides the credentials that are used by a client application to access a protected resource on behalf of a user. The authorization server provides these credentials only after a user provides consent to a client. In the Windows Live SDK, the authorization server is also called the Windows Live service.


See Windows Live badge.

badge location URL

The URL that points to a webpage that displays the Windows Live badge.

base URI

The first part of the absolute URI. Usually constructed by the Windows Live service and returned to your application to facilitate construction of the absolute URI. See also absolute URI, relative URI.

callback URL

An address that specifies the location of the OAuth WRAP callback handler.


A grouping of contacts in a user's address book. A contact can belong to more than one category. If contacts that belong to a category are part of the user's Windows Live Messenger network, that category appears in Messenger.

channel URL

The location of a webpage in your domain that enables Messenger Connect to work with legacy web browsers.


A real-time conversation via computer, conducted by means of short, instant messages between two or more participants.


A value that uniquely identifies a Windows Live user account, and identifies the user whose data is being accessed. (The CID is not the same as a client ID, which uniquely identifies an application to Windows Live.)


An application that requests access to a protected resource such as a user's contacts.

client ID

A value that uniquely identifies a Windows Live application. The Messenger Connect service creates the client ID when an application is registered. (The client ID is not the same as a CID, which uniquely identifies a user account.)


A set of resource entries.


In the context of an Activities or Photos resource, a textual response to an object such as a photo posting.


The user action that authorizes a client application to acquire information from a protected resource. An application requests consent from the user to view and work with resource data. Consent is requested in terms of scopes, and can be revoked by the user at any time. For more information about consent and scopes, see Obtaining User Consent and Messenger Connect Scopes.

consent request

The initial request that your application sends to the Windows Live service to obtain a verification code.


A single contact entry, which appears as an individual contact in the user's address book. A contact is not the same as a the top-level Contacts resource. See also Contacts (resource).

Contacts (resource)

A resource that exposes the contacts in a Windows Live user's address book, and the categories into which the contacts have been organized.

contacts collection

A collection of all contacts in a user's address book.

data binding

A method for associating server controls with simple properties, collections, expressions, and methods.

data context

The object in the Messenger Connect JavaScript programming model that manages communication between an application and Windows Live. The data context enables your application to work with Windows Live data—for example, contacts, profiles, and categories—programmatically by using JavaScript.

delegated authentication

A method for acquiring a user's permission for an application to access Windows Live resources. In delegated authentication, each application is assigned a unique Application Verifier Token that uniquely identifies it during requests to the Windows Live consent service.

desktop application

A software application that is designed for use in a desktop computing environment.

device ID

A unique ASCII string that identifies a hardware device. The device ID is used to cross-reference data about the device that is stored in the registry. It distinguishes each logical device and bus from all others on the system.

domain verification

A process that confirms that you are the owner of the domain that you specified for a Windows Live application. Domain verification takes place as part of your interaction with the Windows Live application management site.


A resource entity that describes a single resource item. Each entry contains a particular set of properties, which are much like data fields.


The Atom-specific term for a resource collection. See collection. This term is also used generically to refer to a data resource that an application can access by using a URI.


A collection of files and folders that are part of the Photos resource.


A contact that has a Windows Live user account and with whom the user has established a two-way relationship. The Windows Live user has invited the other Windows Live user to be a friend and the other user has accepted the invitation.

instant message (IM)

A message that is sent in real time through a network to a private chat area.


An email message that is sent from a user to one or more of the user's Windows Live friends, and that invites them to participate in an activity such as a movie or an online gaming session.


A scripting language that is widely supported in web browsers, and that enables web developers to create interactive websites.

JavaScript Object Notation (JSON)

A file format that enables human-readable data exchange. It is most commonly used for transmitting data between servers and web applications.

JavaScript Object Notation with Padding (JSONP)

A complement to the JSON data format that enables you to retrieve JSON data by using script tag injection, passing the server response into a user-specified function.


A JavaScript library that is designed to simplify event handling, animation, and Ajax interactions.


See JavaScript Object Notation (JSON).


See JavaScript Object Notation with Padding (JSONP).


The name that is used to represent the same computer on which a TCP/IP message originates. If you access a server-based web site by using http://localhost, the request does not actually go out to the Internet.

locator ID

A URI element that the Messenger Connect service can optionally return as part of the base URI of the service document. It is constructed based upon the user and the type of resource, to help in efficient routing of the HTTP request.

long-lived URL

A permanent URL.


See Windows Live Messenger.

Messenger application key

A key pair that is used to sign application contact lists. By signing an application contact list, you can control which users are able to interact with each other through Messenger Connect in your application.

Messenger Connect

See Windows Live Messenger Connect.

Messenger Connect resource model

The representation of various Windows Live resources (such as Contacts, Photos, and Profiles information) and their hierarchical relationships as system-independent, URI-addressable resources.

Messenger Connect REST API service

The web service that serves as the fundamental programming interface to Windows Live resources. The service offers a unique URI endpoint for each resource entry, accessible via HTTP in a variety of common data formats.

Messenger context

Similar in function to the Messenger Connect data context, an object that enable user access to Messenger-specific features such as signing users in, accessing (with their consent) their Messenger contacts, sending and receiving messages, and monitoring online presence.

Messenger social

The part of the Windows Live user interface that displays a Windows Live user's social activity stream.

Messenger Web Toolkit

A client-side JavaScript library and a set of UI controls that enables developers to integrate their applications with Windows Live Messenger.

Microsoft Ajax

A free framework for quickly creating efficient and interactive Web applications that work across all popular browsers. The JavaScript library for Messenger Connect is built by using the Microsoft Ajax Library. For more information, see the Microsoft ASP.NET site (


An open protocol that defines a set of guidelines for straightforward API authorization.


OAuth Web Resource Authorization Protocol (WRAP) is an implementation of the OAuth protocol that enables users to provide consent for applications to access user information that is stored in protected Windows Live resources.


A subset of data in a protected resource to which access is being requested or granted in the context of a scope. See also scope.

personal status message

A text message that is displayed on a user's Windows Live home page. The message is intended to convey the user's current status.


A resource entry that represents a graphic or photographic image.

Photos (resource)

A resource that exposes a Windows Live user's uploaded photo and video files, which are organized into folders.


Plain Old XML. Used to distinguish plain XML data format from strictly defined formats such as RDF and SOAP, and from non-XML information formats such as JSON and CSV.


An indication of the current status or availability of a user or application.

privacy URL

Specifies the address of an application privacy policy.


The information that users provide to describe themselves on Windows Live. This information is displayed on the user's Profile webpage. The information that users provide for their profile is separate from the registration information that they provide to establish their account. This separation enables users to disclose or conceal personal information as they choose.

profile URL

A URL that points to a user's profile page on an application's website.

Profiles (resource)

A resource that exposes profile data for a Windows Live user.

protected resource

Data that is stored by Windows Live for a specific user. A protected resource can be a Windows Live service, such as Windows Live Contacts.

refresh token

In OAuth WRAP authorization, a data structure that enables a client to acquire a new access token after an old one has expired. Clients can continue to acquire new refresh tokens until the duration of the user's consent is reached. See also OAuth WRAP, access token.

relative URI

The latter, resource-specific portion of an absolute URI of a resource. The relative URI is combined with the base URI to form the absolute URI. See also absolute URI, base URI.

Representational State Transfer (REST)

A software architecture that standardizes client-server data exchange over HTTP, characterized by four types of functions (create, read, update, and delete). Although REST is most frequently used with HTTP, it is not limited to that protocol. Messenger Connect supports REST programming; for more information, see REST API Service and Resource Model (Messenger Connect).


See top-level resource and entry.

resource ID

A value that uniquely represents a resource entry.

resource model

See Messenger Connect resource model.

resource URI

See absolute URI.


See Representational State Transfer (REST).

return URL

A URL to which to redirect a user after a process finishes.


Really Simple Syndication. A syndication format that provides a uniform way to representing a user's activities across the web.


A subset of data in a protected resource (for example contacts or photos), and the particular type of access to it that is being requested or granted. A scope consists of an offer and an action that specify the resources to access and the action to be taken on them. Each time a user provides consent to an application, that consent is restricted to a specific set of offers, which are segmented into one or more actions. For more information about scopes, see Messenger Connect Scopes.


A tool that enables C# developers to compile their code into scripts that are compatible with most major browsers.

secret key

A value that verifies that the client ID that is supplied by an application is correct. The secret key and the client ID are required to request the access token that enables the application to acquire user information from a protected resource. See also application management site, client ID.

service document

An XML document that contains a list of top-level Windows Live resources. The Messenger Connect REST API service returns the service document when an application requests data from the service endpoint.

service endpoint

The highest level of the Messenger Connect service. An application accesses the service endpoint by making a request for the endpoint URI.

services catalog

A list of services that are available for users to connect to from the Windows Live home page. Connecting to such services enables users to get their and their friends’ social updates in one place.

sign in

To create a user session for an Internet account, typically by providing credentials that are recognized by the account provider. For example, you sign in to Windows Live, an Internet service provider account, or an XML Web service.

sign out

To end a user session for an Internet account. For example, you sign out of Windows Live, an Internet service provider account, or an XML Web service.


See Windows Live SkyDrive.

social network

A group of contacts with whom the user has established a two-way relationship, such as friend status. By default, contacts are not part of a social network until they have friend status.

social update

A user's online activity, potentially shared among a network of friends across many social networks.


Metadata that enables a user to indicate that he or she has appeared in a photo.

text message

A standard message that contains only text information.

top-level resource

A set of structured data items in the Messenger Connect resource model—for example, the Contacts resource. A top-level resource contains one or more collections, and collections contain entries.


An individual who uses your application and whose Windows Live information your application can access when given consent.

verification code

A code that is returned to a client application after a user provides consent for that client to access the user's information. Verification codes are short-lived (15 minutes or less) and are used to acquire an access token.

web application

A software program that uses Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) for its core communication protocol and that delivers Web-based information to the user in the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) language.

Web Bar

See Windows Live Messenger Web Bar.

Windows Live

The family of software and services for consumers that is both installed on a computer and run through a web browser. Windows Live software and services are Microsoft products.

Windows Live Developer Center

The collection of webpages on MSDN that introduces and briefly describes Windows Live developer offerings. For more information, see the Windows Live Developer Center (

Windows Live ID

A single set of sign-in credentials (email address and password) that enables user access to Windows Live ID-enabled sites and services.

Windows Live Interactive SDK

An interactive experience for you to explore the capabilities of the Windows Live SDK. For more information, see the Windows Live Interactive SDK (

Windows Live Mesh

Software and the supporting service that enable the synchronization of files between computers and with online storage, synchronization of program settings between PCs, and remote connection among PCs.

Windows Live Messenger

The instant-messaging service from Microsoft. Designed for a consumer audience, Messenger supports features such as chat, games, and file sharing.

Windows Live Messenger Connect

A set of APIs and controls that enables developers to integrate Windows Live features such as Windows Live Messenger chat and Hotmail contacts with their web-based or desktop applications.

Windows Live Messenger Web Bar

A web browser add-in that provides Windows Live services as a toolbar.

Windows Live Profile

The information that Windows Live users specify to describe themselves on Windows Live. Users provide information for their profile, which is separate from the registration information that they provide to establish their account.

Windows Live services

The services (client or web) that are branded Windows Live, such as Windows Live Messenger and Windows Live Hotmail.

Windows Live SkyDrive

The Windows Live service that provides free online storage for files, photos, video, and favorites. Folders and photo albums can be personal, shared, or public.

Windows Live software development kit

A software development kit (SDK) that facilitates application programming for the Windows Live family of services and related resources. The SDK includes several resources to support development with Windows Live.