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A few weeks ago we announced that Messenger Connect was out of beta and available worldwide. I wanted to take this opportunity to share some details about one of the features I worked on: the Messenger Connect Chat Control. This control allows people on your site to chat in real time. Any user can view the chat session. To participate, a user simply needs to sign-in with a Windows Live ID, that is, with a Hotmail or Messenger account.
The Chat Control currently comes in two color themes: light and dark. Here are a couple of snapshots.
The Chat Control adds value to your site in a number of ways. Here are just a few.
Users will spend more time on your site
You’ll acquire new users through the social networks of your existing users
It requires no resources from your site and yet it is scalable and easy to add
You’re in control
A user who browses a site with the Chat Control sees a live steam of messages.
The user is requested to sign in with a Windows Live ID in order to participate.
Once signed in, the user can post messages. Messages posted by the user’s friends are highlighted in light blue.
When the user applies the Friends filter—as indicated by the yellow arrow—the user sees only messages made by the user’s friends.
If the rate of message posting becomes high, the Messenger service arranges people into virtual subgroups so that they are not overwhelmed with messages. When this happens, the user is still guaranteed to see all messages made by friends.
As shown above in the sign-in screen, the user can select a check box to indicate the desire to share a link with friends. If the user selects that check box, information about the page will be posted to the user’s feed in Windows Live. If the user has connected a Windows Live account to a Facebook account, the information will also be posted to the user’s wall on Facebook.
In addition, the user can choose to invite friends to participate in the chat. Clicking on the Friends tab shows friends who are currently online.
Choosing a friend in the list and then clicking Invite starts a private IM conversation with the user’s friend.
The Chat Control wouldn’t be complete without some administrative capabilities. The owner of the application ID—that is, the user whose Live ID was used to register for the application ID—has additional rights. Once you sign in to the Chat Control with the Live ID of the application owner, you will have the addition functionality of blocking users and deleting any messages.
Once a user is blocked by the owner of the application, that user will not be able to publish content to any chat on the site.
And obviously, users can also delete their own messages.
Let’s get down to the details of what it takes to add the Chat Control to your page. Here is an example of a minimal page that has only the Chat Control in it.
Interesting lines to note here:
o Line 11—Your application ID.
o Line 15—Here you give a name for the topic of conversation. When you place more than one Chat Control with the same event-name attribute in your site, they all render the same conversation.
This page can be a static HTML page. No server code is needed. When the Messenger Connect loader is loaded by the browser, it runs client-side code that scans the page looking for HTML tags prefixed with wl. After that, some client-side code runs and adds HTML elements to those tags, and then the Chat Control is rendered.
You may register for an application ID by going to http://manage.dev.live.com.
· To learn more about the Messenger Connect Chat Control, go to the Chat Control reference of our Messenger Connect documentation.
· To learn about other features of Messenger Connect, visit the Windows Live Developer Center.
I am truly in love with this concept. Extending this idea, i wish to implement group chats on my websites. say i have a website which have numerous users, i want to avail a facaility of group chat to those users., something like chat room.
Could you help me on how should i go about developing it ?
Just curious: are you looking into adding a chat room that all users accessing your site would access? Or a chat room that only a select group of users would access?
@anurag.mhaiskar: Currently, there is no limit on the number of "event-name"s you can use in your site. You could potentially create different event names for different sub-sets of users in your sites. This would logically create different chat rooms for you. Serverside, when you generate a page for a particular user, you can can choose which event-name to use for that user and thus assign him to a particular "chat room".
I've problem with Messenger Connect Chat Control
u said no Arabic Lang support .. Ok, but where's English ?! O_o
The biggest problem when I try to using chat on my website ( !! I can't !! )
I see Sending ... after that
Messenger isn't available right now. Please try again later
The following message could not be sent :(
why ?! ?! ?!
How can I get an application ID for demo purposes?
This is amazing, but is not even working in chrome or opera....
Also in Mozilla when I chat it says: The following message could not be sent:
Any ideas????? thank you !!!
Also I saw a BAR implementation in a special MOVISTAR spanish website, didnt remember to recall the URL...
Making a bar would be amazing ??? any tutorial for this ? thanks !
messengerconnectsharingbadge.mslivelabs.com I was testing msg connect sharing badges... this not even work :S trying msdn.microsoft.com/.../ff796213.aspx
For the record, added Channel.html and trackback asp as showed here msdn.microsoft.com/.../ff749529.aspx, doesnt work neither :( deleting all scripts again :(
@MooN2011, @madellinstyle.com: There has been an outage today due to a technical issue. Things should be be fixed by now; give it a try.
For future inquiries I suggest you use social.msdn.microsoft.com/.../threads where you can get answers to technical questions regarding the Chat Control.
There is one common mistake that people do when trying out the chat control; I think it is worthwhile calling it out.
When you want to test a page with the chat control locally, don't load it using "localhost". You should load it with the same domain that you registered your app to. If the domain does not match, the server will reject the connection.
When you want to test your page locally without actually deploying the site, a useful trick is to temporarily add a HOSTS entry that maps your domain to 127.0.0.1 (you can achieve a similar result with Fiddler HOSTS support).
Sorry for not getting back.
@Dave Shevitz : Objective of having chat rooms on my website is to allow specific audience to group up and chat. eg. the Silerlight auidence for Window Mobile would like to group up and discuss their issues online on my website.(its just an example).
i have 2 question:
1. Is there any way to have sign out option?
2. Would it be possible to hide the chat contents from the auidences who have not signed in?
There is currently no way to prevent people who are not signed-in from seeing the chat content.
There is a Sign Out option in the drop-down menu in the upper right corner.
@ Offir Bakshitz: Thanks a lot for your help!
Messenger does not work on Latest Mozilla 5.0. It does not allow me to sign-in for chat. Also on IE9 has the same problem
Hey offir. I have just implemented this chat control feature on my website as a prototype.
The major problem with it is that the blocking of users does not work at all.
If you like i can give you a link to my page and ill block you and you will see that you can still type in whatever you like and i have tested it with multiple users and browsers and all does not work at all!
Can this please be looked into as we need it for a campaign we are running this week.