SkyDrive APIs – Bring your data to any app, any platform, any device

SkyDrive APIs – Bring your data to any app, any platform, any device

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On Monday, we released preview versions of SkyDrive for Windows and Mac, along with updates for iOS and Windows Phone. With SkyDrive on your desktop, you can now access files in the cloud right from any of your PC or Mac apps. And since we launched our API, we’ve been excited to see mobile, web, and Windows 8 developers add SkyDrive to their apps.

A key principle behind the approach we’ve taken with the SkyDrive developer platform is that while it should be seamlessly accessible from Windows devices and apps, it should also be ready to enable developers on any platform to build apps that make SkyDrive more useful. It’s your data. It should not be limited to apps for a single browser or brand of devices.

Given our recent announcements, we wanted to reiterate how developers can integrate SkyDrive into their apps and devices, showcase a few of our favorite integrations and let people know about a few developer events we are sponsoring in Amsterdam, NYC and Las Vegas.

Android apps

Developers of Android apps can use the Live SDK for Android to build mobile and tablet apps that provide access to a user’s documents and photos in SkyDrive. The SDK supports Android versions 2.2 (Froyo) to 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). Browser for SkyDrive (below) is one of our most popular SkyDrive apps on Android. For more information see our getting started docs for Android development.

Interface for Android browser for SkyDrive app

Desktop apps (Windows or Mac)

With SkyDrive for Windows and Mac, users can transparently cloud-enable their desktop apps without needing to customize the apps since the SkyDrive folder looks like a regular folder on the file system. This opens up literally millions of new possibilities for users.

In some cases, a desktop app may want to integrate directly with SkyDrive, without relying on the user having SkyDrive installed. For example, the SkyDrive gadget for Xobni brings powerful cloud-based sharing to Outlook, making it easy to share large files with email recipients without worrying about large file size limitations.

For more information see our getting started docs for desktop development.

iOS apps

In addition to the SkyDrive for iPhone and iPad, SkyDrive customers can also use any iPhone or iPad apps that use our SDK for iOS to integrate with SkyDrive. The SDK supports development using Xcode 4.1 on Mac OS X Snow Leopard and Xcode 4.2 on Mac OS X Lion.

A great example of an iOS app that integrates well with SkyDrive is DocScan. When there is no scanner available, DocScan lets you instantly scan multi-page documents with your iPhone, then annotate, and store them in the cloud for later use .

For more information see our getting started docs for iOS development

Screenshot of DocScan app

Mobile Devices

Not only are developers already delivering great SkyDrive apps that people can download to their Android and other phones – but some of the biggest Android OEMs like HTC have also already built SkyDrive right into their phones. HTC’s newest 4.0 devices such as the HTC One X come with SkyDrive, letting you seamlessly work with your SkyDrive photos and documents from their native Mail, Gallery, and Polaris Office experiences.

Android Gallery interfaceHTC One X Phone

We have been excited by the enthusiasm for SkyDrive of people making other consumer devices like cameras. Samsung’s new line of WiFi enabled SMART cameras (Amazon) enables users to never lose their valuable memories by uploading pictures to SkyDrive directly from the camera.

Samsung WiFi-enabled SMART camera

Windows Phone apps

On Windows Phone, there have already been dozens of apps that have taken advantage of our SDK for Windows Phone. Apps such as HandyScan (shown below) augment SkyDrive’s seamless integration into the Office and Pictures hub on the phone by bringing personal cloud storage to the apps Windows Phone customers use every day.

Interface for HandyScan Windows Phone app`

For more information see our getting started docs for Windows Phone development

Showcasing your apps

As you can tell, we’re really proud of some of the apps that have integrated with SkyDrive and would like to share them with as many people as possible. That is why, with our release on Monday, we’ve also launched a new app showcase. Now millions of SkyDrive users can discover apps from third party developers that make it easier to share or work from anywhere. The showcase is available from within, so users can easily find apps while using the service.

New SkyDrive for Windows app showcase

Every month, we’ll add apps to our showcase based on usage and positive feedback from customers. Let us know about apps you like by telling us on Twitter.

Bringing SkyDrive to you and your app

To recap, developers can learn more about the SkyDrive API by visiting You’ll find links to code samples on GitHub and overview docs, and you can also download our SDKs for Windows 8, WP7, iOS, and Android to simplify development on your favorite device platform. We also have REST APIs and a JavaScript API for web development.

To get the word out about how SkyDrive can help you and your apps, we’ll be attending and sponsoring a few developer events in the coming weeks:

Let us know if you’ll be there! We’d love to meet you. We’ll be available to help with questions you have on SkyDrive, and we’ll also have cool t-shirts to give away and some other special prizes for people integrating SkyDrive with their apps at these hackathons. Hope to see you there.

Dare Obasanjo
Lead Program Manager, Live Connect Platform

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  • John
    26 Posts

    To make the API's useful you have to allow all file types. Right now I can only upload documents and images from Windows Phone, which is useless for most apps.

  • Pedrool
    18 Posts

    Microsoft might want to kick off this API initiative by testing and ensuring Office for Mac works with the new Skydrive. Since the update, many users, including me, have seen their edit abilities broken on the Mac while using MS Office for Mac. Document Connection app no longer works.

    I'm using Office for Mac 2008, with Document Connection 12.3.2 and Excel/Word 12.3.2. It worked fine while editing Office docs and xlsx up until about May 8, 2012.

    Here's the forum on Microsoft Answers where people like me are sharing their troubles with DC.

  • RW1
    2 Posts

    Users of SkyDrive should be aware that your files are not private. Microsoft examines the contents of your files and deletes any it does not think meet it guidelines without giving you the opportunity to retrieve your files before it locks your account. So, either a Microsoft employee or employees always has access to your files or a software scanning program  does and then your files can be deleted without notice. I will never use a cloud service that allows its employees access to my files.There is no privacy n that and the user loses control of his own files.

  • And the Windows Live Mesh?? Be discarded?

  • @Gavin, the folder will use as much space as you are using in your SkyDrive. At the moment there is no option to select folders that you don't want to sync to a particular computer.

    I noticed when reading this article that this is a preview version (re. first sentence, first paragraph), so I hope that will be added in the final product. There are instances in which I would want only some folders to sync to my home machine, and others to sync at work.

    For now it isn't  a pain for me because I have enough space, but it could get a bit pricey with regards to data usage for users with a ton of stuff already up there.

  • Would the SkyDrive folder on the desktop apps occupied disk space?

  • This is cool.

    I'm working on a Windows Phone app that will use SkyDrive for backup and other purposes. I wanted to know if the app showcase is for US Developers only, or if it's open to all.

    I'm hoping for the latter :).

  • I've not downloaded any of the SDKs yet, but they all seem to say that they are for Windows 8 (preview).

    Do the SDKs have content relating to using SkyDrive from Windows 7 (and from non-metro apps on Win8)? If so then needs to say so. At the moment the front page poitns to resources for:

    * Windows 8 Consumer Preview and Metro style apps

    * Mobile devices (Windows Phone, Android and iOS)

    * Web developers

    Not having commercially available versions of Windows in that list seems downright perverse.

  • Bruno H
    6 Posts

    Just love skydrive. But there is still missing pieces (that I guess you are working on). One thing that I would love to see would be to get the Skydrive App to sync Live Groups files. I am a member of several Groups and would love o be able to work with these files as easy as with my own Skydrive files.

  • xpclient
    50 Posts

    Windows XP desktop client please. It's the most popular OS:

  • James said, "SkyDrive is amazing. I see no reason to choose iCloud, Google Drive or anything else over it at this point. I got my 25 GB of free space and I love it!"

    My only concern (i.e. one main reason why I might choose GDrive over SkyDrive) is security.  Google allows 40+ character passwords and two-step authentication.  Though I'm not thrilled by Google's privacy policy issues, I much prefer their proactive security measures to Live's.  The latter has a max. 16-char. password, no two-step authentication, no special characters permissible in security question answer.  It's all these little 'missing links' that keep me from feeling safe when using Hotmail/Live, and until I feel safe, I just won't trust my information to it.  (And I *would* definitely prefer using Live (Hotmail, SkyDrive, etc.) to Google.)

  • abm
    268 Posts

    Developers! Developers! Developers!

    It would be a brillliant idea, if you guys provide the developers -- the oppertunity to use TFS with SkyDrive. That would convince lots of developers as currently they cannot initiate a small private project without spending a fortune... Lucky me, I got the tfspreview invitation! 8-)

  • RTBones
    8 Posts

    I have great disdain for most cloud computing in general.  I understand others like it and find it useful.  For me, however, I want no part of it - so my hopes for skydrive are fairly simple:

    1) I can turn all access to it off without ever having to create some sort of account.  Just let me uninstall whatever interface you are going to come up with for it.

    2) I can uninstall access to it.

    3) I can use standard apps to do things like email photos without having to go to a 'cloud' of any sort.

    4) Applications (like email clients) dont get crippled because they cant get to skydrive

  • SkyDrive is amazing. I see no reason to choose iCloud, Google Drive or anything else over it at this point. I got my 25 GB of free space and I love it!

    Why is there a difference between Synced SkyDrive storage and SkyDrive though? Seems redundant and uneeded.

  • jschroedl
    24 Posts

    Back on topic. Where are the SDKs for Native applications to access SkyDrive?

  • Krush You
    94 Posts

    @jschroedl - Using IE8 on a corporate intranet and it pulls up fine for me.

  • jschroedl
    24 Posts

    Me again... The links work from Chrome for me so it appears to be an IE-only issue.

  • renegm
    1 Posts

    Everything is wonderful!

    But I like to have a useful, real search engine in SkyDrive.

    Not a useless and disgusting bing search. (I love bing but not here)

    You know, to find a file by name, and perhaps advanced searches by date, size, etc..

    For example, if I look for one of my photos, called img_3841.jpg, the search engine is able to find some like that on Flickr but not in my folders. Why? Who needs that?

    In my head I have only 5KB or less to save paths

    How do I find the forgotten location of my own file called "XMLValuesQuery.sql"?


    1) Sync and search locally

    2) Digging in the folders randomly

    3) Desist cursing

    Thanks you!

  • jschroedl
    24 Posts

    I'm using IE 9 from a corporate intranet with no connection problems visiting other pages. Here's where it takes me:

    Any other info needed?

  • @jschroedl,

     A couple of us just tried that link from our PCs and phones without getting a 404. Can you try again and if it still fails provide some details on your browser & network setup?

  • jschroedl
    24 Posts

    The "getting started for desktop development" link is broken (missing page).