Messenger Connect Version 5.0 released

Messenger Connect provides a way for websites and applications to access and take advantage of elements of Windows Live, such as access authentication (Live ID), user profile information, and connection to Windows Live services like Hotmail, Messenger, Calendar, Photo Gallery, and Windows Live Writer.  Today, Windows Live is announcing a new version of Messenger Connect, with improvements to speed and access, simplified programming tools, and some new features, including access to Hotmail Calendar and a single sign on model.

msgr-connect_thumb Developer News

In the new Version 5.0 of Messenger Connect, Windows Live has simplified the process that developers use to access Windows Live services.  The REST-based API has been simplified, using JSON data formats, the JavaScript library has been redesigned for simplicity, and response times to the Windows Live services have been optimized and enhanced to provide better, faster performance while decreasing bandwidth.

Messenger Connect has settled on the OAuth 2.0 authentication protocol, a web standard already used by Facebook and Google, among others.  A new single sign-on feature allows users already signed in to their Windows Live ID to be able to sign in to your site without having to re-enter credentials, and a new Hotmail Calendar interface allows interaction with a user’s Hotmail Calendar, making it possible to insert appointments into a user’s Hotmail Calendar.

The documentation has also been revamped, everything is available at the Windows Live Developer Center, including a Windows Live Interactive SDK, and a Messenger Connect Demo Showcase.

Dare Obasanjo has more in a blog post at Inside Windows Live.