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  • How has the Push Notifications for Windows Desktop Made Things Better?
  • The Windows push notification services (WNS) is meant to allow third party developers to send tile, badge and toast updates from their cloud service.

    The Windows push notification services (WNS) is meant to allow third party developers to send tile, badge and toast updates from their cloud service. This service offers an ideal mechanism for the developers to deliver updates to their users in a power-efficient and dependable manner. This happens even when the involved app is not running. Such push notifications for Windows Desktop are a good way of targeting certain users with more personalized content. Currently, push notifications are some of the most powerful notification mechanisms. However, the architecture of these notifications is a bit complicated as compared to that of other notifications, such as periodic and scheduled notifications. With push notifications, the developers are able to send notifications to users of their apps through their third-party web services. So, what does this notification mechanism have to offer the users?


    A personalized User Experience


    The push notification mechanism is the trendsetter, with regards to a personalized application experience on the side of the users. The main difference between this notification mechanism and the other mechanisms in use today is that the application does not preset the delivery schedule of the notifications. Instead, the Windows 8 application in question is just but a subscriber to a hosted service. It is this hosted service that triggers off the notifications and sends them to the interested users. In this case, it is the third-party who has the control of what should be sent and what should not. A good example is a weather application that notifies you when a severe storm is about to occur or a retail application that will let you know when the item you are tracking is on sale.


    How does it Work?

    The push notifications for Windows Desktop follow certain steps to finally get to the app user. Here is how the push notification mechanism works:


    1. The app requests the notification client platform for a push notification channel.

    2. The client platform requests the WNS to generate a notification channel, which is then returned to the calling device as a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI).

    3. The URI is then returned by Windows to the app

    4. The app sends the URI to the developer’s cloud service

    5. Whenever the cloud service has to send an update, it communicates to the WNS, through the channel URI.  This is achieved by sending an HTTP POST request over the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), which requires authentication.

    6. Upon receiving the request, the WNS channels the notification to the relevant device.


    The introduction of the Windows push notification services is a clear indication that Windows is striving to improve User experience on the Windows 8 platform.


    If you need more detailed steps or information on push notifications for Android you can go to their Push Guide.