Windows Desktop Search APIs

Hello everyone!  This is my first blog entry after joining the team a few months ago.  Like everyone else I have caught the excitement in the work we are doing on MSN Search Toolbar and Windows Desktop Search.  Apparently, it is something that continues to permeate these hallways…

 After reviewing the great feedback from partners and customers using our Windows Desktop Search add-ins (RSS feed) we are excited to support more Desktop Search APIs (in beta initially) to do new and cool things with.

 Using the Add-ins dev guide, you can now write an application that takes the results from Desktop Search and combines it with information from other sources such as online content.  This allows you to create new mash-ups of functionality that we haven’t even though of yet.  Ooohh, this is very “web 2.0”… ;-)  One new API set can send queries into the Desktop Search product and get back a list of results to display in your own applications and tools.  The same queries that are passed into the Deskbar or Toolbar can be sent in programmatically into the Desktop Search index now.  The ExecuteQuery method is used for this purpose.  A sample has been created with C# to observe the new APIs in action.

 If you have a proprietary data format, you can write an add-in that enables Desktop Search to parse your file format or interface with your data store, and then be able to pass queries through to the index for that data type and display results in another application.  This is a great solution for information workers and corporations that deal with specialized files all day long. Also, in this release we created new interfaces have been created to simplify the process of creating protocol handler based add-ins for new stores (such as the Thunderbird store add-in that Citeknet did).  Now, rather than having to tweak a bunch of registry settings and using the command line options of the Desktop Search application, you can use the AddProtocol and AddDefaultUrl methods.

 We are always looking to promote those tools, applications and add-ins that all of you have created, so please feel free to add it to our wiki or mail your new add-ins to us. We’ll be watching for innovative extensions and some of them will get promoted to the official site. If you want company while building your extension, stop-by the Channel 9 Add-ins Developer forum or our Developer newsgroup.

Glad to meet all of you and look forward to hearing back on how you like the new functionality!

 - Chris Butler, Program Manager