Saturday, June 18, 2005

Programming InfoCard - part 1. Invoking the UI

Since I'm un-employed this weekend (I'm starting a new job at Sxip Identity on Monday), I thought I'd sit down and poke around the new Microsoft.InfoCards API and Indigo.

To start with, I suppose I'd better state up front that I haven't ever used Windows as my primary Desktop OS, and this is my first dive into C# as well. Fortunately, it seems to be enough of a Java clone that the learning curve is really feels a lot like Java 1.5.

Invoking the InfoCard UI:

My first step was to get the WinFX CTP and VisualStudio Betas installed. This was pretty straightforward, but make sure you have the latest of each, as there are some linking dependencies in the .NET build that require a specific combination. Also, I'd recommend the express version of Studio, as the full version is several GB.

To start out hacking with InfoCard, I thought I'd simply invoke the InfoCard UI. The simple way to do this is to hit the ControlPanel -> Digital identities. (Note that you can start the system by running: net start "InfoCard Service" at the command prompt if the system is not started for you) The result is the following wireframe UI:

Click for a larger version

It's also quite simple to invoke this via code. To do so, you can simply use the Manage() method on Microsoft.InfoCards.InfoCardClient. Simply create a new Console application, and add a reference to the Microsoft.InfoCards assembly. Then, the following code will invoke the InfoCardUI

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Text;
using Microsoft.InfoCards;

namespace ManageInfoCard
class Program
static void Main(string[] args)

That's all it takes to invoke the InfoCard system from code. More to come....

While you wait- here are some interesting links on Infocard, and Indigo which I found useful:

Indigo Docs on Infocard
A weekend with Indigo
Andy's InfoCard Blog
Simple Indigo Client
Simple Indigo Service

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