The Windows RSS Platform (or Feeds API) is the feed handling engine that powers the new RSS features in IE7. It will also be included in Windows Vista for use by other applications. Note that here, RSS is a generic term meant to include both RSS and Atom -- the Feeds API supports both. The Feeds API is packaged in a DLL called msfeeds.dll and available to programmers as a set of dual-interface COM objects. Here are the features exposed via the Feeds API.
- Common feed list: list of feeds for current user, organized as folder hierarchy.
- Feed store: local cache of feeds, feeds available via abstract object model
- Download engine: for managing and monitoring large enclosure downloads
- RSS sharing extensions: new XML elements to support bi-directional sync via RSS
The Feeds API gives you access to the current user's feed subscription list, a feed parser that can handle any form of RSS and Atom as well as the IE7 podcast download engine. The parser parses feeds to an abstract object model designed to represent any sort of feed. It handles funky RSS and in some cases prefers the funky elements (e.g. <content:escape> over <description>).
I'd like to learn more about how the Feeds API decides which elements to use, how sync works, and how the whole package compares to the premier Java Feeds API ROME
. So, I've downloaded IE7 and started experimenting with the API from C#. I'll be posting more on this topic in the next week or two.
Here are some of the references I've been using to understand the API:Feeds API docs, specs and whitepapers from Microsoft
Microsoft employee blogs about the RSS platform
Other blogs about it
: added a couple of new links suggested by Mark WoodmanUpdate2
: added reference to Simple List ExtensionsUpdate3
: added link to RSS in Windows Vista presentaton
, atom protocol