This program in brief enables virtually anyone to deliver any kind of content
based on any kind of rules he defines to any kind of audience on their msn
messenger accounts using msn alerts as well as on other IM software/alerts
providers compliant with the RSS feeds.
Basically we rely on a database where you will be storing your alerts, then
our class is used to retrieve, process and convert these alerts into RSS format
as well as uploading them to your own ftp server exposing the feeds for use by
any alerts Consuming service. The project is divided into a background service
that makes the instance of the class, a front end administration control panel
to control the object attributes as well as the standalone class.
program/demo can fit -with a little bit of customization- any language, time
zone or delivered content. It demonstrates a little bit of everything, starting
from XML accessing, sharing settings between executables through XML files,
reading from any OLEDB, working with datasets, neat manageable interface,
writing to System Log, Calling and Stopping System Service, Installing and
Uninstalling the whole application, Side by Side CSharp and VB.NET code, Working
with DLLs and unmanaged ActiveX Controls, Validation of control contents and a
clear object oriented model of the core notifier class. This is still the first
version and depending on the feedback returned we shall continue its
development. Enhancements to the existing module, purely depend on your requests
and comments. So please don't hesitate to write to us
Using the code
Phase I Preparations
And now, to start using this program you need to be sure of:
- Make a database with a table called (mAlerts), of three fields (link) of type
Text [or equivalent], (title) of type Text [or equivalent] and (time) of type
Date/Time [or equivalent]. You can use any OLEDB supported database and you can
name it any name. (i.e. ORACLE, MS SQL or MS ACCESS.)
- Register with any Web Hosting Provider and make sure it supports the upload,
usage and download of XML files. (i.e. http://www.lycos.co.uk)
- Register with any MSN Alerts Provider (i.e. http://www.messagecast.net is a
good free choice) and point your new account to your new web host address where
you want to upload the XML notification file (i.e.
- Prepare your local machine with the basic requirements to run this program:
- Microsoft Windows 2000 Pro SP4 or later
- Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1 or later
- Internet well configured Connection permitting FTP transfers
- Administrative Privileges for installation of service
- Minimum Disk Cost of 50 MB and Memory of 64 MB
Phase II Deployment
Now, you are ready to start alerting your community with all kinds of alerts and
by all means.
- First, Prepare your alerting data, make sure that the time in the time column of
the table is defined in the same way as it is intended to be sent to
subscribers, also make sure you are choosing the right matching links for each
event together with their titles and that all this info is valid.
- Second, Use the Installer to install the application, the installer is in the (MyServiceSetup)
folder in this package.
- Third, After the product is installed, browse to the installation folder that
you chose in the setup and run the (aeronixAlerter.exe) file.
- Fourth, Connect to the internet and then fill in all fields with their required
data and then click on the start button at the bottom, now the service will
- Fifth, Go check your website XML file and see if it was changed, as well as
checking your local system log with Event Viewer to see whether the service
started or not.
- Sixth, Give at least 2 or more minutes between each update to your remote XML
file so as to let the MSN Alerts Consumer Web Service/Application that you
registered with able to sense the changes and send it to your alerts service
Phase III Customization
This application is divided into three main parts which you can customize as far
as you need:
- First Part, the Notification Class (MSNAlerter), you can find it in the (MSNAlerter)
folder in this package, this class can do the following for you:
Read a referenced DataBase, Give it back to you as a DataSet where you can do
all kinds of processing before returning that new DataSet to it, it then
converts that DataSet to a RSS feed, and upon your parameters it uploads it to
your ftp provider. (FTP class acquired from codeproject.com), as well defining
the different characteristics of the RSS feed header.
- Second Part, the windows service, enabling you to make your objects of the
first class in the windows background, away from any accidental interruption,
you can stay at work with your service at the background, it comes featured with
a timer enabling you to range when you want to access, check and send.
- Third Part, Administration front end, it is a sample that eases the setting of
all of the above, together with better explaining how the mechanism is going.
Simply and easily the same core front end code can be used in a web form, mobile
form or any other.
This is a basic application demonstrating how to consumer a database to provide
RSS feeds that is in turn consumed by IMs.
Points of Interest
The very interesting part is the usage of OleDB Data Link/Accessor Dialog, it
enables you to access any kind of database from your application so far.
None to mention :)