#SP2013INFOWKND: Push Notifications in SharePoint 2013

Mobile computing is a major focus area for Microsoft these days. With the relative success of Windows Phone 7 (WP7) and the fierce competition from Apple and Google, Microsoft is looking to step up its game with several new features in SharePoint 2013.

One very cool technology that mobile users embrace is Push. Push is a form of communication where the server is responsible for sending content to the client rather than the client requesting data from the server. Blackberry phones are a typical example of Push usage.

SharePoint 2013 will support Push notifications for clients such as mobile phones. These clients will register with SharePoint and then subscribe to notifications from the server. Subscriptions for Push notifications are scoped to individual sites (web).

What is not clear from the documentation, at least not that I have been able to determine yet, is what types of subscriptions are available for Push notifications. For example, will users be able to select specific lists from which to get notifications, or perhaps even specify filters to give them exactly the data they need.

However, one thing that may be interesting is a description of a property in the object that represents a subscription for a device. The property, CustomArgs, is described as such:

[CustomArgs] Specifies a custom arguments string that represents the state of the notifications subscription. This string can be used by the application logic to differentiate between its notification subscribers for different kinds of notifications.

This leads me to believe that Push notifications in SharePoint 2013 will be extensible so that developers or vendors can handle subscriptions themselves, and that there will at least be different types of subscriptions, although it’s not clear what these types may be, or if it is up to the mentioned application logic to determine this.

This may also be related to the recently discovered “Follow” feature that appears in the top right of SharePoint 2013 pages.

Note: This article is part of the SharePoint 2013 Information Weekend, so it is shorter than regular articles. Check back with my blog or follow me @furuknap during the weekend of July 13-15 2012 for lots of SharePoint 2013 information

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Bjørn Furuknap

I previously did SharePoint. These days, I try new things to see where I can find the passion. If you have great ideas, cool projects, or is in general an awesome person, get in touch and we might find out together.

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