Add Website Add-In for WHS RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Well I created my first add-in.

    It is a simple little add-in that lets you maintain the website list on the remote access website without having to muck with the XML. If you would like to take a look, you can donwload it from http://www.vanhorn.net/addin

    Known Issues:

    • No settings page. What settings does it need?
    • I need to implement a way to manually order the list instead of just letting the list view sort it.
    • Need browse buttons on URL and Image.

    Let me know if you take a look and have any comments/suggestions.


    Update: Added browse buttons to Known Issues.


    Update:  Added installer.

    Friday, May 11, 2007 3:28 AM

All replies

  • Downloaded and used it. Very nice thanks.


    Would be useful to be able to browse to the website url and the image url. I had some difficulty getting the syntax correct for the image.



    Friday, May 11, 2007 4:41 AM
  • Thanks for the input Allan! 


    I just posted another version (1.0.1 woo hoo!).  It doesn't have browse buttons yet but it does have some descriptive text to kind of point you in the right direction.


    Thanks again.


    Friday, May 11, 2007 6:07 AM
  • Gonna sound like a total Noob here...but I'm not sure what this will actually do.
    Can you better describe it's function and benefits? Maybe a screen shot? Maybe the install directory for the drop in.

    I did the WO Lan drop in add-in and it is sweet. Just a bit more info here so we all can see if it's something we wan/need. ;-)

    Friday, May 11, 2007 11:34 PM
  • No problem. Noobs are people too

    • Install dir - Drop it in "c:\program files\Windows Home Server".  You should see some very similarly named dlls in that directory.  After you drop it there, restart the WHS admin console and you will see the new tab.
    • What does it do?  There is an xml file in "c:\inetpub\remote" called WebSites.xml.  If you edit this xml file, you can add a "Websites" section to the WHS Remote Access home page where you can add links to other websites.  My add-in lets you maintain this xml file from the admin console instead of editing the file directly.
    Did that make sense?

    Saturday, May 12, 2007 12:02 AM
  • Downloaded and "installed".


    Works well.


    I am awaiting your next version.

    Saturday, May 12, 2007 12:20 AM
  • Ok, I think I got it. Creates a websites tab in the remote access page where I can install links to Other web sites? These links are not for pages hosted on WHS, but on the Internet? Hmmmm.

    Still not sure of the significance of that with a fav's folder in every browser. Probably simple and I just don't get it...LOL

    Cool idea to modify it through the console rather than in the actual xml file.

    I'm somewhat familar with the Interpub folder. I gave a how-to on changing the pics on the home page.

    Ah, maybe I'll try it just to see what you mean. I may get a better idea that way.

    Saturday, May 12, 2007 2:54 AM
  • Ok, I see now. Pretty cool how you can add it through Console then just refresh the remote web page to see the changes.

    Two things:
    It forces you to install a picture.  Nice if we did not have to. Don't really need one.  Or at least link to a pic, giff, icon on WHS.  Right now I have to link to a small gif I have on a remote web server I have....

    Can web pages be ones installed on WHS?

    Overall painless and simple. Nice to have some must needed web links in a nice secure place and access them where ever you want. Or they are there for your friends to see.

    Ohhh, speaking of friends. Nice to have separate links pages that are different based on the user log in. Hmmm. Mom could get her links and then your homies could get others... Possible?

    I like it. May be able to tweak this a bit... Thanks.
    Saturday, May 12, 2007 3:38 AM
  • Thanks for the input. 

    The Remote Access side of things is all Microsoft's doing.  I just wrote something to edit the xml file that drives functionality that they provided.  Therefore there isn't much I can do about the icon being required.  If you don't specify one in the xml, then you just get the standard missing image symbol.  I guess I can try to default in something that I know will exist on the WHS.

    Yes, you can link to pages on the WHS.  Just use a relative link (ex. "/photoalbum") instead of a fully qualified link.

    I'm not sure I can do anything to allow for changing the links for different users.  There is only one copy of the xml file and I don't think it supports anything like that.  I agree it would be useful though.

    More than anything, I just wrote this as a learning experience for writing add-ins and using the WHS style controls.

    Thanks again!
    Saturday, May 12, 2007 5:19 AM
  • Steve,

    That was the added info I needed.
    It forced me to put at least an "/" in the picture area before I could apply the change. Which resulted in a missing image symbol. LOL. Now that I understand the "fully qualified" reference a little better, I can search WHS for a symbol (or install one) rather than hit my web server for a small gif.

    Pages on WHS question:
    Can this be an "/interpub/blogpage/photoalbum.html" or is WHS only able to provide a relative link to another file folder and its contents?

    This experiment of yours is cool. I like it. I just need to learn about relative links better and then I'm sure I can tweak your add-in to show different links to pages living on WHS.

    That would be nice if we could make the links listed dependent on the the person logged in.... Oh well, we can't have everything...LOL.

    Here is a link about an add-in for a photo tab on remote access. Waiting on a final release. He has a demo on his server: http://forums.microsoft.com/WindowsHomeServer/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=1567335&SiteID=50

    Cool. Nice job!
    Saturday, May 12, 2007 12:18 PM
  • Steve,


    Great add-in! I really didn't understand why the Home Server Team would give the users website link capibility but then require them to modify the xml files directly without a UI to make it easy. Nice job...


    Works great. My only request would be to allow the user to select what website link page they want to add links to. The HomeServer webpage prior to logging in or the user webpage after loggin in. This means you would have to modify two xml files. 






    What do you think. My suggestion would be a addition field identifing what xml file it belongs to via dropdown box or radio buttons, or a totally different grid, one that support the main page xml and one that supports the user page xml.


    Great work...




    Sunday, May 13, 2007 10:36 PM
  • I'm not sure if Steve's add-in can do this and I'm unsure how to manually modify an XML file, but it would be cool if when a link is clicked it opens a new tab or a new window of the browser instead of loading it in the same window. Currently, you leave the server door open while surfing the links and then have to click the back button to get back to WHS.

    Similar code with PHP or HTML---
    <a href="http://www.microsoft.com" TARGET="_blank"></a>

    Hmm, may have to manually try that one and see if it works....

    What do ya think there, Steve?

    I like Jay's idea. I really like mine where the links would be different based on who is logged in. They would be specific for each user.

    Either way, this is cool none the less!

    Monday, May 14, 2007 1:20 AM
  • Hey Jay! 


    Thanks for the kind words and the idea!  I have to admit that I didn't know about the "home\WebSites.xml" file.  I will get right on that.  Shouldn't be much work at all.  Version 1.0.2 here we come!  I'll post something here when I get it done.



    Monday, May 14, 2007 2:41 AM
  • Sweet! Can't wait .... ;-)
    Monday, May 14, 2007 11:56 AM
  • OK.  I posted the new version. 


    You can now choose whether the link goes on the "Home" page or the "Remote Access" page.


    I hope it works for you.



    Tuesday, May 15, 2007 5:06 AM
  • Steve


    It works.


    Very good.



    Tuesday, May 15, 2007 8:43 AM
  • Steve,


    Nice improvements. Works great.


    Question, I have a Logger add-in I would like to try to build that uses similar features that yours does, menu buttons, grid, xml file edits. Is there a way I could talk you into using what you've already learned to help me get started. If not I completely understand. If so my email address is in my profile.




    Tuesday, May 15, 2007 1:56 PM
  • I created an msi package for it.  There is a new version 1.0.3 posted that uses the installer.  That is really the only change though.  Drop the installer in Software\Add-Ins and install it through the console settings Add-Ins tool.



    Thursday, May 17, 2007 4:22 AM
  • Pretty slick! I'm using WHS landing page as my home page now. Cool!
    Thursday, May 17, 2007 6:34 PM
  • I just downloaded your msi package and installed it.  Earlier I had used the manual modification code provided by Ed Holloway to the xml file to do this so having the automated process for both install and utilization makes it just that much easier to use.  The only suggestion I would have to the msi is an addition that would allow you to add a text explanation for the tab as the other tabs do as well as a link under that text which follows the "Learn more about...etc" language utilized in the other tabs as well.  This will provide a consistant experience for any new user and all qualified anal retentives !

    Great Job...I like it!

    Friday, May 18, 2007 5:41 AM
  • Steve,

    Nice that you have it set up as an official Add-In. Installed and it works great! Keep 'em coming boys!

    Sunday, May 20, 2007 3:31 AM
  • I have been using this since it was first released but have never gotten the pictures to work. I would like to just be able to specify a picture on the server but short of that I  have been trying to get it to show a picture hosted on Flickr by just getting the image url and using that. I still have had no luck is there something that I am missing?
    Wednesday, June 6, 2007 7:02 PM
  • I will have to play with it some more when I get home from work but I believe that if the website you are pointing to is relative (doesn't start with http://) then the icon also has to be a relative path.  The easiest thing to do would be to drop the image into the same folder as your website.  Then just use something like "/image.png" to point to it.

    If you are using a "fully qualified" path for the website then I believe the icon also has to be a fully qualified path.  So if you are linking to http://www.somewebsite.com then the image will also have to be addressed with http://something/image.png.

    Does this make sense?  There isn't much I can do to change this since this is Microsoft doing all the work.  I'm just giving an easy way to edit the xml.  I should probably enforce these rules in the UI though.

    Wednesday, June 6, 2007 8:35 PM
  • That makes sense, I am using a fully qualified image with a relative webpage. tomorrow i will test t and see where i get.
    Thursday, June 7, 2007 6:31 AM
  • Does anyone know where I can get a copy of this add-in?
    www.vanhorn/net/addin doesn't seem to be available anymore Sad

    Friday, June 13, 2008 6:17 PM
  • Hey Rob.  I wasn't aware that anyone was still interested in it.  The link in the first post should work now.

    Friday, June 13, 2008 7:17 PM
  • Time to bring the zombie back to life.


    I'm curious. Could this be used as a way to link to an networked security camera?


    I have a camera on my system that I'm unable to access from the internet due to my dlinkddns.com address associated to the camera now takes me directly to the .homeserver.com address instead of my networked camera system.



    Wednesday, December 8, 2010 3:42 AM