Strongly typed helper for toast notifications

person Thomas Levesquefolder_openWinRTlocal_offer, , , access_time November 10, 2013

Windows 8 provides an API for showing toast notifications. Unfortunately, it’s very cumbersome: to define the content of a notification, you must use a predefined template that is provided in the form of an XmlDocument, and set the value for each field in the XML. There is nothing in the API to let you know which fields the template defines, you need to check the toast template catalog in the documentation. It would be much more convenient to have a strongly typed API…

So I created a simple wrapper around the standard toast API. It can be used like this:

var content = new ToastContent.ImageAndText02
    Image = "ms-appx:///Images/dotnet.png",
    Title = "Hello world!",
    Text = "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.",
var notifier = ToastNotificationManager.CreateToastNotifier();

Note that I kept the original names from the toast template catalog, because sufficiently descriptive names would have been too long. I included XML documentation comments on each class to make it easier to choose the correct template.

If you want more flexibility than a strongly typed template can provide, but don’t want to manipulate the template’s XML, you can use the ToastContent class directly:

var content = new ToastContent(ToastTemplateType.ToastImageAndText02);
content.SetImage(1, "ms-appx:///Images/dotnet.png");
content.SetText(1, "Hello world!");
content.SetText(2, "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.");
var notifier = ToastNotificationManager.CreateToastNotifier();

The code is available on GitHub, along with a demo app. A NuGet package is also available.

A point of interest is how I created the template classes: I could have done it manually, but it would have been quite tedious. So instead I extracted the toast templates to an XML file, I added some extra information (property names, description for XML doc comments) in the XML, and created a T4 template to generate the classes automatically from the XML file.

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