If you have seen any of the demos for the Windows Phone 7 you may have seen or heard about the concept of its Toast Notification. A Toast Notification is a way for the device to receive a message which originates from some webservice and can be used to display useful information to a user. When the user receives a toast they are presented with a fairly unobtrusive dialog which displays the message. (see below)
As great as it is to be able to send a toast and have your user get the information there is one major flaw in my opinion. This flaw is that there is no way for 3rd party developers (that would be everyone outside of Microsoft and their OEMs) to trigger this notification from the device itself. Because this toast notification is so elegant and unobtrusive I can easily think up scenarios where a developer may want to trigger this notification within their application to tell a user about something. However w/ v1 of the WP7 tools developers will NOT be able to trigger this without sending an request to the notification services (aka doing a full round trip to a web service and back). This sucks, but this logic can be duplicated w/ very little effort.
How to create your own popup notification.
Creating the UserControl which will contain the main content for the notification. When using the Popup control (from System.Windows.Controls.Primitives) you need to set the .Child property to some sort of UI element for display. The simplest thing to do is to create a new user control which will hold your layout for your notification window. Below is an example of my (very simple) control.
Setting up your View to Create the Notification
Inside your view where you want to display this popup you will need to create and use the Popup control. Using this is pretty easy. Below is the code which can be used to create and display this popup. Please keep in mind that for this post there is no 10 second timer which closes the popup, but this would be very easy to add in. What I have done is created a single button which will toggle the state of the button and will show/hide it based on that state.
private Popup _popup;
private bool isActive;
private void button_Click( object sender, RoutedEventArgs e )
if ( !isActive )
isActive = true;
var userControl = new PopupMessageUserControl();
userControl.Loaded += new RoutedEventHandler( _userControl_Loaded );
userControl.Unloaded += new RoutedEventHandler( _userControl_Unloaded );
_popup = new Popup();
_popup.Child = userControl;
_popup.IsOpen = true;
if ( _popup != null )
var popupMessageUserControl = _popup.Child as PopupMessageUserControl;
popupMessageUserControl.Loaded -= new RoutedEventHandler( _userControl_Loaded );
popupMessageUserControl.Unloaded -= new RoutedEventHandler( _userControl_Unloaded );
isActive = false;
The final running product will look something live below. Again, the styling of the usercontrol (called PopupMessageUserControl) in my sample is 100% up to you and your needs, this was simply a POC to show how it could be done.
Till next time,
08-27-2010 5:02 AM