Changes to Windows networking developer documentation for Windows 7

Greetings to the folks out there in the Windows Networking developer community!

As you may or may not have noticed  (we hope you have, of course!) the Windows Networking Developer Documentation Team has been hard at work for the past year, creating new documentation for Windows 7, as well as updating the old stuff. Over the previous week as well as the current (the week of 7/27 to 7/31, for the historical record), we have been publishing our Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 networking API content to MSDN. For your convenience, here is a high-level list of what’s new:

Alphabetically, then!

·         Component Object Model (COM) – We’ve added documentation for new registry keys and valuesthat configure terminal server connection security as well as documentation of the API flags that set an application’s thread pool settings. We’ve also updated and fixed several pervasive documentation errata and inconsistencies.

·         Distributed Routing Table (DRT) – New for Windows 7! The Distributed Routing Table API allows applications to publish and resolve numeric keys associated with IP addresses and application data using our peer-to-peer infrastructure. This functionality can be used to construct Distributed Hash Tables (DHTs) and name resolution systems, as well as overlay mesh networks.

·         Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) – We’ve added documentation for the many “new” APIs that support DHCPv4 and DHCPv6 server functionality. We also updated and fixed several pervasive documentation errata and inconsistencies.

·         Domain Name System (DNS) – We’ve added documentation for the new APIs and structures that support DNSSEC, as well as a large number of fixes and updates to the existing API documentation.

·         Extensible Authentication Protocol and Extensible Authentication Protocol Host (EAP and EAPHost) – We’ve added new guidance for Event Tracing for Windows (ETW) tracing and EAPHost Lightweight EAP (LEAP) support, and documentation for the PEAPv2 and EAP-TLS authentication extension schemas.

·         HTTP Server APIs (HTTP.sys) – We’ve added documentation for new APIs that support bandwidth throttling and burst transmission.

·         IP Helper APIs – We’ve added numerous code samples, corrections, and updates to the current IP Helper API documentation.

·         Management Information Base (MIB) – We’ve added numerous code samples, corrections, and updates to the current MIB documentation.

·         Mobile Broadband – New for Windows 7! Mobile Broadband is a new Windows 7 client technology that allows cellular providers and equipment manufacturers to develop and plug in drivers and application software to leverage computer-based cellular equipment, including USB and bus-attached cell radios. Using these APIs, these cellular broadband devices can be paired with software that enables and manages network connections over 3G and other cellular networks.

·         Native Wifi – We’ve added documentation and code samples for the new (for Windows 7) Wireless Hosted Network APIs. This feature allows a Windows computer to use a single physical wireless adapter to connect as a client to a hardware access point (AP), while simultaneously acting as a software AP and allowing other wireless capable devices to connect to it. Additionally, the documentation of WLAN notifications was completely revised and expanded to include all types of Native Wifi notifications, including 802.1X. We’ve also updated and fixed several pervasive documentation errata and inconsistencies.

·         Network Diagnostic Framework (NDF) – We’ve added documentation for many new APIs, including those used to invoke NDF to perform background diagnostics (no UI interrupt). Sample code demonstrating this functionality has been made available on CodePlex. We’ve also provided guidance for using network tracing functionality to troubleshoot connection issues.

·         Network Management – We’ve added documentation for new and enhanced network programming APIs that extend the capability of the Network Management framework to allow offline domain join operations when provisioning computers with Windows 7. We also added numerous samples, fixes, and updates to the existing Network Management documentation.

·         Peer Distribution (BranchCache) – New for Windows 7!  The Peer Distribution APIs offer a set of platform APIs that support the Windows 7 BranchCache service, which is used for the publication and consumption of content over a branch office network. This is a true peer-to-peer service, as indicated by the ability of any node to both publish and consume digital content – and, as such, there are a lot of great application possibilities with this technology.

·         Remote Procedure Call (RPC) – We’ve added documentation for API structures that support RPC over HTTP, as well as guidance for load balancing RPC over HTTP traffic between RPC servers in a server farm.

·         Routing and Remote Access (RRAS) – We’ve added new API documentation to support authentication and tunnel configuration when using PPP, L2TP, SSTP, and IKEv2. Legacy structures that were spread across multiple versions of the product documentation were combined into a single *_EX version page for ease of use.

·         Server Core – We’ve added documentation for the Server Core support in Windows Server 2008 R2, including the support for .NET assemblies.

·         Web Services on Devices API (WSDAPI) – We’ve added documentation for the new interfaces that enable certificate-based discovery between computers and network-enabled devices.

·         Windows Connect Now (WCN) – New for Windows 7! The Windows Connect Now APIs provide a simple and secure mechanism for network access points and devices (like network-enabled printers, cameras, and PCs) to connect and exchange settings via the Function Discovery infrastructure. (See the Function Discovery API documentation). WCN is the Microsoft implementation of the Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) protocol, which was created by the Wi-Fi alliance as a solution for home networking and small businesses.

·         Windows Filtering Platform (WFP) – We’ve added documentation for many new APIs that support areas such as endpoint lifetime management, dynamic stream inspection, edge traversal socket properties, IPsec denial-of-service protection, system port notification and query operations, and more.

·         Windows Firewall – We’ve added documentation for the Windows Firewall with Advanced Security APIs that manage firewall rule categories, edge traversal traffic, and more.

·         Windows Networking APIs (WNet) – We’ve added numerous new samples, fixes, and updates to the existing WNet documentation.

·         Windows Sockets (Winsock) – No doubt, this is what most folks reading this blog are interested in. J We’ve added documentation for enhanced name service query functions that support additional options for IPv6, as well as documentation on new socket options used with IPv6 transition technologies (6to4, ISATAP, and Teredo, for example) that provide address assignment and host-to-host automatic tunneling for unicast IPv6 traffic when IPv6 hosts must traverse IPv4-only networks. And, of course, we’ve added numerous new samples as well as fixes and updates to the existing Winsock documentation.

·         Windows Web Services API (WWSAPI) – New for Windows 7!  The Windows Web Services APIs are a *new* native-code implementation of SOAP that provides core network communication capabilities by supporting a set of the WS-* and .NET-* protocols. WWSAPI is designed for native-code HTTP web object applications that require minimal dependencies and minimal startup time, or must run in environments where the memory pool is limited.  Check out Nikola Dudar’s blog at, and the Code Gallery samples at for more detail on WWSAPI, as well.

·         Windows HTTP Services – We’ve updated and fixed several pervasive documentation errata and inconsistencies.

·         Windows Internet  – We’ve updated and fixed several pervasive documentation errata and inconsistencies.


Whew! We get a fair amount of documentation feedback from all of you throughout the product documentation lifecycle (send us mail at, or, ideally, use the “Send comments about this topic to Microsoft” link at the bottom of each MSDN content page), and EACH PIECE of feedback becomes a bug assigned to the Windows Networking Developer Documentation Team writer that owns that set of technology documentation. This team alone has had over a thousand documentation bugs raised against us, which is quite a bit of work for a team of six writers – and yet, it is absolutely important that you keep sending it and helping us improve and polish the documentation. A large portion of this feedback has been incorporated into this documentation release, and will be in future updates, so PLEASE let us know when you see an error, inconsistency, or needlessly complicated piece of content. (Or better yet, let us know when you like a specific page or content item, since we want to replicate our best work as well!)

In the coming year, we’ll be working to add more scenario and solutions guidance to the reference content. If there’s a networking scenario you’d like us to cover, send an email to

Thanks for all your support!


The Windows Server UA Networking Developer Documentation Team

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