Investigation of a Few Application Protocols (Updated) - Dave's Blog


Investigation of a Few Application Protocols (Updated)

2008 Oct 25, 6:51

Windows allows for application protocols in which, through the registry, you specify a URL scheme and a command line to have that URL passed to your application. Its an easy way to hook a webbrowser up to your application. Anyone can read the doc above and then walk through the registry and pick out the application protocols but just from that info you can't tell what the application expects these URLs to look like. I did a bit of research on some of the application protocols I've seen which is listed below. Good places to look for information on URI schemes: Wikipedia URI scheme, and ESW Wiki UriSchemes.

Some Application Protocols and associated documentation.
Scheme Name Notes
search-ms Windows Search Protocol The search-ms application protocol is a convention for querying the Windows Search index. The protocol enables applications, like Microsoft Windows Explorer, to query the index with parameter-value arguments, including property arguments, previously saved searches, Advanced Query Syntax, Natural Query Syntax, and language code identifiers (LCIDs) for both the Indexer and the query itself. See the MSDN docs for search-ms for more info.
Example: search-ms:query=food
OneNote OneNote Protocol From the OneNote help: /hyperlink "pagetarget" - Starts OneNote and opens the page specified by the pagetarget parameter. To obtain the hyperlink for any page in a OneNote notebook, right-click its page tab and then click Copy Hyperlink to this Page.
Example: onenote:///\\GUMMO\Users\davris\Documents\OneNote%20Notebooks\OneNote%202007%20Guide\{692F45F5-A42A-415B-8C0D-39A10E88A30F}&end
callto Callto Protocol ESW Wiki Info on callto
Skype callto info
NetMeeting callto info
Example: callto://+12125551234
itpc iTunes Podcast Tells iTunes to subscribe to an indicated podcast. iTunes documentation.
C:\Program Files\iTunes\iTunes.exe /url "%1"
Example: itpc:
Magnet Magnet URI Magnet URL scheme described by Wikipedia. Magnet URLs identify a resource by a hash of that resource so that when used in P2P scenarios no central authority is necessary to create URIs for a resource.
mailto Mail Protocol RFC 2368 - Mailto URL Scheme.
Mailto Syntax
Opens mail programs with new message with some parameters filled in, such as the to, from, subject, and body.
Example: mailto:? of mailto syntax
MMS mms Protocol MSDN describes associated protocols.
Wikipedia describes MMS.
"C:\Program Files\Windows Media Player\wmplayer.exe" "%L"
Also appears to be related to MMS cellphone messages: MMS IETF Draft.
secondlife [SecondLife] Opens SecondLife to the specified location, user, etc.
SecondLife Wiki description of the URL scheme.
"C:\Program Files\SecondLife\SecondLife.exe" -set SystemLanguage en-us -url "%1"
Example: secondlife://ahern/128/128/128
skype Skype Protocol Open Skype to call a user or phone number.
Skype's documentation
Wikipedia summary of skype URL scheme
"C:\Program Files\Skype\Phone\Skype.exe" "/uri:%l"
Example: skype:+14035551111?call
skype-plugin Skype Plugin Protocol Handler Something to do with adding plugins to skype? Maybe.
"C:\Program Files\Skype\Plugin Manager\skypePM.exe" "/uri:%1"
svn SVN Protocol Opens TortoiseSVN to browse the repository URL specified in the URL.
C:\Program Files\TortoiseSVN\bin\TortoiseProc.exe /command:repobrowser /path:"%1"
webcal Webcal Protocol Wikipedia describes webcal URL scheme.
Webcal URL scheme description.
A URL that starts with webcal:// points to an Internet location that contains a calendar in iCalendar format.
"C:\Program Files\Windows Calendar\wincal.exe" /webcal "%1"
Example: webcal://
zune Zune Protocol Provides access to some Zune operations such as podcast subscription (via Zune Insider).
"c:\Program Files\Zune\Zune.exe" -link:"%1"
Example: zune://subscribe/?name=
feed Outlook Add RSS Feed Identify a resource that is a feed such as Atom or RSS. Implemented by Outlook to add the indicated feed to Outlook.
Feed URI scheme pre-draft document
"C:\PROGRA~2\MICROS~1\Office12\OUTLOOK.EXE" /share "%1"
im IM Protocol RFC 3860 IM URI scheme description
Like mailto but for instant messaging clients.
Registered by Office Communicator but I was unable to get it to work as described in RFC 3860.
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office Communicator\Communicator.exe" "%1"
tel Tel Protocol RFC 5341 - tel URI scheme IANA assignment
RFC 3966 - tel URI scheme description
Call phone numbers via the tel URI scheme. Implemented by Office Communicator.
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office Communicator\Communicator.exe" "%1"
(Updated 2008-10-27: Added feed, im, and tel from Office Communicator)PermalinkCommentstechnical application protocol shell url windows
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