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A Node.js module for sending toast and live tile updates to Windows Phones through the Microsoft Push Notification Service (MPNS), used by apps such as 4th & Mayor and services such as Azure Mobile Services.


Via npm:

$ npm install mpns

As a submodule of your Git project

$ git submodule add mpns
$ git submodule update --init

Target Windows Phone Platforms

  • Windows Phone 8.1 support:
    • Compatible for any Silverlight 8.1 phone apps
    • WNS recommended for new apps
  • Windows Phone 7.8 support: [1.2, 2.0)
  • Windows Phone 7.5 (7.1 OS) support: [1.1, 2.0)
  • Windows Phone 7.0 support: [0.0, 2.0)

For the best cloud development experience, make sure to store the user's OS version whenever communicating information about the push channel.

Windows Phone 8.1: Sunsetting MPNS

Now that the developer preview is out for Windows Phone 8.1, the universal apps story shows strong convergence between Windows platforms.

As a result of this, new applications should use the Windows Notification Service (WNS). Existing applications that move to 8.1 as a base or port to Universal Apps should use WNS as well.

I highly recommend the tjanczuk/wns module for this, although it has not yet been updated for the latest 8.1 tile templates, FYI.


Load in the module

var mpns = require('mpns');

Sending a toast

To send a toast, simply call the sendToast method on mpns.

var mpns = require('mpns');
mpns.sendToast(pushUri, 'Bold Text', 'This is normal text');
// Optional callback
mpns.sendToast(pushUri, text1, text2, callback);

Each of the methods that send tile and toast notifications have two alternative parameter signatures:

send*(pushUri, [options], [callback]) 
send*(pushUri, string1, string2, ..., [callback])

The ordering of the parameters in the non-object calling method assumes ordering as documented in the toast or tile-specific sections below.

For toasts, the properties and ordering for them:

  • text1 the text of the toast, this first text will appear bold on the phone
  • text2 additional toast text, will appear in the normal font. It does not wrap.
  • param optional URI parameter within your application specifying the XAML page to open within the app, along with any query string parameters for the page's context

Sending a live tile update

To send a tile update, call the sendTile method on mpns.

It is recommended that you use the options syntax for this call as it is possible for the live tile update to include just one component in the update, say the tile count, and not update other properties. To clear the value of a property, simply pass null as the value.

The option names or ordering for parameters is:

  • backgroundImage URI to the background image for the tile. Beware that the URI may be restricted to the whitelisted domain names that you provided in your application.
  • count the number to appear in the tile
  • title the title of the tile
  • backBackgroundImage URI to the image to be on the flip side of the tile
  • backTitle optional title for the back tile
  • backContent optional content for the back tile (appears in a larger font size)
  • id optional ID for a secodary tile

Some devices support an enhanced tile format called a "flip tile", which supports some additional parameters. This kind of tile can be sent using the sendFlipTile method, which supports all of the above parameters as well as:

  • smallBackgroundImage URI to the background image for the tile when it is shrunk to small size
  • wideBackgroundImage URI to the background image for the tile when it is expanded to wide size
  • wideBackContent content for the back tile (appears in a larger font size) when the tile is expanded to wide size
  • wideBackBackgroundImage URI to the image to be on the flip side of the tile when the tile is expanded to wide size

Another format is called "iconic tile". This can be sent using sendIconicTile method with the following parameters:

  • backgroundColor hexadecimal color code in format ARGB
  • count the number that apper on the right of an icon
  • title the title of the tile
  • iconImage URI of the normal icon
  • smallIconImage URI of the icon for small tile
  • wideContent1 top line of text shown in a wide tile
  • wideContent2 second line of text
  • wideContent3 third line of text

Sending a raw notification

When creating the notification object, either provide the raw payload first, or as the options.payload property.

var raw = new mpns.rawNotification('My Raw Payload', options);

Today the type on the request is set to UTF8 explicitly.

Using authenticated channels (MTLS)

You may use authenticated channels for the push notifications. Further information can be found here:

Authenticated push channels can be difficult to setup. Note that the WNS path forward from MPNS for Windows Phone 8.1 and newer apps does not require certificates and is a much cleaner way to go if you're building a new app today.

Authenticated channels require a TLS client certificate for client authentication against the MPNS server. The TLS certificate is registered in your Microsoft Phone Development Dashboard. The CN of the certificate is used in the APP as Service Name in the HttpNotificationChannel constructor.

To use authentication you must provide the client certificate (including the private key) to the options of the send* functions. The client certificate is used when the pushURI is a https URI.

The following options from tls.connect() can be specified:

  • pfx Certificate, Private key and CA certificates to use for SSL. Default null.
  • key Private key to use for SSL. Default null.
  • passphrase A string of passphrase for the private key or pfx. Default null.
  • cert Public x509 certificate to use. Default null.
  • ca An authority certificate or array of authority certificates to check the remote host against.
  • ciphers A string describing the ciphers to use or exclude.
  • rejectUnauthorized If true, the server certificate is verified against the list of supplied CAs. An 'error' event is emitted if verification fails. Verification happens at the connection level, before the HTTP request is sent. Default true.
var options = { 
    text1: 'Hello!',
    text2: 'Great to see you today.'
    cert: fs.readFileSync('mycert.pem'),
    key: fs.readFileSync('mycertkey.pem')
mpns.sendToast(httpspushUri, options, callback);

HTTP proxy support

If the options passed into a tile or push call include a proxy value, the proxy server information will be used. The string value should be the URI to the proxy, including host, for example: { proxy: 'http://yourproxy:8080'}.

Results object information

A results object is passed back through the callback and has important information from MPNS.

  • deviceConnectionStatus: The device status as reported by the service.
  • notificationStatus: The status of your provided notification.
  • subscriptionStatus: The status of the subscription URI.

The object will also contain all the key fields for your toast or live tile update, plus the pushType. This makes it easy to store this information in a history log somewhere in the ether.

Handling Errors

It is very important as a consumer that you store appropriate actionable data about failed push notification attempts. As a result, the callback's first parameter (err) is set to the standard results object as well as a few additional fields depending on the returned status code from the server.

Remember to take action on that information in order to be a good MPNS citizen. These values may be set in the error object and of interest to you:

  • minutesToDelay: If this is present, it is the suggested minimum amount of time that you should wait until making another request to the same subscription URI. For HTTP 412s, for example, the minimum time is one hour and so the returned value defaults to 61.
  • shouldDeleteChannel: If this is set to true, the channel is gone according to MPNS. Delete it from your channel/subscription database and never look back.
  • innerError: If an error is captured while trying to make the HTTP request, this will be set to that error callback instance.


NPM module written and maintained by Jeff Wilcox with contributions from:



  • Relicensed in v2.1.3
  • Previous Apache 2.0

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