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Plug-in architecture

Windows Media Services supports customizable server configuration through the use of plug-ins. You can implement most of the features of Windows Media Services by enabling and configuring the plug-ins that you want to use. Certain system plug-ins provide core functionality and are enabled by default. You can use plug-ins to perform a wide range of tasks, including protocol handling, data parsing, authentication, authorization, and archiving. You can apply a plug-in to either an entire Windows Media server or to a specific publishing point on the server by enabling the plug-in at the appropriate level. You can modify the plug-in settings for each server or publishing point you are managing.

Windows Media Services plug-ins are divided into categories by function. Each category contains several types of plug-ins. The following table describes the plug-in categories.

Plug-in category Description
Archiving Used to archive content that is being streamed from a broadcast publishing point to a file.
Authentication Used to validate client credentials before any additional data is sent to the client.
Authorization Used to grant or deny client access to content.
Cache/Proxy Management Used to control cache and proxy policies on your computer.
Control protocol Used to control the data sent between clients and servers.
Data source Used to receive data from an encoder, file system, or network source.
Event notification Used to control and customize how the server responds to internal events.
Logging Used to record server and client activity.
Media parser Used to allow the server to translate different digital media file types or real-time streams.
Multicast streaming Used to control the delivery of content through multicast transmission. This plug-in must be configured for each publishing point that is going to use multicast delivery.
Playlist parser Used to allow the server to translate different playlist types.
Playlist transforms Used to change the manner in which content is streamed from a playlist or directory.
Unicast streaming Used to control the delivery of content through unicast transmission.

You can use third-party plug-ins or custom plug-ins with Windows Media Services in order to implement customized streaming solutions such as cache/proxy servers, multiple streaming formats, customized logging applications, and specialized data storage. A list of third-party plug-ins for Windows Media Services is available on the Windows Media Technologies Partner Center page at the Microsoft Web site. The Windows Media Services Software Development Kit (SDK) can be downloaded from the Windows Media SDK Components Web page at the Microsoft Web site.

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