I'm looking to create a home brew push notification server for Stack Exchange. This is mainly due to the fact that Toast Notifications within Windows Store applications are done using Windows Notification Services (or background tasks). My basic idea is this:

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  1. The user authenticates the "cloud service" to query their SE inbox at a set interval
  2. The "cloud service" then queries SE's API servers and detects if there are any "new messages"
  3. New messages (that haven't already been sent) are sent to the Windows Notification Service
  4. Windows Notification Service then 'pushes' out the message to the client's devices.

I have multiple questions in regards to this:

  1. Is putting together this Push Notification Server kosher with Stack Exchange?

  2. Is running the same queries (\{id}\inbox\unread & \{id}\notification\unread) but with different UserID's under the once per minute throttle?

  3. Are there any other problems that I may run into, while trying to periodically access multiple users inboxes from the same server?

Note: If I do get this running properly for MetroSE, and Stack Exchange is ok with it, I'm willing to open this up to other users that may want to use this for their own applications

1 Answer 1


Provided you don't do anything "evil" (which basically means leaking user messages to people/apps they haven't authorized), we have no objections to a generic push service.

Yes, the per-minute throttle is for the same request; changing the parameters counts as separate requests. Do note that the 30 requests/second cutoff is by IP (it's a DOS prevention measure), it doesn't care about the methods involved at all.

Offhand I can't think of any issues aside perhaps the 30 requests/second throttle, you'll probably want to be a little smarter than just hitting every user ever as quickly as possible.

  • Well I wouldn't be hitting every user right away until they all signed up :P I actually plan on trying to make it a balanced schedule of requests if possible. Commented Feb 7, 2013 at 19:46

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