Check if a Capability is enabled in WMAppManifest on Windows Phone 7

While Microsoft provides the handy Capability Detection Tool to determine what Capabilities are required for your application there are scenarios, one being that you are a provider windows phone 7 library, where you may want to check at runtime what capabilities are present in the WMAppManifest.xml. This post will provide a helper class to check each if each capability is present.

Note: This post leverages the great work done by Nick Randolph to gain access to the WMAppManifest.xml for access to the Application Product ID in his blogpost here

The helper class is as follows:

using Microsoft.Xna.Framework;
using System.Linq;
using System.Xml.Linq;
using System.Collections.Generic;

namespace www.NickHarris.NET
    public static class CapabilityHelper
        private const string WMAppManifest = "WMAppManifest.xml";
        private const string ID_CAP_NETWORKING = "ID_CAP_NETWORKING";
        private const string ID_CAP_IDENTITY_DEVICE = "ID_CAP_IDENTITY_DEVICE";
        private const string ID_CAP_IDENTITY_USER = "ID_CAP_IDENTITY_USER";
        private const string ID_CAP_LOCATION = "ID_CAP_LOCATION";
        private const string ID_CAP_SENSORS = "ID_CAP_SENSORS";
        private const string ID_CAP_MICROPHONE = "ID_CAP_MICROPHONE";
        private const string ID_CAP_MEDIALIB = "ID_CAP_MEDIALIB";
        private const string ID_CAP_GAMERSERVICES = "ID_CAP_GAMERSERVICES";
        private const string ID_CAP_PHONEDIALER = "ID_CAP_PHONEDIALER";
        private const string CAPABILITIES = "Capabilities";
        private const string NAME = "Name";

        static CapabilityHelper()
            using (var strm = TitleContainer.OpenStream(WMAppManifest))
                var xml = XElement.Load(strm);
                var capabilities = xml.Descendants(CAPABILITIES).Elements();

                IsNetworkingCapability = CheckCapability(capabilities, ID_CAP_NETWORKING);
                IsDeviceIdentityCapability = CheckCapability(capabilities, ID_CAP_IDENTITY_DEVICE);
                IsUserIdentityCapability = CheckCapability(capabilities, ID_CAP_IDENTITY_USER);
                IsLocationCapability = CheckCapability(capabilities, ID_CAP_LOCATION);
                IsSensorsCapability = CheckCapability(capabilities, ID_CAP_SENSORS);
                IsMicrophoneCapability = CheckCapability(capabilities, ID_CAP_MICROPHONE);
                IsMediaLibCapability = CheckCapability(capabilities, ID_CAP_MEDIALIB);
                IsGamerServicesCapability = CheckCapability(capabilities, ID_CAP_GAMERSERVICES);
                IsPhoneDialerCapability = CheckCapability(capabilities, ID_CAP_PHONEDIALER);
                IsPushNotificationCapability = CheckCapability(capabilities, ID_CAP_PUSH_NOTIFICATION);
                IsWebBrowserComponentCapability = CheckCapability(capabilities, ID_CAP_WEBBROWSERCOMPONENT);

        public static bool IsNetworkingCapability { get; set; }
        public static bool IsDeviceIdentityCapability { get; set; }
        public static bool IsUserIdentityCapability { get; set; }
        public static bool IsLocationCapability { get; set; }
        public static bool IsSensorsCapability { get; set; }
        public static bool IsMicrophoneCapability { get; set; }
        public static bool IsMediaLibCapability { get; set; }
        public static bool IsGamerServicesCapability { get; set; }
        public static bool IsPhoneDialerCapability { get; set; }
        public static bool IsPushNotificationCapability { get; set; }
        public static bool IsWebBrowserComponentCapability { get; set; }

        private static bool CheckCapability(IEnumerable<XElement> capabilities, string capabilityName)
            var capability = capabilities.FirstOrDefault(n => n.Attribute(NAME).Value.Equals(capabilityName));
            return capability != null;

Note: You will need to add a reference to the Microsoft.XNA.Framework.dll for the helper to build. If you are concerned about the warning that shows up when adding a reference to this assembly from within a Silverlight application, rest assured, that it is possible to utilize most, but not all, XNA assemblies in a WP7 Silverlight Application as documented here on msdn. Scroll down to the section Using Classes Across Frameworks to see exclusions.

Usage is then as simple as

   if (!CapabilityHelper.IsUserIdentityCapability)
     //capability not present, do something


  • Alan Mendelevich

    Great. But the problem I see with this is that after that “if” in your code you will have some code leveraging that capability and it will popup during certification in the marketplace anyway and be added to the actual manifest. This would render that method useless.

    Or do I miss something?

    Unless, of course, you are not using this probing to use the actual capability but just to do some unrelated stuff (like logging available capabilities or something like that).

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  • nick.harris

    Hey Alan,

    Agree regarding marketplace certificaiton process picking up those missing capabilities. This is more for developers @ dev time when integrating the AdGAC Ad Control . Example scenario: Developer already has an application in marketplace without the user identity capability. They want to ad the AdGAC Ad Control for their next release so they put it in the application hit debug and get a warning asking them to put the capability in – just means they can pickup on missing capabilities during debug without having to run the cap detection tool or submit to marketplace.

    if (System.Diagnostics.Debugger.IsAttached)
    if (!CapabilityHelper.IsUserIdentityCapability)
    MessageBox.Show(“AdGAC Ad Control – Please ensure you have ID_CAP_IDENTITY_USER capability added to your WMAppManifest.xml”);

    Kind Regards,