We have a Getting Started guide on the dev center that has most of the information you need, but here's the quick overview, with a few late-breaking clarifications.

To get the sample applications running, you need:

  1. An account on the HealthVault developer site (currently at http://www.microsofthealthbeta.com
  2. The SDK, downloaded and correctly configured

A developer account

To get access to the system, you need a LiveID account, and a promo code. You get the promo code from us, and then the combination of the promo codek, the liveid account, and the email address will let you create an account.

Note that all accounts on the developer site are test accounts, and should only be used for test data. The privacy policy that applies to the real site does not apply to the developer site.

So, how do you get the account?

  1. Head on over to promo code page, and request a promo code. This current works through email (yes, I know, how 1990s of us).
  2. Create a liveid account on the same email address you used to create the promo code (they need to match)
  3. Go to https://www.microsofthealthbeta.com (note that it's "https") 
  4. Sign in with your live id
  5. When you create your account, enter the promo code
  6. You're now up and running.

The SDK

  1. There's a download link on the main page of the developer center.
  2. This will install both the SDK, and HealthVault Connection Center, which is sort of a dashboard application - it talks to health and fitness devices and is a launch point to get to other applications. The device stuff may require a reboot.

Important Step

There are registry keys that allow you to switch your machine between talking to the developer healthvault server and the real healthvault server.

As installed by the SDK, these keys are slightly out of whack, so before you do anything, go to:

\program files\Microsoft HealthVault\SDK\Tools

And run HVCC_Developer.reg

Try one of the samples 

Fire up VS 2005, navigate to \program files\Microsoft HealthVault\SDK\Tools\dotnet\websamples\SleepJournal, and open SleepJournal.sln.

Hit F5, and if everything is working fine, you'll get to a login page from the microsofthealthbeta site, and then the sleepjournal app will show up.

If you have any problems, you can get help on the forum, or if that doesn't work, use the contact form on this blog.