This Friday I will be giving a web presentation on building a Silverlight-based Windows Vista gadget for Radio & TV Stations.  When you build a Windows Vista Sidebar Gadget, you can package it as either a .zip archive or a .cab archive and then change the extension to .gadget.  Here's how you determine which method to use:

  • Use .cab files when you need to digitally sign the package or if you want to use Visual Studio as a build system to create the gadget.
  • Use .zip files when you want to create the packages with other tools (like WinZip, PKZip).  Windows Vista also has native support for creating zip files.  Zip archives cannot be signed. 

When reading the documentation for building Sidebar Gadgets on MSDN, I didn't see the steps for using Visual Studio to build gadget .cab files, so I added it to the documentation myself (see the bottom of this page).  This is actually something that anyone with a Live ID can do.  At the bottom of the page in MSDN Documentation, there is a Community Content section where you can add your comments.  As we are always trying to improve our developer documentation, this is a great way for the .Net developer community to help.image