Pocket PC, Handheld PC Developer's Guide with Microsoft Embedded Visual Basic

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Overview

Mobile solutions—in your pocket!

  • The complete guide for developing wireless applications using Microsoft(r) eMbedded Visual Basic(r)
  • Enterprise solutions, including XML, SQL, SOAP, and .NET

The Pocket PC offers more wireless capabilities than any other handheld mobile device. Now you can use the power of Microsoft eMbedded Visual Basic to develop applications that allow you to manage connections to corporate...

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Overview

Mobile solutions—in your pocket!

  • The complete guide for developing wireless applications using Microsoft(r) eMbedded Visual Basic(r)
  • Enterprise solutions, including XML, SQL, SOAP, and .NET

The Pocket PC offers more wireless capabilities than any other handheld mobile device. Now you can use the power of Microsoft eMbedded Visual Basic to develop applications that allow you to manage connections to corporate networks, access data from any Web site, synchronize information with corporate databases, and call SOAP and .NET web services, all on your Pocket PC. This is the one book that provides comprehensive coverage of all these applications and more.

Developers at all levels can learn to take advantage of the Microsoft SDKs to interact with existing database and Internet applications, using such technologies as:

  • User interfaces for Pocket PC and Handheld PC 2000
  • SQL Server for Microsoft Windows(r) CE
  • XML and DOM
  • SOAP and .NET
  • HTTP and ASP

No other book provides more complete coverage in a single volume. Jump right into wireless mobile computing with the Pocket PC, Handheld PC Developer's Guide.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Nick Grattan is co-founder and Technical Director at Software Paths Limited in Dublin, Ireland (www.SoftwarePaths.com). A specialist in mobile solutions, he is also the co-author of Windows CE 3.0 Application Programming (0-13-025592-0), also published by Prentice Hall PTR.

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Table of Contents

Preface xvii
Acknowledgments xix
1 Introduction to eVB Development 1
You, the Reader 3
What You Will Need 3
Pocket PC, Handheld PC 2000, and Other Devices 4
Overview of eMbedded Visual Basic (eVB) 6
Creating a "Hello World" Application 12
Network Connections 18
Platform Manager 24
Remote Tools 28
ActiveX Controls and the Windows CE Control Manager 28
Project Settings and Properties 31
Error Handling 33
eVB Data Types 34
Debugging 34
Conclusion 35
2 Creating a User Interface 36
The Pocket PC Interface 36
Managing Pocket PC MenuBars 37
Designing Application Windows 74
Conclusion 79
3 ADOCE and ADOXCE 80
Microsoft SQL Server for CE Features 81
The ADOCE 3.1 Architecture 81
Microsoft SQL Server for CE Installation 82
Simple Database Operations 85
Using ISQLW_CE 92
Tables and Columns 94
Indexes 109
Manipulating Data 113
Managing Transactions 128
Encryption and Password Protection 129
Compacting a Database 130
Creating a Database For Distribution 133
Conclusion 133
4 SQL Server CE Remote Data Access and Replication 134
Remote Data Access 135
SQL Server Replication 169
Installation and Configuration 171
Programming Replication 177
Dealing with Conflicts 183
Conclusion 184
5 HTTP and Internet Programming 185
Using the WinSock Control 186
The HTTP Component 198
Conclusion 203
6 XML and DOM 204
XML 205
Document Object Model (DOM) 206
Microsoft SQL Server 2000 and XML 209
ADO Recordsets and XML 241
Creating and Managing XML Documents with DOM 245
Conclusion 255
7 SOAP and .NET Web Services 256
The Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) 256
Using .NET Web Services 277
Conclusion 301
8 Managing Connections with RAS 303
Creating RAS Phone Book Entries 303
Listing RAS Phone Book Entries 306
Determining If a Connection Exists 307
Making an RAS Connection 308
Disconnecting an RAS Connection 309
Conclusion 310
9 Pocket Outlook Object Model (POOM) 311
Overview of POOM Model 312
Logging on and POOM Version 313
Folders and Items 314
Managing Contacts 316
Managing Tasks 324
Managing Appointments 327
Conclusion 332
10 The Object Store, File Input/Output, and the Registry 333
The FileSystem Control 334
The Object Store 342
Memory Status 343
Storage Cards 344
The Common Dialog Control 345
Reading and Writing Files 351
The Registry 358
Conclusion 361
11 Setup and Installation 362
Using the "Application Install Wizard" 362
Installing the Application 368
Conclusion 370
12 Architecting and Designing a Mobile Solution 371
Connectivity Options 372
Local Storage Options 372
Data Transfer Options 373
Data Synchronization 374
Creating a Green Field Mobile Architecture 375
Integrating with Client Server Architectures 376
Integrating with n-Tier Architectures 377
Conclusion 379
Appendix A The CEUtils ActiveX Control 381
The DatePicker Control 382
The ObjectStore Component 382
The Process Component 383
The RASConnection Component 383
The StrRegistry Component 384
Appendix B HTTP ActiveX Component 385
Index 387
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Preface

Preface

More and more, developers are looking at incorporating mobile devices, such as Pocket PC and Handheld PC 2000 (HPC 2000) devices, into mainstream computing projects, as either stand-alone applications or applications that integrate into existing systems. Using the eMbedded Visual Basic development tool is the easiest way of creating such applications, particularly because it allows developers to draw on their desktop and server application development skills.

For this book, I have tried to select topics that will inform developers needing to provide access to data on the move. First I introduce eMbedded Visual Basic development (Chapter 1); then I explain how to develop user interfaces with eMbedded Visual Basic (Chapter 2). Next I show how to store data locally using SQL Server for Windows CE (Chapter 3). Using these techniques, you can quickly develop stand-alone applications that store data locally on a Pocket PC or HPC 2000 device.

The most significant challenge in developing mobile applications is to provide access to databases located on servers while users are out and about. SQL Server for Windows CE provides various techniques for exchanging data with database servers (Chapter 4). Remote Data Access (RDA) provides a simple "push" and "pull" facility that will work with all versions of Microsoft SQL Server and other database servers such as Oracle. The most sophisticated technique in SQL Server for Windows CE is merge replication, which works only with Microsoft SQL Server 2000. Using this technique, mobile users can access local data in an SQL Server for Windows CE database while not connected to the network, and then use merge replication to provide an automatic two-way update of data when a connection is made.

Many application architectures do not provide for direct database access from client applications; there is generally a "middle tier" consisting of business objects providing secure access to the database. In this case, web-development techniques such as ASP (Active Server Page) and HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) can be used to access business components and thus transfer data (Chapter 5). Your application can decide on the format used for transferring data or you can use XML (Extensible Markup Language) as a standard but more verbose data exchange format. XML documents can be parsed and represented as a Document Object Model (DOM) on Pocket PC and HPC 2000 applications (Chapter 6). ASP is designed predominantly for developing web pages that will be accessed through a web browser but can be adapted to allow applications to make requests. SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) uses HTTP to allow function-based calls to be made through web servers. Chapter 7 shows how to make SOAP calls from eMbedded Visual Basic.

ASP.NET, which can be programmed using Visual Studio.NET, takes SOAP and HTTP programming techniques and allows Web Services to be created (Chapter 7). Web Services are function-oriented interfaces that can be easily called from eMbedded Visual Basic applications. Rich data sets can be transferred using techniques described in this book, including accessing databases using ADO.NET and returning data as XML documents.

An important aspect of creating mobile applications is making and managing connections to a network. Chapter 8 shows how to make a connection using RAS (Remote Access Services) through, for example, a modem and a mobile phone. RAS functions are difficult to call directly from eMbedded Visual Basic, so an ActiveX component is provided with this book to make the RAS function calls. The source code for this ActiveX component is also included.

In addition to databases, there are other facilities for storing data. These include POOM (Pocket Outlook Object Model) for storing contact, calendar, and task information (Chapter 9) and the Object Store for files and registry data (Chapter 10). Finally, Chapter 11 describes how to create setup files and Chapter 12 discusses important architecture and design issues you should consider when creating an application.

While eMbedded Visual Basic provides a flexible and productive development environment, it does not provide complete access to all Pocket PC and HPC 2000 features. There may be times when you need to use C or C++ to access API functions. My previous book, Windows CE 3.0 Application Programming (by Nick Grattan and Marshall Brain, Prentice Hall PTR, 2001; ISBN 0-13-025592-0), describes how to call many of these API functions.

Please feel free to contact me by email at nick@softwarepaths.com if you have questions or suggestions, or visit my website, www.nickgrattan.net, where updates will be posted. I will try to answer your questions but cannot always promise to do so. I hope you enjoy developing mobile solutions with eMbedded Visual Basic.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2003

    Looks good

    I haven't read this book yet, but it looks so good that I'm giving it 5 stars. Look at that cover!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2003

    Best One Out There

    This book is a great reference for building real world applications on the pocket pc platform. The SQL Server CE examples are the best I've seen documented. A must have for any embedded visual basic programmer.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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