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Mobile CoDe.NET: Exploring the .NET Compact Framework : Page 10

"Windows CE or Mobile Web?" The .NET world can steer you in two very opposite directions: .NET Compact Framework or ASP.NET Mobile Controls.


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The Future
Other than the fact that Microsoft is working on the next release of .NET Compact Framework, not much is publicly known today. What is in the works, though, is .NET Compact Framework support for the next generation of Microsoft Smartphones (labeled v.Next). This Smartphone platform will be based on Windows CE .NET 4.2 and will support most Pocket PC features. The Windows Forms engine will feature controls specially adapted to have the Smartphone look & feel, and the Smartphone navigation model using buttons, the tiny joystick, keypad navigation and keypad events. The .NET Compact Framework will be pre-deployed in ROM and development will be done through an add-on to VS .NET 2003. This updated SDE will have Smartphone x86 emulation images and will feature an adapted Forms Designer experience, with the proper control set in the toolbox and appropriate properties on controls (including size, font, etc.) 'Til Next Time
Being such a vast topic, I could have gone on and on about the .NET Compact Framework. Fortunately for us, the commonalities between the .NET Framework and the compact version mean that many principles and techniques designed for one apply to the other. There are nevertheless areas where I wished I could have dug deeper, and I also had to omit other areas entirely since this is an article, not a book. Rest assured I plan to discuss the .NET Compact Framework again.

That doesn't mean you have to wait though. There are many great resources on this topic out there, and here a just a few of the main ones to help you in your Microsoft mobility journey.

  • For .NET Compact Framework resources and other .NET mobility links, visit the Developer section of the Windows Powered Mobile Devices Web site at msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/device and the Official Microsoft Smart Devices Developer Community Web site at smartdevices.microsoftdev.com.
  • DEVBUZZ.COM (www.devbuzz.com) is a great site dedicated to development tools, programming techniques, and solutions for the Pocket PC. While it covers more than just the .NET Compact Framework, you'll find many great resources there.
  • O'Reilly's ONDotnet.com also has some content on .NETcf. While this is a fairly new section, the O'Reilly Network remains a premier source of information for .NET developers (www.ondotnet.com/topics/dotnet/dotnetcf).
  • Attend the fall event of Visual Studio Connections and ASP.NET Connections, October 12-15 2003, at the La Quinta Resort & Club in beautiful Palm Springs, CA (www.devconnections.com). You can join me in cool .NET mobility talks and other CoDe Magazine authors and speakers for great sessions on how .NET applies in the real world.
As usual, you can send feedback, questions, comments, and abuse to me via e-mail at mobilecode@activenick.net. If there are topics you'd like to see covered in future installments, feel free to communicate them to me. 'Til next time, enjoy this ongoing journey of excitement and great promises in .NET mobility development land!


Nickolas Landry is the Chief Software Architect of Montreal-based dotBlox which specializes in mobile business solutions based on Microsoft .NET technologies. With more than 11 years of professional experience—starting with Visual Basic 1.0—and a career almost entirely dedicated to Microsoft technologies, his current fields of specialty include .NET mobility, BizTalk, component-based development, Web services and Microsoft CRM. Known for his dynamic and engaging style, Nickolas is also a trainer on .NET technologies, XML Web services development, and the mobility field, and is a frequent speaker at major software development conferences worldwide. Visit www.ActiveNick.net, or email Nick at mobilecode@activenick.net.
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