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Mobile CoDe.NET: Exploring the .NET Compact Framework : Page 8

"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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Compact Windows Forms
Now that we've pretty much established what you can and cannot do with the .NET Compact Framework, let's explore a bit further the path that leads to mobile GUIs. The Windows Forms Designer included with the SDE allows you to easily create GUIs for smart devices by leveraging the System.Windows.Forms namespace. There are over 25 standard controls supported in .NETcf (see sidebar), and unlike .NET which uses new rewritten controls for its Windows Forms engine, the .NETcf Windows Forms code actually wraps itself around native Windows CE and other common controls. This is what enables .NETcf Forms to benefit from an adequate performance since rewritten controls would have severely hindered display speeds. While eVB developers will certainly appreciate all the advanced controls available here, .NET developers will notice some favorites are missing, such as:

  • DataRepeater
  • CheckedListBox
  • DateTimePicker
  • MonthCalendar
  • RichTextBox
  • ToolTip
  • All third-party controls designed for .NET necessarily don't work in .NETcf. Control library ISVs will have to migrate their controls to .NETcf should they wish to do so. Only ComponentOne (www.componentone.com) has so far committed to third-party controls for .NETcf. Their ComponentOne Studio™ for Mobile Devices?featuring grid, charting (see Figure 3), and zip compression components for the Microsoft .NET Compact Framework?is currently in final beta.

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