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Using the Smart Device Framework for Windows Mobile Development

The .NET Compact Framework's class libraries are sadly inadequate for developing full-featured Windows Mobile applications, sometimes forcing you to rely upon the problemtatic Platform Invoke. Enter Smart Device Framework (SDF), a group of extensions designed to pick up where the Compact Framework's class libraries leave off.


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f you have been developing Windows Mobile applications using the .NET Compact Framework for some time, there will be a day when you will realize that not all the functionalities you need can be satisfied by the class libraries provided by Microsoft. In such cases, you have to rely on Platform Invoke (commonly known as P/Invoke), which is a somewhat painful thing to do due to the need to perform data marshalling between your application and the operating system services. Fortunately, a group of kind souls at OpenNETCF Consulting has released a set of .NET Compact Framework extensions known as the Smart Device Framework (SDF) to complement the set of class libraries provided by Microsoft. All the hard work of calling the OS services are now wrapped and packaged so that managed developers can have directly access to them without having to resort to P/Invoke.

Two versions of the SDF are available:

  • A Community Edition which includes all the compiled assemblies that you can use in your project free of charge.
  • The Smart Device Framework 2.1 Extensions for Visual Studio which integrates with Visual Studio 2005 and not only includes the compiled assemblies but also includes the source code for all assemblies.
This article will focus on the Community Edition, which can be downloaded here.

Specifically, this article will show you some of the cool stuff that you can do using the SDF, like:

  • Recording Sound
  • Vibrating Your Windows Mobile Device
  • Retrieving SIM card Information
  • Retrieving Phone Logs
  • Manipulating Images
  • Detecting the Status of Removable Storage Devices
  • Reading Strings from Text Files


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