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877 Posts

Posted - 18 Apr 2002 :  11:46:21  Show Profile  Email Poster
CE 4.x Tools

Development for Windows CE 4.x can be done with eMbedded Visual C++ (eVC) version 4.0 or with Visual Studio 2003 or 2005. Choose the tools based on the application language you plan to use (more on Mangaged vs. Native Code from Microsoft).

In either case, for reliable operation, install ActiveSync first.

Native Code (C/C++): Use the Standard Tools

Use the free development tools for "native" (C/C++) CE application development.

  1. Install ActiveSync, if you haven't already done so.

  2. Install the eVC 4 Tools.

    The eVC 4 Tools are free. You can download them from from MSDN's eMbedded Visual Tools Download Page.

    Install the tools in the following order (see topic 1219 for background):
    1. eMbedded Visual C++ 4.0 (230 MB)

    2. Service Pack 4 for eVC 4.0 (68 MB)

    3. SP4 rolls in changes of SP1-SP3 and works for CE 4.1, 4.2 and 5.0 development.

  3. Install the ADS SDK for CE 4.x

    The ADS device CE SDKs are available at Topic 678. You won't need to install the SDK if you are using Visual Studio and managed code, as Studio supports the "Windows CE" platform out of the box.

Managed Code: Use Visual Studio

One great benefit that CE 4.x provides is support for the .NET framework and integration into the .NET Enterprise paradigm. You can write managed code applications in C# and VB.NET for CE.NET devices using Visual Studio 2003 (codenamed Everett) and the Compact Framework (.NETcf).

Note: You also must install the Studio 2003 add-on pack to be able to attach the debugger to a CE.NET device.

The final beta of Everett was released on November 17th, 2002 and is downloadable for all MSDN Universal Subscribers. It will be shipping with MSDN subscription CDs/DVDs in the next month.

Keep up to date by checking with Microsoft's Visual Studio Device Development web page.

See the CE Tools Topic Index for the tools to use with the version of CE you are using.

Edited by akidder 4-Apr-2003: Add section headers, link to eVC4 SP1 and link to ADS CE tools topic index.
June 2, 03 (ctacke) : added link to Studio Add-on pack
Edited by akidder 19-Aug-2003: Update link from SP1 to SP2
Edited by ctacke 22-Nov-2003: updated
Edited by akidder 15-Dec-2003: Restore link to SP1. Clarify order of installation and use of service packs for specific builds of CE.NET. Add note about installing ActiveSync first and that SDKs aren't needed for Visual Studio.
Edited by ctacke 22-Nov-2002 [incorrect date?]: Added link for eVC SP3, removed SP1 and SP2
Edited by akidder 8-oct-2004: Change most .NET references to CE 4.x to follow paradigm that Microsoft has now adopted (dropping CE.NET).
Edited by akidder 16-may-2005: Add link to SP4 and remove link to SP3 (59 MB), which was for 4.1 and 4.2 development.
Edited by akidder 31-Oct-2005: Add link to MS article describing Managed and Native code.
Edited by akidder 6-Mar-2007: Update link to Microsoft article "Mangaged vs. Native Code".


877 Posts

Posted - 22 Nov 2002 :  11:32:57  Show Profile  Email Poster
We've updated this topic to include recent release information from Microsoft.
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877 Posts

Posted - 20 Feb 2003 :  15:54:36  Show Profile  Email Poster
CompactFramework, Explained

The availability history of the Compact Framework is a bit confusing. This should help clarify the current situation.

The Compact Framework itself, that is the DLLs necessary to run CF applications, were RTMed (released to manufacturers) in January, 03, so the functionality has been finalized. These libraries are available as a QFE for Platform Builder 4.1.

Having the libraries, however, isn't terribly useful unless you have a development tool that allows you to write applications to target the CF. This is currently done with the the Visual Studio 2003 (Everett) Final Beta, which is available only to those who have an MSDN Universal subscription or that have been in the Beta program since the beginning.

Microsoft has not officially announced a release date for Studio 2003, but they have said the hope for a release in "1 to 2 months". That was 2 weeks ago. Those who pay attention to Microsoft releases may note that products are generally released at large shows or events. They might also note that the Mobility Developer's Conference (MDC) is March 18-21, which falls into that time frame.

If you want to do managed code development for CE you have the following options:

  1. Wait for the final release
  2. If you are an MSDN Universal (this is only for Universal level subscriptions)subscriber you can download the Everett FInal Beta today.
  3. If you have an MSDN Professional subscription and still have your CDs, Everett Beta 1 was shipped late last year, probably in the November time frame. This is missing a bit of final functionality, but is still usable.
  4. The Tech Preview of the Smart Device Extensions (a name no longer in use) was shipped and given out at shows early last year (January I beleive) and there are undoubtedly CDs still floating around out there. While this provides some functionality, the CF has changed quite a bit since this point. Many things have not just been added, but also removed, and it is abysmally slow.
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1519 Posts

Posted - 16 Dec 2003 :  16:18:02  Show Profile  Email Poster
We've updated the notes in the first post of this thread. We hope this will relieve some of the tools confusion that has occured from the last few service pack releases.
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