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Programming Windows CE
by Nick Grattan, Marshall Brain, and Nick Gratten
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Concentrating on the Win32 C APIs that power the new Microsoft Windows CE 3.0 operating system, Windows CE 3.0 Application Programming provides an essential resource for anyone developing software for handheld devices. Filled with plenty of short sample code written in C (with some C++), this book shows what's different on the latest small footprint platform.
The focus on the APIs themselves is what sets this apart from many programming tutorials. Though there is a discussion of several higher-level techniques--like working with Unicode strings or doing memory management on the Windows CE platform--this book uses a solid and somewhat traditional approach to showing what features exist in this new OS. Section by section, the book walks you through the essential areas of API, from using files to network resources, as well as plenty of coverage of Windows CE features, including using property databases, the Pocket Office Object Model (POOM), ActiveSync, and CE versions of other Microsoft technologies (such as ADOCE and SQL Server CE for database programming).
Oddly, the book doesn't mention user interface programming. Though some Pocket PC devices do not even have interfaces, many do. This omission makes this text more about systems programming for Window CE, which means there is plenty of room to explore what's under the hood.
Instead of just listing the C API call, Windows CE 3.0 provides a snippet of code that shows precisely how to use each function. Network programming using HTTP and sockets, as well as serial communications and GPS device data (which is delivered through the serial port), are covered. You'll also want to read the chapter on Windows CE memory management--a crucial topic. Besides C, you also learn how to use MFC and C++ for certain functions--like database programming, threading, and OLE automation--which can simplify your programming chores.
Filled with advice on how to use the core functionality of Windows CE, plus plenty of time-saving code snippets of these APIs in action, Windows CE 3.0 Application Programming will be a valuable source of information on the latest version of Windows for mobile devices. --Richard Dragan
With Windows CE 3.0, CE finally comes of age as a development platform -- and as a development opportunity. Now's the time to master CE development -- but many CE programming books focus almost entirely on building attractive user interfaces, and leave you hanging when it comes to the rest. Not this one! Windows CE: Application Programming offers comprehensive, code-rich coverage of CE networking, communications, database access, desktop interoperability, COM/ActiveX, mail store and messaging, power management -- everything you need to know to build world-class Windows CE apps! Nick Grattan and Marshall Brain deliver extensive code examples throughout -- as well as great tips for leveraging your existing Visual C++ expertise. Master CE file access and directories; processes and threads; and using ActiveSync to synchronizing PDAs and desktops. Build networked CE applications; learn expert techniques for managing limited memory; access databases; build components with COM and ActiveX; and more -- including today's most effective CE user interface development solutions.
Goes beyond the user interface to teach hardcore programming, full-scale enterprise computing, global communications from pocket PCs, and more. The CD-ROM contains all of the code examples from the text and a fully searchable index, plus a working copy of the eMbedded Visual C++ 3.0, and more. DLC: Application software--Development.
From the Back Cover
Advanced techniques for serious Windows CE programmers.
Get beyond user interface programming and discover the behind-the-scenes operating system facilities that will let you make the most of the new features in Windows CE 3.0. This hot technology lets you control Pocket PCs, handheld PCs, and the embedded devices in hundreds of commercial products. Learn the lean and mean techniques that keep your programs humming on portable devices with limited memory, and the key data storage methods that make them possible. Master the communications protocols that keep Windows CE devices in contact with desktop computers and the Internet. In addition:
This book is for serious developers with real programming experience. Besides familiarity with Windows CE devices and general Windows API programming, a basic knowledge of C and C++ is needed to understand the code samples.About the Software
The accompanying CD-ROM contains all the code examples from the book, as well as a fully searchable index of all the book's examples, programs, and tutorials. The CD-ROM also contains a complete working copy of eMbedded Visual C++ 3.0 and Pocket PC SDK.
About the Author
Nick Grattan is co-founder and Technical Director at Software Paths Limited (www.SoftwarePaths.com)âa Dublin, Ireland, based mobile solutions specialist. Marshall Brain is the author of numerous Prentice Hall PTR books, including Win32 API Programming.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
This book, in concept and design, grew out of the book Win32 System Services, written by Marshall Brain (1995, Prentice Hall PTR). There are many similarities between Win32 programming on Windows NT/98/2000 and Windows CE programming, such as file I/O, processes, and threads. There are many differences, tooWindows CE uses a smaller API (Application Programming Interface) and has fewer security functions and no services. Also, each type of programming emphasizes different issues. Windows CE devices, such as Pocket PC, need to communicate using a wide variety of techniques. These devices also must store data locally so that users can manipulate data when not connected to enterprise networks. This data (or more specifically, changes to this data) then has to be communicated back to the databases located on enterprise servers. The importance of this process is reflected in this book's content, and draws on my experiences in writing enterprise solutions using Windows CE.
Like Brain's original book, this book, for three main reasons, does not cover user interface programming. First, Windows CE user interface programming is very similar to Win32, albeit with some differences in the shell and the form factor (the size of the screen). Second, many embedded devices using Windows CE do not have a display, making user interface development irrelevant to a significant number of programmers. Third, in more and more cases Pocket Internet Explorer is used to present the user interface, with some amount of Windows CE code to allow disconnected access to data.
I hope this book helps you to overcome the challenges in writing applications for mobile, wireless, and embedded devices using Windows CE, and to gain from the tremendous opportunities in this area.
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