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Planning for the .NET Compact Framework

  • December 17, 2002
  • By Bradley L. Jones
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If you are developing applications for .NET and believeyou may want to go to mobile devices in the future, thenit is worth considering a few issues as you create full-fledged applications today. These considerationsmay make porting your .NET applications to the .NET CompactFramework much easier.

Many of the common base classes in the .NET Framework are used in the .NET Compact Framework; however, not all of them are. Functionality is supported for IO, collections,reflection, math, drawing, XML (XmlDocument, XmlReader, and XmlWriter), some Windows forms, some connectivity, andsome data access.

The key area where most people will run into issues is inconverting Windows Forms to forms that can be supportedon the smaller devices. The .NET Compact Framework shouldsupport the following controls:

  • Button
  • CheckBox
  • ComboBox
  • ContextMenu
  • DataGrid
  • DomainUpDown
  • FileOpenDialog
  • FileSaveDialog
  • HScrollBar
  • ImageList
  • (Pocket PC) InputPanel
  • Label
  • ListBox
  • ListView
  • MainMenu
  • NumericUpDown
  • Panel
  • PictureBox
  • ProgressBar
  • RadioButton
  • StatusBar
  • TabControl
  • TextBox
  • Timer
  • ToolBar
  • TreeView
  • VScrollBar

If you use these controls in your Windows Form application, you shouldn't have to worry about them porting to the .NET Compact Framework. The following controls, however, should be avoided. They will most likely be unsupported:

  • CheckedListBox
  • ColorDialog
  • ErorProvider
  • FontDialog
  • GroupBox
  • HelpProvider
  • LinkLabel
  • NotifyIcon
  • RichTextBox
  • Splitter
  • ToolTip

Additionally, the print controls should be avoided.

Most applications use a database. The .NET Compact Framework has some support for ADO.NET. This includes the ability to access SQL Server via the System.Data.SqlClientand to access SQL Server CE via System.Data.SqlServerCe.XML data access (including XML Web Services support) can be done.

These are just a couple of things to consider when building.NET applications that may eventually be ported to mobiledevices and the .NET Compact Framework.

From the 12/10/2002 CodeGuru Update eNewsletter editorial

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