Confusion on elements of .NET Compact Framework



I am investigating the .NET Compact Framework. We plan to develop using C#
with Vs2003 (with the NetCF Addin). At present I am using the WinCE Emulator.

I am confused by the many different names used to describe the Compact
environment elements.

I have installed the Vs2003 NetCF Addin and can create programs that run in
the WinCE emulator but when I check available downloads as well as products
referred to on various Microsoft websites I find many different items being

For example I just download the " en_NET_CF_1.0_SP3_redist.msi" which will
install a Service Pack 3 for the .NET Compact Framework but it wants to
install it in a different location then the existing compact files that run
with Vs2003 ("E:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio .NET
2003\CompactFrameworkSDK"). I was about to install this Sp3 when I realized
that I might be dealing with "Apples and Oranges". Will I be installing a
entirely different .NET Compact Framework or toolset that will not be an
upgrade to the existing NetCF that does work with the Vs2003 or will it be
ok. I just don't know. Before doing so I am asking for some help.

I have the Msdn Universal Subscription and when I check the available
downloads I find a WinCE 3.x, WinCE 4.x and other SDK's and toolsets with the
word compact or CE in them. Do I take the latest?

Are some of these toolsets, SDK'S, etc for native code and others for
managed? I definitely want to stay with managed code for Application
development since that is the company's objective though I realize that there
may be some things that require native C++ code but in general we want to
stay with C#.

Other references talk about an item called Platform Builder that is used to
create the actual OS's that run on the various devices. Though my main focus
is the application development under .NET Compact Framework I would like to
investigate the OS side as well. I tried to find a location to download the
Platform Builder but so far I cannot find it as a downloadable item. I have
found various websites at Microsoft that talk about aspects of the Platform
Builder but none so far have indicated what exactly it is and where one would
obtain it. I went through the MSDN Universal Downloads and search the online
MSDN CD library. No mention of an item called Platform Builder.

In a sense I am facing something like a software "name clashing problem"
(solved in software by using namespaces) with the terminology used for the
various Compact OS items.

I would appreciate if someone could give me a description of what I need and
where to find it for --
1. Application development using C# under Vs2003 for the WinCE environment.

2. The Platform Builder suite of IDE, applications, documentation, etc.

Any help would be appreciated.

--John Olbert
Ref 0502180541
(e-mail address removed)



Paul G. Tobey [eMVP]

Your question about what you need for .NET CF development is a
frequently-asked on. You can search the archives of this newsgroup via
Google, which archives the messages. You need VS.NET 2003 Pro or better.

You can download Platform Builder from
Virtually all downloads that Microsoft has are accessible via that place.
If you search for "windows ce 5.0 evaluation" you'll get the download for
Platform Builder -- the title is something like "Windows CE.NET 5.0 with
Platform Builder".

Paul T.



Daniel Moth

It sounds like you will be targeting your own device so stay away from the
PPC emulators/devices... it is unfortunate that you don't have the actual
device to develop on so don't commit to any designs until you have the real
hardware (every custom CE device is different).

You'll have to decide which OS you'll run on the device 4.1, 4.2 or 5.0.
Whoever creates the image for the device will do it with Platform Builder
which is not part of the MSDN package. A trial of PB is available from msdn
downloads. If you go with 5.0 you will be able to use CF 2.0 when it is
released so that would be a good choice. With PB you'll be able to create
your own emulator (SDK) and can then use that for experimenting. Steps to
accomplish that are here:

SP3 installs on the target and is irrelevant to your VS2003 installation.
There will be a SP1 for VS that will include it but don't worry about that
and instead make sure you have the latest QFEs for PB which will include the
correct CF component version.

There is a platbuilder newsgroup under public.windowsce and for CF questions
please search the archives of this group before posting:

Good luck!


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