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The Windows CE Technology Tutorial: Windows Powered Solutions for the Developer Paperback – May 5 2000
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In the opening chapter of The Windows CE Technology Tutorial, author Chris Muench writes, "Developing applications and systems for Windows CE has a lot in common with the art of creating and taking care of bonsai trees." Like cultivators of bonsai trees, Windows CE programmers try to create compact versions of something larger, and frequently expend extra effort in the process. Muench then proceeds to illustrate the bonsai-like elegance and compactness of Windows CE code, while simultaneously showing how to pack handheld applications with loads of functionality.
Windows CE provides a strategy for choosing between eMbedded Visual C++ and eMbedded Visual Basic and then explains how to use each. The discussion of software development under Windows CE--both for desktop applications and those that lack graphical user interfaces--reflects a great deal of practical experience, and on more than one occasion references to undocumented aspects of Windows CE and its development tools are included. The book is careful to document potential pitfalls in certain palm-size PC hardware platforms. Throughout this book, the reader is guided through the development of an application called the Pocket-CD-Manager--which includes ActiveX Controls, database access via ActiveX Data Objects for Windows CE (ADO for CE), ActiveSync, bitmapping tricks, Winsock over IrDA, a help file, an installation script, and an assortment of other features useful for various production applications. It's an effective teaching strategy that turns a fine tutorial into an excellent one. --David Wall
Topics covered: Developing software for palm-size PCs that run Microsoft Windows CE. Development platforms, integrated development environments, simulators, and languages are all compared. The book discusses pretty much the entire Windows CE capability set, including Component Object Model (COM) for Windows CE, graphical user interface (GUI) design, connectivity via TCP/IP and IrDA, bitmaps, sounds, and installation routines. The tutorial also contains a lot of information on the Windows CE hardware specification and Microsoft's Windows CE logo requirements.
From the Inside Flap
Welcome to the World of Windows CE
Windows CE is probably the most underestimated technology Microsoft has ever produced. At present, Windows CE is most commonly used in palm-size and handheld PCs, but in fact it is capable of much more. The embedded environment Windows CE is targeting holds a nearly unlimited reservoir of opportunities for software developers and original equipment manufacturers.
Windows CE was written from scratch but is modeled after its bigger brother Windows. This book will help you to understand the differences between these two brothers and will guide you step by step through all the major technologies of Windows CE.
Back in 1996, when Windows CE was still in diapers, I was already working on several hardware and software products using this program as the base technology. At that time I was working as a technology ambassador for Siemens at Microsoft, which entailed dual responsibilities: to evangelize Windows CE at Siemens and to deliver feedback from Siemens to Microsoft. During my time at Microsoft I made friends in all departments of the Windows CE team. The Microsoft DRG (Developer Relations Group) made sure that I always had the latest Windows CE devices running the newest beta build of their next generation software. The Windows CE Marketing and the Tools Team provided me with the latest versions of SDKs (Software Development Kits) and compilers. Many of those technologies were still in beta when I wrote this book. By the end of 1998 I had collected so much information and knowledge about Windows CE that I thought it would make a useful book for others.How Is this Book Different from Others?
The title tells you that this book is a technology tutorial. But what is a technology tutorial? A tutorial explains something by walking the reader step by step through an example. This book is a technology tutorial because it uses the tutorial method to walk you through all the essential technologies of Windows CE. Traditional technology books generally discuss a technology in a more theoretical way, for example, by explaining the Application Programmable Interface (API) calls and their parameters. However, during my years of experience as a developer, I found that even the worst example is better than the best theoretical explanation.
During the course of this book you will find innumerable tiny examples and step-by-step explanations showing you how to recreate each example from scratch. At first the explanations will be very detailed, but as you proceed through the book, you'll find that they come to focus more on the essentials.
In addition, this book emphasizes the importance of Windows 2000. This new operating system will quickly become essential for developers, industrial users, and end-customers in the business sector.
The book also stresses the importance of the Common Object Model (COM) approach for Windows CE. COM is the best way of preparing any application for the digital and "distributed-technology" age we will face in the near future--and which I will discuss more fully in Chapter 12.The "Thread Example": A Real-Life Application
Another big feature of this book is the "thread example." The thread example is a Pocket-CD-Manager (PCDM) application. It allows you to synchronize a database of your CDs with the "Microsoft Deluxe CD Player" on your desktop and manage it with your Windows CE device. The PCDM will, with very few exceptions, explore all the technologies of Windows CE. This example, which gets its name because it weaves through the book like a red thread, is a real-life application that you will create from scratch. At the end of the book the application will be ready for deployment, including a redistributable setup.How to Read this Book
This book is meant for developers who want to bring their desktop programming experience to Windows CE but have not yet worked on Windows CE. In other words, it is aimed at Win32 professionals who are Windows CE beginners.
To guide you through the technologies of Windows CE, the book contains 12 chapters, each focusing on one area of Windows CE. The order of the chapters is determined by the real-life thread example. As in any tutorial, you will create this real-life example from start to finish. The sample application is a Pocket-CD-Manager that will synchronize a CD library database on your Windows CE device with the library of the Deluxe CD Player on your Windows 2000 desktop. To be more specific, you will learn how to
If you follow all the steps, you will end up with a fully functional Pocket-CD-Manager application.
One goal of this book is to keep the sample code as simple as possible. Therefore you will not check each and every error condition, and some code will look a bit "crude." For example, instead of using dynamically allocated and growing lists, the book will rely upon fixed-dimension arrays.
Besides the thread example, each chapter will also contain a tiny code snippet that shows the technology at work. This will allow you to jump to any chapter if you are just interested in a specific technology.
To summarize, the technology section of each chapter will have several sub-sections including all or parts of the following:
The book contains countless examples and sample code. To save space, I provide only the technology-specific code and not all the plumbing code that the eMbedded Visual C++ (eVC) wizards create. If you have to change any code, the new code will be printed in boldface. Most of the code is embedded in step-by-step procedures that explain exactly what you have to do to add the code to the example. Since many of those procedures will have repeated content (for example, adding a method to a COM component), they will become progressively simpler and less detailed as the book progresses.// Code lines themselves are printed in fixed letter spaces. The Companion CD
All source code printed in the book can also be found on the companion CD in the directory Sources. Chapter and section numbers structure this directory. An extra sub-directory contains the sources of the thread example. Inside this directory you will find sub-directories named PCDMUI, for the user interface component; PCDMDLL, containing the core technology component; and PCDM CE, the main thread-example application.
Other directories include tools, helpers, and some redistributables you can use to evaluate certain third-party technologies like DeviceCOM, InstallShield for CE, the Microsoft Installer SDK, and the latest ActiveSync. The source code on the CD was created using the latest Microsoft eMbedded Visual Tools. I removed all temporary eVC files but kept the executables and DLLs so that you can run the application without having to recompile them. If you open the source-code, you will find the book-specific code between two remark lines:// **************************************
The thread-example code adds the step number after the chapter number to the remark tag. If you are familiar with Extended Markup Language (XML), you will recognize that we are using XML syntax to mark the code of the book. Using a Visual Basic macro, you could highlight the areas where the book has added code.The Beginning at the End
The final chapter will give you some general ideas about where to go from here and what the digital future may bring. In case you do not know what to do with Windows CE, just read it, and you should come away with at least one idea that leads to a great digital-age product.
Now, without further ado, let's get started.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book has been the first book I've found that is useful for Pocket PC development. The author maintains a web site to make any necessary changes in the text or samples, keeping the information extremely up-to-date.
It was nice to get this book, compile the samples, and see things work first hand. (In contrast, I have been frustrated at books by Microsoft Press that are highly theoretical where the information doesn't make sense until you've already figured it out somewhere else and re-read the chapter. Ex: The Windows CE Programmer's Guide.) Although, I plan to get the Microsoft Press books for reference.
This book is not a beginner's getting-started book, but is a good book for someone who already has a little experience with Visual Basic or Visual C++. It seems to be targted toward the intermediate and advanced programmer.
The most useful chapter is the last chapter (11 - Miscellaneous topics). As for the rest of the chapters, you can live by reading the online manuals.
Meunch does focus on many essential topics and I liked the frameworks he used to build the sample application - splitting the UI into one ATL component, and utilities like database access using ADO into another ATL component. If your looking for an example of a complete data oriented application including synchronisation with a compatible desktop app then get this book however if you like me were looking for Pocket PC and the new Embedded Tools then this book is not really up to date.
The amount of VB is miniscule, the book is mostly C++. But, It really dosent matter if your looking for VB, or C++ examples, since the chopped up code examples in this book will just confuse you. They have also become outdated in the two years since this book came out.
Dont bother with this book unless your getting it on the 50% off clearance rack.
Most recent customer reviews
Unfortunately a lot of examples in this book are not for PocketPC platform. I tested them on x86emu, Compaq iPAQ and Casio PocketPC devices and analized MFC code. Read morePublished on Aug. 27 2001 by Max Shaposhnikov
I mainly bought this book for the networking chapter. The winsock code was very helpful and easy to understand.Published on May 15 2001 by J. S. Harbour
This book advertises that it contains information about embedded Visual Basic. Like, only 1% of the book is about eVB. Read morePublished on Jan. 23 2001 by B. L. Weinstein
Embedded developers have to admit that they are too many acronyms and too many technologies. Thanks to Chris for giving us what we want, clear explanations and SOURCE! Read morePublished on Nov. 17 2000 by Nat
This book is a very good reference book for me, an experienced developer who has no Windows CE background and didn't work on Windows platform for the last few years. Read morePublished on Oct. 13 2000 by Jan Schulman
I recently bought your book and found it very helpful to all aspects of my CE development. Thanks for a good book and I hope you will continue to bring more CE information to... Read morePublished on Sept. 7 2000 by Scott B. Lewis
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