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Developing Smartphone Applications with Embedded Visual Basic (eVB)
by John Cody
November 28, 2003

Thought you couldn't use eVB to develop Smartphone 2002/2003/Windows Mobile (WM5) applications? Think again!

After purchasing a new Samsung i600 (2002 OS), I was eager to start writing some apps for it. Being a veteran VB programmer, I was disappointed that I could not use eVB for the task. But, I said to myself "Now I finally have a real reason to dive into .NET programming". What??? I can't even write apps for my Smartphone using the latest state-of-the-art VS2003.NETcf !!! Unacceptable, there's got to be another way...

Until now, the only choice for developing Smartphone 2002/2003 applications was by using eVC (embedded visual C), or Visual Studio.NET (Smartphone 2003 only). Because of the limited number of developers able to use that tool, end users like myself were suffering by the limited number of applications being developed for that platform. This just wasn't fair :(

The following pages are a result of my research into this problem. I will describe exactly how to mod eVB for Smartphone development.

You might be saying "Why develop Smartphone applications using eVB, when VS.NET is the new technology". Well, eVB has two significant advantages over VS.NET:

  • eVB is FREE ! so more apps can be written by even hobbyist programmers
     
  • Apps created using eVB can run on Smartphone 2002/2003/WM5 devices (VS.NET can only create apps for 2003/WM5 devices, and because there will still be millions of 2002 Smartphones out there for the next year or two - this is still a significant market)

Below are some of the goals I hope to accomplish:

bullet My efforts so far yielded 99% seamless, integrated functionality. I am hoping, through a collaborative effort with the readers of this article, to bring that up to 100%. So, if you have any comments or suggestions to achieve that goal, please contact me so I can add your tip (with credit) to this article.
1/1/04 UPDATE: With the help of readers of this article, we have already solved three of the four major issues related to eVB Smartphone programming!
bullet Through the use of my new eVB Smartphone Development Forum, I hope to help build a community of eVB developers by sharing ideas, tips, and code with the ultimate goal of boosting the success of the Smartphone platform by the increased number of applications available to end-users.

My eVB Mod provides:

bullet Near 100% Full Integrated support for Smartphone 2002/2003 development
bullet Supports real-time edit, run, break, step and watch support with a connected Smartphone 2002 device (support for 2003 devices coming soon)
bullet Full support for Remote Tools such as Platform Manager and Remote Registry Editor
bullet Supports Pocket PC 2000 ARM cpu-type Third-party ActiveX controls (for 2002 devices so far)
bullet Full support for the Application Install Wizard, so you can create installers for your Smartphone 2002/2003 apps that will install from either a desktop PC (via activesync) or right on the device using CAB files (i.e  Over-The-Air installations)

Prerequisites:

bullet Windows 98se/2K/XP PC
bullet Embedded Visual Tools 3.0 (it's FREE) with the following items installed:
- Embedded Visual Basic 3.0
- Pocket PC 2000 SDK installed (you still need to install this SDK even if you already have the Pocket PC 2002 SDK installed) 9/26/07 Thanks Don O'Connor for the updated link!
- Pocket PC 2000 Emulator option installed (can only be installed on Win2K/XP PC's)
bullet It is highly recommended to have a physical Smartphone 2002 device correctly connected and synced to the development PC using Active Sync 3.6 or higher (see notes at end of article regarding emulator use)




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