Some of the developers that worked with the Patterns and Practices team at Microsoft to build the Mobile Client Software Factory have been hard at work on a port of the Updater Application Block. The guys from Q4Tech are almost at a point where they are going to release the application block into the wild so keep an eye on the Mobile Blocks project (see releases) across at CodePlex for more information.
With the next wave of .NET technologies almost upon us we need to spare some thought about what kind of support we are going to see in Windows Mobile. With the Compact Framework we have come to expect a subset of the full functionality available in the .NET Framework. Already we have heard that the second release of Windows Presentation Foundation Everywhere (WPF/e) will support mobile devices but what about the Windows Communication Foundation. Look no further, Roman Batoukov has the scoop here!
A while ago I blogged that there was an update for Vista Beta 2 that enabled you to partner your mobile device. As Mauricio writes on his blog, this update will be shipping as a separate component.
Doing mobile development? Yes? Well head over to the official website of the Windows Mobile Developer Virutal User Group. The first meeting is set for tomorrow morning (AU/NZ timezone that is) and I'm hoping this will be the first of many virtual meetings hosted by the best in the business.
In the first meeting Nick Landry (aka ActiveNick) will provide an overview of mobile development, including an introduction to the tools and technologies mobile developers should be aware of. This will be followed by a session by a presentation by Don Sorcinelli which will look at mobile application deployment, including security considerations that need to be addressed.
Mid-last week I spat the dummy and re-paved my machine back to WinXP. After having Vista and Office running quite smoothly for a couple of weeks the straw that broke the camels back was the inability to connect my laptop to a number of wireless networks. I must admit I find the new interface for network connections difficult to use - in fact, coupled with the continual need to Ok administrative prompts, it SUX. But that's another story...
One of the other things that I found frustrating with Vista Beta2 was that I couldn't synchronise my WM5 device using the new Windows Mobile Device Center. I could explore files, but not able to set up a partnership. The story is that we had to wait for an update before we could setup a partnership, or for that matter use VS to debug mobile applications. Anyhow, the update has arrived, but of course if arrived a day or so after I had converted my laptop back to WinXP - talk about frustrating.
So I figured I'd set up a VPC image with Vista - easily done!! and sure enough there was the update. Once installed I figured this would fix the issues preventing the Windows Mobile 5 SDK from installing properly, but alas it still doesn't work. The next thing I wanted to check was whether I could set up a partnership. I ran VS2005 and used the Device Emulator Manager to run up the PPC2003SE emulator. I then set the emulator to Cradle, which under WinXP would allow activesync to connect to the emulator as if it were a true device. Unfortunately no joy - does this mean that there is only support for partnering with WM5 devices or is there an issue with the Device Emulator Manager???
I then cursed because although I have a real WM5 device there is no way to get it to connect to my Vista VPC because Virtual PC still does not have USB support - urgh when will this be fixed.
A while later I bit the bullet and downloaded a trial edition of VMWare Workstation. Not only is the interface much richer than Virtual PC (including support for USB) it already has support for building a Vista image. I wish that the Virtual PC team would learn something from the functionality of VMWare.
Finally, after many hours of installing Vista and Visual Studio I have an image that my WM5 device can connect to. The new partnership setup is much better than activesync, and seems to work. Unfortunately this STILL doesn't fix the issues with A) cradling an emulator or B) installing the WM5 SDKs.
My experiences with Vista all seem to be 2 steps forward followed by 1 step back ;-) At least we're making progress forward.....