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spek

Kickstart Windows CE / Mobile

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Not a game programming question, but I think someone here could help me. We're going to buy a handheld barcode scanner with either Windows CE 5 or Windows Mobile 6 (or both?). Probably its going to be a Motorola or a Datalogic. I'll need to write a warehouse program for this thing. Probably there are billion ways of doing it, but I was wondering if/where I should start with my current tools. Never entered this area before, so... We have Delphi 7, VB.net 2008 express and C++ 2008 express so far. Is one of these tools suitable to develop a program for the CE or mobile platform? The program is made of some forms and should talk with another PC and transmit data/commands. Are these IDE's up for the job, do I'll need to buy/download an extra SDK, or should I use a complete different IDE/language? And, if I use IDE x, is there a good resource with beginner examples/tutorials? I looked at the Motorola website, and there are tons of documents. But its either about their own development platform or Java. Greetings, Rick

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I don't know anything about Delphi's ability to develop for WM, but the express versions of Visual Studio do not allow you to. There is apparently a free route to develop for WM using several different tools together, Here's a link to an article explaining how to set it up. As for code examples for WM development there are tons on Microsoft's site.

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Well, Windows CE/Mobile programming isn't all that much different than windows programming, but surely some solution must already exist for your circumstances. Does it not? Any modern store, warehouse and library runs on these things these days, so there must be a fit out there.

What in particular is so unique about your situation that it requires a completely custom solution?

Also, as CaffeineAddict said, you'll need at least Visual C++ Professional to write C++ code. I'm not sure of the C# route and what that requires... I thought you'd be fine as long as you target the .net compact framework, but I can't say for certain.

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Too bad the Express editions don't support it. Well actually... that means my boss should buy me Visual C++, maybe not so bad after all :) But first I'll try the free route, thanks for the link!

The 'problem' is that practically all software at this company is made by me. Planning software, warehouse programs, barcode printing, machine PLC's. So to keep everything uniform and user friendly. The art here is to make everything as simple as possible, as most users know absolutely nothing about computers, plus the pharmaceutical guidelines for software are quite strict. So, I'll try to make this program myself as well. Besides, it's a good oppertunity to learn something new.

Thanks for the tips!
Rick

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Holy cr@p, the Visual Studio Professional edition is quite expensive. It's not my wallet, but would Visual Studion 2005 (or maybe even older) also up for the job? Since I won't use VS that much, it might be wise to pick a somewhat cheaper version. The handhelds we had in mind are using Win CE 5.0 or WM 6.0.


By the way, are there significant reasons why I should choose Win CE over Mobile, or vice versa? I must make a program that scans barcodes, requests related data to another program on a desktop PC, and eventually sends back data (batch X replaced, terminated, stock changed, ...). That's pretty much it for now. If Mobile can do what I want, it might also be worth learning some C# and try Caffeineaddict's link.

Greetings,
Rick

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Quote:
Original post by spek
Holy cr@p, the Visual Studio Professional edition is quite expensive.
Integrated warehouse scanners like you described are not trivial. It will cost several hundred work hours (or even many thousand work hours) to develop. The cost of the development tools is tiny in comparison.

Quote:
By the way, are there significant reasons why I should choose Win CE over Mobile, or vice versa?

You need to target the product you will be using.

Windows Mobile relies on WinCE but the feature sets are different. Each product can change the included features.

If you choose to target WinCE specifically, you might not be able to run on Windows Mobile. Similarly, if you write an app for Windows Mobile it might not run on other WinCE devices.



There are many great products out there, many with scanners and inventory scanners that are cheaper than buying Visual Studio.

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