Wednesday, March 07, 2007

PPC Dev Tools: eMbedded Visual C++

If you look after tools and libraries for Windows Mobile development you might want to start with Embedded Visual C++ 4.0.

EVC is a freely available (242Mbytes) download from Microsoft's website. You can use this tool for native code development.

By going native you are cutting off support for managed .NET development from the scene. But you are sticking to performance and small footprint on your executables. The idea behind frameworks is that you can write code faster.

With EVC++ 4.0 can target PocketPC's and Smartphones devices running PPC 2003 (Windows CE 4.2) with the emulators distributed with the Pocket PC 2003 SDK (a separate download).

Check this article on Development Tools at MS website and in particular the matrix at the bottom of the page with a comparison of their IDE's capabilities. Here is another article describing Pocket PC development tools.

eMbedded Visual C++ 4.0

Be aware that you will need an installation key which can be found towards the bottom of the download page. Notice the latest version of the corresponding Service Pack available (currently SP4 is the latest).

Don't install older IDE's after newer ones as described at the end of the "Introduction to Development Tools" paper. Embedded VC++ 4.0 installs an older versions of the Platform Manager, version 4.0 which includes the Virtual PC/Windows CE Emulator Driver.

After that you will start seeing a ballon saying that 'Virtual PC/Windows CE Emulator' will cause Windows to become unstable. Windows has prevented these drivers from loading.' Check this post about how to stop getting it (it does take quite a few steps).

The install also includes the Standard Windows CE SDK .NET (1.0 SP1).

The IDE provides Wizards for ATL and MFC code generation with support for a whole list of CPU's where Win CE runs. You will need corresponding emulators for each of these CPU's to run the compiled code.

For that download the corresponding SDK, in this case Pocket PC 2003 (84Mbytes) in order to obtain the necessary emulators (OS Validation required).

You can find a version of STL (Standard Template Library) for eMbedded Visual C++, an Open Source Library that remove exception handling from the original STL here.

MarshallSoft has a GPS library for eVC++ that includes code examples showing how to read and parse NMEA sentences from a serial port.

Check also another download called "Developer Resources for Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition" with White Papers and code examples (Validation of Windows OS version also required).

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