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Building .NET Applications for Mobile Devices

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Master mobile programming with this title! It demonstrates how to use the Microsoft .NET Framework and Visual Studio.Net to create applications for phones, Pocket PCs, and other portable devices. Focusing on ASP.NET and the .NET Mobile Web SDK, it shows how to deliver appropriately formatted content for diverse hand held clients from a single ASP.NET page, along with how to provide mobile email access with Microsoft Outlook Mobile Manager.

We've organized this book to serve two distinct audiences. The first group is wireless developers who already have experience developing for handheld devices. You might be new to Microsoft development and probably haven't yet used Visual Studio .NET. We've written Chapters 2 and 3 primarily with you in mind; they introduce ASP.NET and Visual Studio .NET and walk you through the development of some mobile Web applications. Chapter 4 then explains the basics of how an ASP.NET application works, which you'll need to understand to work with mobile Web Forms.

The second audience is those who already have experience working with the .NET Framework and Visual Studio .NET. If you've used ASP.NET before, you'll want to skim Chapter 3 to get acquainted with the Mobile Internet Designer but then dive straight into Chapter 5 to begin working with the mobile controls.

Regardless of your background, you need to be familiar with object-oriented programming. The .NET Framework and everything built upon it is completely object-oriented. The Mobile Internet Toolkit controls are class objects, just like everything else in ASP.NET is, and you need to understand about classes, methods, properties, and inheritance to make full use of the toolkit and the .NET Framework.

Perhaps surprisingly, you don't need to be familiar with HTML or WML markup languages. More important is familiarity with a programming language such as Visual Basic or Visual C#. We want to stress that you are writing object-oriented programs that just happen to output markup. It is quite possible to write very sophisticated Mobile Internet Toolkit applications without ever having to dirty your hands with device-specific markup. Later on, some familiarity with HTML and WML can be useful if you want to customize your application for specific handheld devices. One of the things you can do with the templates feature is send “raw” markup directly to the device. Advanced developers who want to develop their own controls must, of course, be completely familiar with the markup languages the devices use.

All the code examples in this book are written in C#, Microsoft's flagship new programming language developed concurrently with the .NET Framework. Our hope is that Visual Basic developers won't feel alienated by this focus on C#. In fact, C# and Visual Basic code are structurally very similar and, apart from the obvious language syntax differences, the C# samples should be very readable to a Visual Basic .NET developer. On the companion CD, you'll find every sample application in this book with versions in C# and Visual Basic .NET. The only exceptions to this are the custom control examples from the second half of Chapter 15 and from Chapter 16. These are only in C#, not because you can't use Visual Basic (or any other language the .NET Framework supports, but because we didn't have time to do it!

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