Who would have thought…

Serving the finished pie

About a month ago, I got an email from a developer asking us if Windows Mobile supported Web Services. Most of you would know, the answer is yes, as a client. Running a web server on the phone is very impractical but this developer was very adamant that this be implemented because of his very specific requirement. After a few days of email tussle, I had to put my foot down and say no, we don’t have this scenario because running a web server on a phone is not recommended and that’s the reason why we did not built it in the first place. Although, if you built your own HTTP daemon, you can do it. Just that Microsoft is not doing it. (Prioritization).

Now I got this email from a buddy of ours, Richard Jones (of Best Developer Award fame), who was at the same time, without my knowledge, dabbling in the same issue I’ve described above and guess what, he wrote a Web SERVER in .NET Compact Framework that runs on a Windows Mobile device!!

Windows CE has a Web Service component called Web Services for Devices but it does not exist in Windows Mobile, so Richard wrote one himself.

Here’s the source for the Managed Code Ickle Web Server and the full source for the solution including UI here : Web Services On Devices Full Source

Time to chomp on some *humble pie* and reply to that developer..

Comments (6)

  1. Richard Jones says:

    Blush.  I was just trying to win a bet…

  2. Web Enable says:

    Well it turned out that you do support web services on Windows Mobile 6.0 Professional and Classic through asp. JScript comes to help here. So with some COM components you could do the same. It turned out that it also works on Windows Mobile 5.0 Platform.  Thanks also to Mike Francis to point out that.

    Windows CE is used on a dedicated HW. This means Businesses with specific requirements will invest in HW and SW development.

    If you really want to reach other developers / hobbyist (!) who have a PDA based phone with windows mobile now can develop web apps without spending extra on HW.

    If you look at both platforms, processing powers are similar (ex, PXA processor), and PDAs do have a lot of h/W interfaces (Serial, USB, Camera, 802.1X etc.,) built in.

    Typical number of web requests being processed at any point will be small and is very similar to Windows CE.

    I would argue that you would want to build such web apps for accessing your home appliances or equipment used by one or two people. I would assume such application builder’s client will spend less time in hardware installation.

    Keep up the good work. Microsoft never lets their developers down! One of the reasons for being where they are

    Thanks again

  3. There is a sample web server written in CF.NET on MSDN


    I’ve never tested it, but sounds interesting


  4. Richard Jones says:

    If its any help.   I’ve had the Ickle web server running very stabley (if theres such a word) on a x86 CE-PC on CE 6.0  with no real issues.

    Yes, I know its limited in the number of threads it can spawn etc.   but this managed code approach certainly seems robust enough for domestic applications.

  5. Soup Recipes says:

    This might interest Windows Mobile apps developers out there. Tan Loke Uei (Microsoft's technical