So, I’ve been thinking… To write managed or native code applications for Windows CE 5.0 you need to generate a custom SDK (Software Development Kit) from Platform Builder – Why do I need to do this?
Generating an SDK takes time, and is a multi step process, first I need to configure the SDK, then (optionally) modify the SDK settings, then build and install the SDK – I can understand that eMbedded Visual C++ would need an SDK to know about the native APIs exposed from my platform (since every platform is going to be different) – but what about managed application development ? – surely the .NET Compact Framework 2.0 is an abstraction layer, meaning that applications written to run on the Compact Framework don’t (for the most part) need to know about the underlying operating system, the applications are calling the framework APIs, not the underlying O/S bits directly (although they could – but even still, this is a runtime function call to a native o/s feature, not a build time feature).
I’m wondering (and this will take some investigation) whether it would be possible to build a Skunk tool that ‘fools’ Visual Studio 2005 into thinking that an SDK has been installed by creating the appropriate files or updating the registry or whatever, the tool could prompt for a platform name (perhaps the PBXML file), the processor type, and then build the appropriate bits. Actually, take this one step further… for native development, the headers/libs must already be there since your platform has already been generated, so I’m wondering whether it would be possible to generate the appropriate SDK files/registry bits by simply pointing VS 2005 at the appropriate folders for an existing workspace…
So, this is going to take some investigation, the tool makes total sense to me, and could be a useful time saver for managed/native development against a Windows CE 5.0 based device.