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Create a Project for a Windows Embedded Compact Application (Compact 7)

3/12/2014

Two workflows exist for creating an application in Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 that runs on Windows Embedded Compact 7: use Platform Builder, or use an SDK that was built in Platform Builder from an OS design project. The workflow that you use depends on whether you included Platform Builder when you installed Windows Embedded Compact. The following table describes the two workflows to create, test, and debug an application. Step-by-step instructions for creating your application project are provided in the following topics.

  With Platform Builder Without Platform Builder

To develop your application

In Visual Studio, you work within the project that was created for the OS; that is, the OS design project that was created by using Platform Builder.

To develop your application, you create a Platform Builder subproject in the OS design project.

You install an SDK that was created from the OS design. (Building the SDK requires Platform Builder, but the SDK can be installed on any computer.)

To develop your application, you create a smart device application project in Visual Studio that includes a reference to the SDK.

To run your application

With your OS design project open in Visual Studio, you use the Platform Builder tools to download the OS image to a device or virtual CEPC.

To run your application from Visual Studio, you select Run Programs on the Target menu to start your application on the device or virtual CEPC.

JJ823234.note(en-us,WinEmbedded.70).gifTip:
In the OS design project, if you exclude your application subproject from the OS image and enable KITL, you will only need to build your OS design once (unless you make a new change to the configuration properties or Sysgen selections in the OS design). You won't need to rebuild and download the OS image each time you make a change to your application source code; you will only need to rebuild the application subproject.

You must have one of the following:

  • A device that has the OS image stored in flash memory.
  • A stand-alone virtual CEPC that you created or have access to, which includes the OS image on a virtual drive.

Building the OS image, typically a developer task, requires Platform Builder, but after the OS image is added to the virtual drive, you no longer need Platform Builder.

To run your application from Visual Studio, you make a connection to your running device or stand-alone virtual CEPC, and press F5 to run your application.

JJ823234.note(en-us,WinEmbedded.70).gifTip:
If your device has a USB connection, you can use a USB flash drive to copy and transfer your application executable to the device and run it locally. However, you will not be able to use the debugging features of Visual Studio.

To debug your application

In Visual Studio, you configure your OS design project to build the Debug version.

JJ823234.note(en-us,WinEmbedded.70).gifImportant:
Remember that you must save all files, rebuild your OS design project and OS image, and download the OS image to your device or virtual CEPC whenever you change any of the configuration properties of your OS design project.

To debug your application in Visual Studio, optionally set breakpoints in your application source files in Visual Studio, and then, on the Target menu, select Run Programs to start your application. Note that breakpoints appear to be disabled until your application is running.

To debug your application in Visual Studio, you connect to your device or stand-alone virtual CEPC, optionally set breakpoints in your application source files, and then press F5 to run your application in debug mode.


If you do not have access to your target device, you can test your application on an OS designed for a virtual CEPC instead. Using a virtual CEPC is beneficial while in the initial stages of development because downloading an OS image and an application is typically faster on a virtual CEPC than on a device. When you are ready to develop the parts of your application that involve features that virtual CEPC does not support, then you must switch to testing on your target device (using an OS designed for that device). For example, consider an application that uses the touch API to respond to touch input. Such an application will run on a virtual CEPC, but without access to the target device, you won't know which touch features are supported. You might expect that your device supports two touch points and thus you might include code that responds to the pinch and stretch gestures. If your device supports only a single touch point, pinch and stretch will not work. Always make sure that your UI and your code performs well on your target device.

For information about setting up a virtual PC, see Develop with Virtual CEPC.

Create Your Application as a Platform Builder Subproject

Describes how to create your application project as a subproject within the project that was created for the OS. To complete this procedure, you must have included Platform Builder when you installed Windows Embedded Compact.

Create Your Application Using an SDK for an OS Image

Describes how to create your application project as a stand-alone project. You can use this procedure whether you installed Platform Builder or not. This procedure requires you to install the SDK for the OS design on your development computer.

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