Connection Method Selection
During development, you must have a fast and reliable connection between the smart device and the development computer. Although the smart device emulators can be used in most stages of development, testing your application on a real-world piece of hardware is an important part of the development cycle.
The most common connection options are as follows:
Connecting to the Device Emulator by using the DMA transport.
This transport eliminates network-related connection issues and typically ships as the default transport. Unless you have some serious reason to use another transport, always use the DMA transport for the Device Emulator.
Connecting to a physical device by using ActiveSync 4.x or Windows Mobile Device Center and a USB port.
You can access these and other options from the Visual Studio Tools menu. For more information, see How to: Set Connection Options (Devices).
Windows Mobile Device Center (WMDC) replaces ActiveSync in Windows Vista. Windows Vista users must install WMDC instead of ActiveSync.
ActiveSync 4.x provides a connection between the development computer and a device by using cable, cradle, Bluetooth, or infrared connections. It also provides the vehicle by which required core connectivity connection and security files are automatically downloaded to the device. When you cradle a device, ActiveSync turns off all other network cards. You know your device is communicating only with the development computer. ActiveSync is the standard connection mechanism while you develop your device application.
If ActiveSync support is not available for your device, see How to: Connect to Windows CE Device Without ActiveSync.
Pocket PCs, Smartphones, and other Windows CE-based hardware offer many ways of linking a device and a computer. In this section, the various connection options and their advantages and disadvantages are discussed.
One or more of the following connection methods can be used depending on the hardware device involved.