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Exporting an SDK from Microsoft Windows CE Platform Builder 3.0 to eMbedded Visual Basic

Windows CE 3.0

Microsoft Corporation

May 2000

Summary: This paper explains how to export a software development kit (SDK) from Microsoft Windows CE Platform Builder 3.0 and install it on a computer for use with Microsoft eMbedded Visual Basic. (3 printed pages)


Before You Export an SDK
How To Export an SDK
How to Use an Exported SDK


Microsoft® Windows® CE Platform Builder 3.0 enables you to create a customized Windows CE-based platform for an embedded device. After you have created a platform, you can use Platform Builder to export a software development kit (SDK) based on your platform. While SDKs are language-specific, once an SDK is rolled, independent software vendors can install it and write applications for your platform using Microsoft eMbedded Visual C++® or Microsoft eMbedded Visual Basic®. Furthermore, the SDK roller feature is both generic and extensible, which means that you can also create your own dynamic-link library (.dll) and use it to roll SDKs for other programming languages and development environments. This discussion focuses on exporting an SDK for use with eMbedded Visual Basic. When you export an SDK, Platform Builder automatically incorporates all the necessary context data for the target language. In the case of eMbedded Visual Basic, Platform Builder gives you the freedom to fully support the Graphics, Windowing, and Event manager (GWE), with support for forms and additional Microsoft ActiveX® controls, or to simply provide support for the language engine, should you be developing a platform which does not require a user interface. Given the great flexibility of the SDK roller, you can choose to incorporate whichever features you need to tailor your SDK to your audience and the desired size of the resultant executable (.exe) file.

Another benefit of the SDK roller is that it creates a customized HTML Help file that indicates which application programming interface (API) elements are supported by your platform. When the SDK is installed, this customized reference file appears as a separate, top-level node in the Help collection of the eMbedded Visual Basic integrated development environment (IDE).

The result of the SDK export process is a self-extracting .exe that contains the SDK for your platform. A developer can run the .exe to install the SDK; the platform subsequently appears as a target platform in eMbedded Visual Basic. By providing all of the necessary context information, Platform Builder removes the guesswork from porting platform data to a development environment.

This paper assumes that you have used Platform Builder to create a custom Windows CE platform, and are ready to export an SDK. For information about creating a custom Windows CE platform, see the Platform Builder documentation.

Before You Export an SDK

Before exporting an SDK, you should be aware of the Platform Manager. To clarify, Platform Manager is the communications technology that manages how a desktop computer communicates with a target device. It operates through eMbedded Visual C++ to download applications and platforms to your target device, and connects your target device to the remote debugging tools that are available on the desktop computer. Platform Manager enables Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to create a custom transport layer to further tailor the SDK. For instance, you can include a custom protocol for other technologies, such as Small Computer System Interface (SCSI), and then create a SCSI export of the SDK.

Once installed, the SDK relies on the host-target relationship provided by Platform Manager to give the SDK target platform the ability to communicate with an actual target device.

How To Export an SDK

  1. Choose Export SDK from the Project menu, and indicate eMbedded Visual Basic as the development environment your SDK will support. Click Browse to navigate to the End User License Agreement you wish to include, then click Next.
    Note   Platform Builder automatically includes a license agreement, which is necessary to protect the intellectual property rights of Microsoft components. To protect your own intellectual property rights, you must include your own license agreement as a text file (.txt) file. Platform Builder attaches custom license agreements to the end of the Microsoft license agreement. When installing your SDK, users will be presented with both agreements as a single document, and must accept both prior to completing the installation.
  2. Indicate whether your platform will support GWE, Visual Basic forms, and/or additional ActiveX controls.
  3. Indicate Transport Protocols. You can use the built-in protocols (PPP, TCP/IP, or the dynamic Microsoft ActiveSync®), or you can include a custom protocol by clicking Add.
  4. In the Installation dialog box, type the directory in which Platform Builder should place the SDK .exe, and then choose Next to start the process. Platform Builder creates the SDK .exe, and names the file with the same name as the platform; for example, Platform Builder creates the CEToaster.exe SDK for the CEToaster platform.
  5. Choose Finish in the Export Windows CE SDK dialog box to complete the export process.

How to Use an Exported SDK

Application developers can import an SDK created in Platform Builder into eMbedded Visual Basic simply by running the SDK .exe file. They can then use the SDK to create applications that run on the platform from which the SDK was exported. Once installed, using an imported SDK is easy. Simply select it as the target platform in the eMbedded Visual C++ IDE.

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