Roadmap for Developing Native 802.11 Wireless LAN Drivers
To create a Native 802.11 Wireless LAN driver package, follow these steps:
Step 1: Learn about Windows architecture and drivers.
You must understand the fundamentals of how drivers work in Windows operating systems. Knowing the fundamentals will help you make appropriate design decisions and let you streamline your development process. For more information about driver fundamentals, see Concepts for all driver developers.
Step 2: Learn about the Network Driver Interface Specification (NDIS).
Your Native 802.11 Wireless LAN driver package will include a miniport driver that uses Network Driver Interface Specification (NDIS) interfaces. For more information about NDIS and NDIS miniport drivers, see the following topics:
Step 3: Determine additional Windows driver design decisions.
Step 4: Learn about the Windows driver build, test, and debug processes and tools.
Building a driver differs from building a user-mode application. For information about Windows driver build, debug, and test processes, driver signing, and Windows Hardware Certification Kit (HCK) testing, see Building, Debugging, and Testing Drivers. For information about building, testing, verifying, and debugging tools, see Driver Development Tools.
Step 5: Learn about Native 802.11 Wireless LAN.
For information about how to implement Native 802.11 Wireless LAN, see Native 802.11 Wireless LAN.
Step 6: Review the Native Wi-Fi driver samples in the MSDN Hardware Samples code gallery:
- Native Wifi IHV Service
- Native Wi-Fi Miniport Sample Driver - PCI
- Native Wi-Fi Miniport Sample Driver - USB
Step 7: Develop, build, test, and debug your miniport driver and DLLs.
You will have to provide a Native 802.11 miniport driver and an IHV Extensions dynamic link library (DLL). Optionally you can also provide an IHV User Interface (UI) Extensions DLL. The DLLs are compiled from user-mode code. For information about these Native 802.11 modules and guidelines for developing them for your device, see the following topics:
- Native 802.11 Miniport Drivers
- Overview of IHV Extensibility
- Native 802.11 IHV Extensions DLL
- Native 802.11 IHV UI Extensions DLL
For information about iterative building, testing, and debugging, see Overview of Build, Debug, and Test Process. This process will help ensure that you build a driver that works.
Step 8: Create a driver package for your driver.
For information about how to install drivers, see Providing a Driver Package. For information about how to install a Native 802.11 IHV Extensions DLL and an IHV UI Extensions DLL, see Installing Native 802.11 IHV Extensions.
Step 9: Sign and distribute your driver.
The final step is to sign (optional) and distribute the driver. If your driver meets the quality standards that are defined for the Windows Hardware Certification Kit (HCK), you can distribute it through the Microsoft Windows Update program. For more information about how to distribute a driver, see Distributing a Driver.
These are the basic steps. Additional steps might be necessary based on the needs of your individual driver.