Cab Provisioning Format (CPF) File

Windows Mobile 6.5

The Cab Provisioning Format (.cpf) file format offers additional flexibility for provisioning and configuring Windows® phones. These both use the Makecab tool to create a .cpf file. A .cpf file is a provisioning file that is wrapped in a .cab file and that can be signed with a certificate. A .cpf file is processed as a .cab file, including the handling of security.


The .cpf method offers the following two advantages:

The XML file can be compressed by means of the MSZIP compression algorithm, which significantly reduces the file size and transmission time.

Previous versions of Windows Mobile Classic software do not support compressed .cpf files. Installation of .cpf files that are compressed or signed fails on these devices.

The .cpf file can be signed through the Microsoft Authenticode® signing tools. This enables a role mask to be assigned to the provisioning request based on the role mask stored with a matching certificate on the device.


The .cpf method is not supported by ActiveSync. If you want to use ActiveSync, then you must put the provisioning file in a CAB file rather than in a CPF file.

The steps for creating a .cpf file are significantly different from creating .cab files with the CAB Wizard.

A .cpf file contains only the _setup.xml file that provides configuration instructions (XML instructions) for provisioning.

After you have created a .cpf file, you can use the same application delivery methods to distribute the file as with cabinet (.cab) files, except for ActiveSync because the ActiveSync Application Manager does not recognize the .cpf files. This means that .cpf files cannot be distributed through ActiveSync like .cab files. For information about creating a .cpf file, see How To Create a .cpf File.

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