.NET Compact Framework 

The .NET Compact Framework is a hardware-independent environment for running programs on devices such as personal digital assistants (PDAs), mobile phones, and set-top boxes. It runs on top of the Microsoft Windows CE operating system and relies on a rebuilt common language runtime (CLR) that is designed to operate efficiently when running programs on resource-constrained devices. The .NET Compact Framework brings managed code and XML Web services to devices, and provides benefits such as type safety, garbage collection, exception handling, and security.

The .NET Compact Framework is a subset of the .NET Framework class library and also contains classes exclusively designed for resource-constrained devices. It inherits the full .NET Framework architecture of the common language runtime and managed code execution. For more information about the architecture of the .NET Compact Framework, see Architectural Overview.

This documentation assumes a general understanding of the .NET Framework. It focuses on technologies and components that are of special importance or unique to the .NET Compact Framework. The .NET Compact Framework documentation does not repeat topics it has in common with the full .NET Framework. For example, the .NET Compact Framework uses the same .NET Framework Class Library Reference documentation as the full .NET Framework.

The .NET Compact Framework supports Visual Basic and Visual C# development. It does not currently support C++ development.

For additional information about the .NET Compact Framework, see the .NET Compact Framework section of the .NET Framework Developer Center Web site.

In This Section

.NET Compact Framework How-To Topics

Provides links to code example topics and procedures in the .NET Compact Framework documentation.

What's New in the .NET Compact Framework 2.0

Summarizes features and capabilities introduced in .NET Compact Framework version 2.0.

Overview of the .NET Compact Framework

Describes the architecture of the .NET Compact Framework, differences between the .NET Compact Framework and the full .NET Framework, and .NET Compact Framework assemblies and files.

Application Development in the .NET Compact Framework

Contains topics about how the .NET Compact Framework is used with various technologies and device platforms.

How to: Use the Class Library for the .NET Compact Framework

Provides procedures for filtering the class library to show the classes available in the .NET Compact Framework and how to determine support and versioning.

.NET Compact Framework Product Information

Lists supported devices and platforms, Visual Studio information, and helpful resources.

Related Sections

.NET Compact Framework Application Samples

Contains downloadable games and applications for the Pocket PC.

.NET Compact Framework Technology Samples

Contains downloadable samples covering .NET Compact Framework features and capabilities.

External Resources

Community Additions