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Updating Projects Created with Previous Tools

Visual Studio provides powerful development tools for smart device developers. Programmers who use C++, C#, and Visual Basic can take advantage of the improved tools offered by Visual Studio.

The improvements to the Visual Studio 2008 development environment include the following:

If you are migrating a smart device project that was created in Visual Studio .NET 2003, eMbedded Visual C++, or eMbedded Visual Basic, you also inherit the following development features from Visual Studio 2005:

Visual C# and Visual Basic smart device projects developed in Visual Studio 2005 or Visual Studio .NET 2003 can be migrated to Visual Studio 2008. To migrate, open the project and the Visual Studio Conversion Wizard makes all required changes to the project. 

Smartphone 2003 Projects

The Visual Studio Conversion Wizard upgrades projects that target the .NET Compact Framework 1.0 to target the .NET Compact Framework 2.0. Additionally, projects that target Smartphone 2003 are upgraded to target Windows Mobile 5.0 Smartphone because Smartphone 2003 does not support .NET Compact Framework 2.0.

SQL Server Compact/Mobile Projects

Data projects that use SQL Server 2005 Compact Edition or Mobile Edition are upgraded to target SQL Server Compact 3.5. The Visual Studio Conversion Wizard automatically updates the project to reference version 3.5 of the managed data provider. The Visual Studio Conversion Wizard also converts the format of .sdf database files that are not password protected. If the .sdf file is password protected, the upgrade report will notify you to manually convert the .sdf file after the upgrade. For more information, see How to: Upgrade Managed Projects to SQL Server Compact 3.5 (Devices).

You can migrate eMbedded Visual C++ projects by using a migration wizard. For more information, see eMbedded Visual C++ to Visual Studio Upgrade Wizard.

Projects created in eMbedded Visual Basic are not automatically converted to Visual Studio 2008 projects. Instead, you must add the existing source and resource files to a new Visual Basic Smart Device project created in Visual Studio 2008.


Windows Mobile 2003 devices do not contain the eMbedded Visual Basic runtimes in ROM. Although the runtimes may be downloaded to the device as a RAM install, this configuration is not supported.