********************

Mobile & Wireless UPDATE--brought to you by the Windows & .NET Magazine Network http://www.winnetmag.com

********************

~~~~ THIS ISSUE SPONSORED BY ~~~~

HP & Microsoft Network Storage Solutions Road Show http://www.winnetmag.com/roadshows/nas

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~ SPONSOR: HP & MICROSOFT NETWORK STORAGE SOLUTIONS ROAD SHOW ~~~~

JOIN THE HP & MICROSOFT NETWORK STORAGE SOLUTIONS ROAD SHOW! Now is the time to start thinking of storage as a strategic weapon in your IT arsenal. Attend the HP & Microsoft Network Storage Solutions Road Show, and learn how existing and future storage solutions can save your company money--and make your job easier! There is no fee for this event, but space is limited. Register now! http://www.winnetmag.com/roadshows/nas

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

April 17, 2003--In this issue:

1. MOBILE & WIRELESS PERSPECTIVES - .NET Compact Framework Best Practices

2. ANNOUNCEMENTS - Couldn't Make the Microsoft Mobility Tour Event? - Sample Our Security Administrator Newsletter!

3. HOT RELEASE (ADVERTISEMENT) - BlackBerry Enterprise Server v3.5 for Microsoft Exchange

4. INSTANT POLL - Results of Previous Poll: Standardized PDAs or User Preference? - New Instant Poll: PDA Upgrade Plan

5. RESOURCE - Event Highlight: In-Building Wireless 2003

6. NEW AND IMPROVED - Wake Up Your PDA - Accessorize Your PDA

7. CONTACT US - See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

********************

1.

MOBILE & WIRELESS PERSPECTIVES

(contributed by Steve Milroy, steve@milroy.com)

* .NET COMPACT FRAMEWORK BEST PRACTICES In the March 6 and March 20 editions of Mobile & Wireless UPDATE, I looked at some of the key features and functionality of the Microsoft .NET Compact Framework. (To access these two Mobile & Wireless Perspectives columns, see the URLs at the end of this paragraph.) This time, I want to continue this discussion by looking at best practices for using the Compact Framework to develop and implement mobile solutions. I also want to consider some developer and deployment ideas. As I discussed in the March 20 edition, the development of Compact Framework applications is best accomplished through Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003, which offers visual IDE and automated development functionality. http://www.winnetmag.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=38316 http://www.winnetmag.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=38420

Debugging Debugging helps you identify and diagnose problems with the application during development. Best practices for debugging follow: - Use a real device. Although Visual Studio .NET 2003 has built-in Pocket PC and Windows CE emulators, the most efficient way to debug and test your application is on a real device that has a Wi-Fi (802.11b) connection from the development machine to the device. A Wi-Fi connection is much faster than physical or emulator connections. - Debug applications in chunks. Every time you enter debug mode, deploying the code to the device or emulator takes time. Debugging several features at once, in chunks, is more efficient. Also, you avoid deploying code for every change you make. - Include system.scr assemblies when you're in debug mode. Doing so lets you capture any runtime exceptions as strings, and resulting error messages can then be presented in a message box within your application. - Include an exit button. When you're designing a Pocket PC application, including an exit button is against Pocket PC application design principles because of the limited form factor. For debugging, however, the ability to completely stop the application from running is beneficial, so you might want to include an exit button.

Data Access Most Compact Framework applications require the ability to capture and review data in various forms. Best practices for data access follow: - Use ADO.NET data sets. Using data sets when you manipulate data on the device requires less coding. - Partially normalize the existing database schema. If you're starting with an existing server database schema for storing data in Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Windows CE Edition, combining data into fewer tables with a simpler schema (i.e., normalizing) on the device is a good idea. Doing so lets you perform database commands without needing to make complex joins. The result is enhanced performance.

Performance Tuning Tuning helps you improve the performance of an application's various parts. Without some level of performance tuning, applications might be too slow for effective use. Best practices for performance tuning follow: - Avoid highly complex UI features. The more features you have on one Compact Framework form, the more time will be necessary to load and display the form. - Avoid excessive function calls. Although using functions to code application features is typically a good practice, calling multiple functions can slow the application. - Use asynchronous processing and multithreading. Doing so lets you offload some of the processing into the background. The user can then continue using the application while processing occurs. - Assume the device is disconnected. Avoid making too many realtime server requests, trusting that connectivity (e.g., the wireless connection) is a given. If a user has a problem connecting, he or she will be kept waiting. Best practice is to synchronize required data to the device, then use that data offline.

In the next Mobile & Wireless UPDATE, I'll finish my overview of Compact Framework best practices, with a look at usability and deployment considerations. If you've been working with the Compact Framework, I'd like to hear about some of the best practices you've developed. Email me at steve@milroy.com.

2.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

(brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)

* COULDN'T MAKE THE MICROSOFT MOBILITY TOUR EVENT? If you were too busy to catch our Microsoft Mobility Tour event in person, now you can view the Webcast archives for free! You'll learn more about the available solutions for PC and mobile devices and discover the direction mobility marketplace is headed. http://www.winnetmag.com/seminars/mobility

* SAMPLE OUR SECURITY ADMINISTRATOR NEWSLETTER! If you spend the better part of your day dealing with security concerns such as controlling user access, viruses, and tightening your network's permeability, then you can benefit from the type of information we publish each month in Security Administrator. Every issue shows you how to protect your enterprise with informative, in-depth articles, timely tips, and practical advice. Sample our most recent issue today! http://www.secadministrator.com/rd.cfm?code=fsei253xup

3.

HOT RELEASE (ADVERTISEMENT)

BlackBerry Enterprise Server v3.5 for Microsoft Exchange Download this free technical white paper now from Windows & .NET Magazine's White Paper Central. Brought to you courtesy of Research in Motion. http://ad.doubleclick.net/clk;5262438;7402808;k?http://www.blackberry.com/go/server35

4.

INSTANT POLL

* RESULTS OF PREVIOUS POLL: STANDARDIZED PDAs OR USER PREFERENCE? The voting has closed in Windows & .NET Magazine's Mobile & Wireless Solutions nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "For your company's mobile workforce, do you push for a standardized PDA device or do you let users buy what they want?" Here are the results from the 33 votes: - 70% Standardized - 30% Users' choice

* NEW INSTANT POLL: PDA UPGRADE PLAN The next Instant Poll question is, "When do you plan to upgrade your workforce's mobile devices?" Go to the Mobile & Wireless Solutions Web site and submit your vote for a) In the next 6 months, b) In the next 6 to 12 months, c) More than a year from now, d) I have no upgrade plans, or c) My company has no mobile workforce. http://www.mobile-and-wireless.com

5.

RESOURCE

* EVENT HIGHLIGHT: IN-BUILDING WIRELESS 2003 May 5 through 7, 2003 Arlington, Virginia

In-Building Wireless is the premier indoor-coverage event created exclusively for in-building executives. Whether your focus is public hot spots, private-enterprise or vertical markets, or cellular or Wi-Fi networks, you'll benefit from In-Building Wireless's case-study presentations, discussions about the commercial viability of business models, and technical solutions for converging cellular and Wi-Fi networks for seamless connectivity of voice and data applications. Concurrent educational tracks will address the challenges of provisioning indoor wireless coverage within public hot spots and enterprise/vertical markets. For more information, go to the following URL: http://www.iir-inbuilding.com.

For other upcoming events, check out the Windows & .NET Magazine Event Calendar. http://www.winnetmag.com/events/calendar

6.

NEW AND IMPROVED

(contributed by Carolyn Mader, products@winnetmag.com)

* WAKE UP YOUR PDA International Systems Research released PPPush WakeOnRing 1.1, software that can remotely activate PDAs to perform activities such as updating inventory information or delivering email. The PPPush server activates WakeOnRing PPPush manager on a PDA equipped with a Compact Flash communication card. Pricing is approximately $1675 for the server software and $17 per user device. Contact International Systems Research at sales@isr.co.jp. http://www.isr.co.jp/english/index_e.html

* ACCESSORIZE YOUR PDA Belkin introduced PDA accessories for the Dell Axim X5 Pocket PC. The Belkin 9V Emergency Power Adapter ($9.99) is for the user on the road. The Belkin USB Sync Charger with USB-CLA ($19.99) and USB Sync Charger ($14.99) provide synchronization between an Axim X5 and PC through a USB port. Contact Belkin at 800-223-5546 or sales@belkin.com. http://www.belkin.com

7.

CONTACT US

Here's how to reach us with your comments and questions:

* ABOUT MOBILE AND WIRELESS PERSPECTIVES -- steve@milroy.com

* ABOUT THE NEWSLETTER IN GENERAL -- jbovberg@winnetmag.com (please mention the newsletter name in the subject line)

* TECHNICAL QUESTIONS -- http://www.winnetmag.net/forums

* PRODUCT NEWS -- products@winnetmag.com

* QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR MOBILE & WIRELESS UPDATE SUBSCRIPTION? Email Customer Support -- mobile_&_wirelessupdate@winnetmag.com

* WANT TO SPONSOR MOBILE & WIRELESS UPDATE? emedia_opps@winnetmag.com

********************

This biweekly email newsletter is brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine, the leading publication for Windows professionals who want to learn more and perform better. Subscribe today. http://www.winnetmag.com/sub.cfm?code=wswi201x1z

Receive the latest information about the Windows and .NET topics of your choice. Subscribe to our other FREE email newsletters. http://www.winnetmag.com/email

|-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-|

Thank you for reading Mobile & Wireless UPDATE.

********************

Mobile & Wireless UPDATE--brought to you by the Windows & .NET Magazine Network http://www.winnetmag.com

********************

~~~~ THIS ISSUE SPONSORED BY ~~~~

HP & Microsoft Network Storage Solutions Road Show http://www.winnetmag.com/roadshows/nas

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~ SPONSOR: HP & MICROSOFT NETWORK STORAGE SOLUTIONS ROAD SHOW ~~~~

JOIN THE HP & MICROSOFT NETWORK STORAGE SOLUTIONS ROAD SHOW! Now is the time to start thinking of storage as a strategic weapon in your IT arsenal. Attend the HP & Microsoft Network Storage Solutions Road Show, and learn how existing and future storage solutions can save your company money--and make your job easier! There is no fee for this event, but space is limited. Register now! http://www.winnetmag.com/roadshows/nas

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

April 17, 2003--In this issue:

1. MOBILE & WIRELESS PERSPECTIVES - .NET Compact Framework Best Practices

2. ANNOUNCEMENTS - Couldn't Make the Microsoft Mobility Tour Event? - Sample Our Security Administrator Newsletter!

3. HOT RELEASE (ADVERTISEMENT) - BlackBerry Enterprise Server v3.5 for Microsoft Exchange

4. INSTANT POLL - Results of Previous Poll: Standardized PDAs or User Preference? - New Instant Poll: PDA Upgrade Plan

5. RESOURCE - Event Highlight: In-Building Wireless 2003

6. NEW AND IMPROVED - Wake Up Your PDA - Accessorize Your PDA

7. CONTACT US - See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

********************

1.

MOBILE & WIRELESS PERSPECTIVES

(contributed by Steve Milroy, steve@milroy.com)

* .NET COMPACT FRAMEWORK BEST PRACTICES In the March 6 and March 20 editions of Mobile & Wireless UPDATE, I looked at some of the key features and functionality of the Microsoft .NET Compact Framework. (To access these two Mobile & Wireless Perspectives columns, see the URLs at the end of this paragraph.) This time, I want to continue this discussion by looking at best practices for using the Compact Framework to develop and implement mobile solutions. I also want to consider some developer and deployment ideas. As I discussed in the March 20 edition, the development of Compact Framework applications is best accomplished through Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003, which offers visual IDE and automated development functionality. http://www.winnetmag.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=38316 http://www.winnetmag.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=38420

Debugging Debugging helps you identify and diagnose problems with the application during development. Best practices for debugging follow: - Use a real device. Although Visual Studio .NET 2003 has built-in Pocket PC and Windows CE emulators, the most efficient way to debug and test your application is on a real device that has a Wi-Fi (802.11b) connection from the development machine to the device. A Wi-Fi connection is much faster than physical or emulator connections. - Debug applications in chunks. Every time you enter debug mode, deploying the code to the device or emulator takes time. Debugging several features at once, in chunks, is more efficient. Also, you avoid deploying code for every change you make. - Include system.scr assemblies when you're in debug mode. Doing so lets you capture any runtime exceptions as strings, and resulting error messages can then be presented in a message box within your application. - Include an exit button. When you're designing a Pocket PC application, including an exit button is against Pocket PC application design principles because of the limited form factor. For debugging, however, the ability to completely stop the application from running is beneficial, so you might want to include an exit button.

Data Access Most Compact Framework applications require the ability to capture and review data in various forms. Best practices for data access follow: - Use ADO.NET data sets. Using data sets when you manipulate data on the device requires less coding. - Partially normalize the existing database schema. If you're starting with an existing server database schema for storing data in Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Windows CE Edition, combining data into fewer tables with a simpler schema (i.e., normalizing) on the device is a good idea. Doing so lets you perform database commands without needing to make complex joins. The result is enhanced performance.

Performance Tuning Tuning helps you improve the performance of an application's various parts. Without some level of performance tuning, applications might be too slow for effective use. Best practices for performance tuning follow: - Avoid highly complex UI features. The more features you have on one Compact Framework form, the more time will be necessary to load and display the form. - Avoid excessive function calls. Although using functions to code application features is typically a good practice, calling multiple functions can slow the application. - Use asynchronous processing and multithreading. Doing so lets you offload some of the processing into the background. The user can then continue using the application while processing occurs. - Assume the device is disconnected. Avoid making too many realtime server requests, trusting that connectivity (e.g., the wireless connection) is a given. If a user has a problem connecting, he or she will be kept waiting. Best practice is to synchronize required data to the device, then use that data offline.

In the next Mobile & Wireless UPDATE, I'll finish my overview of Compact Framework best practices, with a look at usability and deployment considerations. If you've been working with the Compact Framework, I'd like to hear about some of the best practices you've developed. Email me at steve@milroy.com.

2.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

(brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)

* COULDN'T MAKE THE MICROSOFT MOBILITY TOUR EVENT? If you were too busy to catch our Microsoft Mobility Tour event in person, now you can view the Webcast archives for free! You'll learn more about the available solutions for PC and mobile devices and discover the direction mobility marketplace is headed. http://www.winnetmag.com/seminars/mobility

* SAMPLE OUR SECURITY ADMINISTRATOR NEWSLETTER! If you spend the better part of your day dealing with security concerns such as controlling user access, viruses, and tightening your network's permeability, then you can benefit from the type of information we publish each month in Security Administrator. Every issue shows you how to protect your enterprise with informative, in-depth articles, timely tips, and practical advice. Sample our most recent issue today! http://www.secadministrator.com/rd.cfm?code=fsei253xup

3.

HOT RELEASE (ADVERTISEMENT)

BlackBerry Enterprise Server v3.5 for Microsoft Exchange Download this free technical white paper now from Windows & .NET Magazine's White Paper Central. Brought to you courtesy of Research in Motion. http://ad.doubleclick.net/clk;5262438;7402808;k?http://www.blackberry.com/go/server35

4.

INSTANT POLL

* RESULTS OF PREVIOUS POLL: STANDARDIZED PDAs OR USER PREFERENCE? The voting has closed in Windows & .NET Magazine's Mobile & Wireless Solutions nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "For your company's mobile workforce, do you push for a standardized PDA device or do you let users buy what they want?" Here are the results from the 33 votes: - 70% Standardized - 30% Users' choice

* NEW INSTANT POLL: PDA UPGRADE PLAN The next Instant Poll question is, "When do you plan to upgrade your workforce's mobile devices?" Go to the Mobile & Wireless Solutions Web site and submit your vote for a) In the next 6 months, b) In the next 6 to 12 months, c) More than a year from now, d) I have no upgrade plans, or c) My company has no mobile workforce. http://www.mobile-and-wireless.com

5.

RESOURCE

* EVENT HIGHLIGHT: IN-BUILDING WIRELESS 2003 May 5 through 7, 2003 Arlington, Virginia

In-Building Wireless is the premier indoor-coverage event created exclusively for in-building executives. Whether your focus is public hot spots, private-enterprise or vertical markets, or cellular or Wi-Fi networks, you'll benefit from In-Building Wireless's case-study presentations, discussions about the commercial viability of business models, and technical solutions for converging cellular and Wi-Fi networks for seamless connectivity of voice and data applications. Concurrent educational tracks will address the challenges of provisioning indoor wireless coverage within public hot spots and enterprise/vertical markets. For more information, go to the following URL: http://www.iir-inbuilding.com.

For other upcoming events, check out the Windows & .NET Magazine Event Calendar. http://www.winnetmag.com/events/calendar

6.

NEW AND IMPROVED

(contributed by Carolyn Mader, products@winnetmag.com)

* WAKE UP YOUR PDA International Systems Research released PPPush WakeOnRing 1.1, software that can remotely activate PDAs to perform activities such as updating inventory information or delivering email. The PPPush server activates WakeOnRing PPPush manager on a PDA equipped with a Compact Flash communication card. Pricing is approximately $1675 for the server software and $17 per user device. Contact International Systems Research at sales@isr.co.jp. http://www.isr.co.jp/english/index_e.html

* ACCESSORIZE YOUR PDA Belkin introduced PDA accessories for the Dell Axim X5 Pocket PC. The Belkin 9V Emergency Power Adapter ($9.99) is for the user on the road. The Belkin USB Sync Charger with USB-CLA ($19.99) and USB Sync Charger ($14.99) provide synchronization between an Axim X5 and PC through a USB port. Contact Belkin at 800-223-5546 or sales@belkin.com. http://www.belkin.com

7.

CONTACT US

Here's how to reach us with your comments and questions:

* ABOUT MOBILE AND WIRELESS PERSPECTIVES -- steve@milroy.com

* ABOUT THE NEWSLETTER IN GENERAL -- jbovberg@winnetmag.com (please mention the newsletter name in the subject line)

* TECHNICAL QUESTIONS -- http://www.winnetmag.net/forums

* PRODUCT NEWS -- products@winnetmag.com

* QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR MOBILE & WIRELESS UPDATE SUBSCRIPTION? Email Customer Support -- mobile_&_wirelessupdate@winnetmag.com

* WANT TO SPONSOR MOBILE & WIRELESS UPDATE? emedia_opps@winnetmag.com

********************

This biweekly email newsletter is brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine, the leading publication for Windows professionals who want to learn more and perform better. Subscribe today. http://www.winnetmag.com/sub.cfm?code=wswi201x1z

Receive the latest information about the Windows and .NET topics of your choice. Subscribe to our other FREE email newsletters. http://www.winnetmag.com/email

|-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-|

Thank you for reading Mobile & Wireless UPDATE.