Visual Studio .Net in Mobile Space

By Timothy Dyck  |  Posted 2001-06-25

eWeek Labs first look at code reveals that the biggest feature change in Microsoft Corp.s Visual Studio .Net Beta 2 release is its support for graphical mobile application development.

Visual Studio .Net is the first Microsoft tool to tackle the problem of developing mobile applications, an area where Microsofts development strategy had been lagging.

Using Mobile Internet Toolkit components, we could graphically build applications that were then generated for a variety of mobile devices.

Mobile Internet Toolkit automatically detects and generates Web-based applications for Wireless Markup Language- and Compact HTML-based phones, Microsofts Windows CE and Palm Inc.s Palm OS-based personal digital assistants, and Research In Motion Ltd.s BlackBerry computers.

We didnt have to worry about the specifics of the markup languages used but could build applications by dragging and dropping components onto a form and then writing server-side code in Visual Basic or C#.

The Mobile Internet Toolkit components (which are written in ASP .Net) automatically detected the incoming device type and then generated the appropriate markup language for the device.

They also automatically added forward and backward paging to lists of data and did client-side or server-side validation of user input as appropriate, given the ability of the client device to run client-side JavaScript.

Mobile Internet Toolkit components are free to download and will be included in the final Visual Studio .Net product. Prices for the whole Visual Studio .Net package havent been announced; its expected to ship by the end of the year and requires Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 2000 to run. (The Mobile Internet Toolkit components now run only on Windows 2000.)

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