New Visual CE Touches 'Em All
Syware Inc. releases beta of Visual CE 10, a touch screen-friendly tool designed to run on Windows Mobile devices.by John K. Waters
Windows Mobile 6, the latest iteration of Microsoft's smartphone OS, announced in February, comes in both touch screen and non-touch screen versions. That means developers have to write separate versions of their applications.
One toolmaker, Syware Inc., is trying to reduce that workload.
The Cambridge, Mass.-based provider of mobile database developer tools released the beta of a new version of its Visual CE tool in March. The latest release is designed to allow developers to create a single forms-based application that, with minor modifications for optimization, can run on all Windows Mobile devices, with or without touch screens, the company says.
Visual CE is a drag-and-drop desktop development environment designed to allow users to create Windows Mobile-based apps with little or no programming. The company claims that there are more than 100,000 Visual CE-built applications in use today.
"As far as we can tell, PDAs with touch screens are here to stay," says Syware Director of Business Development Frank Yacano. "But things are shifting in the cell phone market. People like the touch screens, but they can be troublesome. And the popularity of devices like the Motorola Q and the Samsung BlackJack, which don't have the touch screens, seems to be increasing the demand for applications for those types of devices."
The current release, Visual CE 10, is compatible with all Pocket PC, Pocket PC Phone and Smartphone devices (which Microsoft rebranded with the Mobile 6 release as "Mobile 6 Classic," "Mobile 6 Professional" and "Mobile 6 Standard," respectively). Among other features, it comes with a fully relational database, predefined and custom filters, and lookup controls. It also provides integration with the company's mEnable technology for real-time or occasional wireless access to ODBC-enabled databases.
Visual CE 10 incorporates a macro editor designed to guide non-programmers through the process of creating well-structured, well-documented macros. It also supports remote device-control capabilities that allow administrators to configure devices from a central site and purge applications and data from a lost or stolen device.
Syware is making the smartphone beta releases of the latest version of Visual CE available free to most registered users of Visual CE 10. The final release is expected in May.