Building Microsoft ASP.NET Applications for Mobile Devices, Second Edition

Mike Riley

October 30, 2009

3 Min Read
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Building Microsoft ASP.NET Applications for MobileDevices, Second Edition

The world has gone mobile on the application developer.I ve owned several incompatible embedded operating systems in my own recentwireless gadget experience, some of which were even manufactured by the samecompany. Whether these Web viewers were WAP- or HTML-based, each had their ownpeculiarity when it came to rendering Web site presentation layer data. Somesites rendered exceptionally well on each, while others quickly crashed andburned if they appeared at all.


Developers responsible for delivering an adequate userexperience on all these variable-end platforms can easily drown in this a seaof incompatibility. Recognizing this pain point, Microsoft provided a lifejacketfor .NET Web developers in the form of its Mobile Internet Toolkit. Thistoolkit has since been embedded into the .NET developer environment with therelease of Visual Studio .NET 2003, which already includes emulators for PocketPC 2003 and Windows CE .NET-enabled devices. While this addition made lifeconsiderably easier for the besieged developer, its tutorial visibility took aback seat to a number of other high priority needs that VS .NET was beingmarketed to address. Thankfully, Microsoft Press has published an excellent,albeit expensive, educational asset for ASP.NET developers to accelerate theircomprehension and use of Microsoft s Mobile Internet Toolkit. However, sinceall code samples are written in C#, VB .NET coders will have to be prepared toconvert the syntax or learn C# in parallel to fully appreciate and comprehendeach sample s execution purpose.


The book begins by answering why and how theMobile Toolkit and related VS .NET 2003 mobile components solve the developer smultiple mobile device dilemma. Next up is installing and configuring the idealmobile device development and testing environment, including the use ofOpenwave s free HDML/WML-compliant mobile browser emulator (Openwave s WAPbrowser is embedded in a large percentage of mobile phones presently beingmanufactured). A large percentage of the book discusses what portions of the.NET Framework can be used to build ASP.NET mobile device applications. Thisincludes programming ASP.NET mobile Web forms, working with standard controls(form, panel, image, label, text box, listbox, etc.), validation controls,connecting lists, and tables to data sources and custom downloadable controls.


The authors also demonstrate how to program mobile controlstyles and style sheets, overriding properties, extending the templatedcontrols (form, Panel, List and ObjectList), and they provide an invaluablechapter on state management. The balance of the book explores advanced topicssuch as mobile application performance enhancements, internationalizationrecognition, Web service integration, debugging and error handling, mobile apppackage creation and deployment, security, and adding support for new clientdevices via the machine.config file (think browser.ini for the mobile devicearena). The book closes with chapters on creating custom controls and deviceadapters from scratch, illustrating how easy it is to extend functionalitybeyond Microsoft s boxed set of mobile components.


About the only thing missing from the book was a chapterthat brings all of these discussions together into a mobile application examplethat demonstrates the most useful, real-world use of these technologies, suchas an e-commerce site or ERP example. Not only would this have provided readerswith a capstone of mobile .NET applicability, but also could have given theauthors an opportunity to spend a few more pages on what types of applicationapproaches work best within a restricted display space. Just because Microsoftgives developers the tools to extend their applications to the mobile spacedoesn t necessarily mean that each application is a candidate for such aplatform.


Building MicrosoftASP.NET Applications for Mobile Devices is certainly one of the better albeit more expensive mobile ASP.NET application books on the market. It swell written and easy to follow, assuming you have C# familiarity. For thosewho are already fans of Microsoft Press book style and training pace, thisbook continues to deliver on that tradition.


Mike Riley



Title: Building Microsoft ASP.NET Applications forMobile Devices, Second Edition

Authors: AndyWigley and Peter Roxburgh

Publisher:Microsoft Press


Web Site:

Price: US$59.99

Pages: 696pages



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