Where to start when targeting Windows CE/Mobile plateform with C#

Hi, I've tested some of the solutions to quickly produce applications for Windows mobile plateform, for fun at the beginning, and just to know a bit about this subject. None of them where the clear, easy solution I hoped for, but maybe I didn't invest enough time.

Now I may have to create such small applications for business, and I'm looking for real world advices to get started with the tools that will work best for me, and won't cost me too much.

I'm expert in C and Delphi, so my first choice of technology is .Net/C# which I believe won't be too hard to handle from that experience.

Does any of you have some recommended tools, IDE (free if possible) , great websites specific to mobile development (because googling on these subjects always tend to be polluted with other .NET solutions not compatible with compact framework) ?
Or someone who wants simply to share similar experience getting into this world , tricks, and pitfalls to avoid ?
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Emmanuel PASQUIERFreelance Project ManagerAsked:
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alexey_gusevCommented:
windows mobile is very bumpy area :)

- Tools: the majority is using VS2005/2008/2010, none of them is free for mobile development; you might try to have a look at SharpDevelop (http://www.icsharpcode.net/OpenSource/SD/) for free IDE

- sites: I'd look at MSDN for starters in mobile section, like thesw:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-gb/windowsmobile/default.aspx
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/library/cc182269.aspx

you might be interested in

http://www.opennetcf.com/Default.aspx?tabid=130
http://blog.opennetcf.com/

there are many other resources and useful blogs, but these are OK to start with

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Emmanuel PASQUIERFreelance Project ManagerAuthor Commented:
That looks good.
Will SharpDevelop work with Compact Framework ?

Otherwise, I think I might go for VS2008. But I don't like the IDE, I'm probably too used to Delphi, and can't understand why is there no 'component treeview' to see a hierarchy of what's on my form. Or maybe I don't just know how MS called it ?

Another thing that really annoys me is that I couldn't find any reference, code, or even hints about projects using TCP/IP with compact framework. That seems unbelievable that there is nothing to do easy out-of-the-box TCP/IP communication on WinMobile using CF, and I would have thought that this would be one of the most frequent topic covered. Do you have anything on that ?
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Emmanuel PASQUIERFreelance Project ManagerAuthor Commented:
ok, strike the last comment about TCP/IP, I'm probably not used enough to .Net philosophy. I was looking for components where I would just have to edit in design time the IP/Port property and set a received event, like in Delphi, where I should have looked for classes and do that the 'old way' like in C++.

I just found an article about using System.Net.Sockets ...
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alexey_gusevCommented:
I don't remember re. SharpDevelop and CF.NET, but you might give it a try, I think I saw something in that direction, although if you can purchase vs2008 (or vs2010) then don't bother with SharpDevelop :) I have a vague feeling that I even read somewhere about cf and delphi too.

you're right, vs doesn't have tree-like view for hierarchy (unfortunately) or at least I'm unaware of such option.

and yes, sockets are relatively easy on .net and cf.net too.

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Emmanuel PASQUIERFreelance Project ManagerAuthor Commented:
> I have a vague feeling that I even read somewhere about cf and delphi too.
I think I heard rumours about that too... But I think it's not with standard Delphi IDE but something else using Delphi language. I would be too happy if I could find a reliable way to create CF applications using Delphi language...
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alexey_gusevCommented:
something like this article: http://edn.embarcadero.com/article/33066
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Emmanuel PASQUIERFreelance Project ManagerAuthor Commented:
Cool ! I'll take a closer look at these.
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