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Advice Please Formatting Screen Output for different Mobile Browsers

Posted on 2011-03-18
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I currently have a project that is designed to run on Windows Mobile 5/6. We have a customer with a number of Windows CE devices that want access to this application. Of course we also have Ipads/Iphones and the like to consider for future deployment. Right now the app is designed to run on the .net compact framework so basically a fat client. I'm in the process of migrating my code to web services and making it strictly browser based (it currently supports real-time and batch transactions) moving forward. I'll be using VS Studio 2010 and ASP.net on the server. I've been trying to wrap my head around the best way to manage presentation on the different browsers that we may have hitting the site, but really need to focus on the Win CE and Windows Mobile browser because I have an immediate need to support those 2 platforms.

I guess what I'm asking for is some direction on how to proceed so that my server can distinguish what platform / browser is requesting a page and how to best serve up the page so I can use one script to render content designed for multiple browsers. I've been trying to get some direction thru google but just need to cut to the chase and find out what the "best practice" is using the ASP.Net framework.
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Question by:bensonwalker
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Dennis Aries earned 2000 total points
ID: 35166213
With the current state of the market, there is no real 'best' approach nowadays. The market is changing so fast that it is hard to keep up with the changes.

The best option (in my opinion) is to request the browser-version that the client is using and have the client use javascript to inform you of the used screensize. That would make it proof for the future versions as well.

Depending the browser-version, you will be able to use certain features of a browser to get a better presentation.

Since the IPad has certain restrictions, you might consider creating a single version for Windows-based computers (like Silverlight or Flash) and create a specific App (that targets your webservices) for the IPad/IPhone. A bit more work, but then you will be able to get the most out of the specific machines as well.

Note that Silverlight is not supported on Windows CE 5/6 but that it is *the* language to use for Windows Mobile 7
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