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Windows Mobile 6, VS 2008 and MS Access 2010

Posted on 2011-09-20
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Last Modified: 2013-12-27
We have an Access 2010 database inventory system. We need to build an app for a Motorola smart device (scanner) that the users can take offsite to use at other locations.

We would like to download a subset of the Access database data to the smart device and use it as data for an app running on Windows Mobile 6. Users will then take the smart device to other remote sites and scan or data entry. When they return to the main office, the data needs to be uploaded and re-synched to the Access database.

I spent hours today figuring out that Visual Studio 2010 doesn't support development for Windows Mobile 6.0. In fact, two Microsoft customer support staff told me it would until I proved them wrong.

From what I understand (please correct if wrong), you cannot run Access 2010 on Windows Mobile 6.

Would you recommend building an app using Visual Studio 2008 to download to the smart device?

What format would the data need to be on the smart device such that it can be downloaded from Access, used by Mobile 6 and resynched with Access 2010?

I would prefer a web-based system but we're concerned about performance (data entry speed) and if some remote locations don't have good internet connection.

Any suggestions are much appreciated.

Thanks
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Question by:mph23
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Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE ) earned 125 total points
ID: 36570870
"From what I understand (please correct if wrong), you cannot run Access 2010 on Windows Mobile 6."

You are correct. I believe the Windows Mobile devices include an instance of SQL Server Compact Edition, but could be wrong - but you can always install SSvr CE.

However, you cannot "sync" that database with your Access desktop database. You'd have to either build your own sync utility, or perhaps purchase a utility that could do this for you. I don't know of any, but a quick search shows that such items exist.

Or you could use SQL Server as the backend for you local (i.e. workstation) applications, and you could most likely then take advantage of the replication features of SQL Server.
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Author Comment

by:mph23
ID: 36570997
LSM Consulting: Have you developed any projects using VS 2008 for use on Windows Mobile 6 devices?
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Expert Comment

by:Mikal613
ID: 36571031
ACCESS is not supported on WM since WM5. The only way around it is to make a web service or wcf service to host the Access database and the windows mobile can communicate with the access database. You other alternative is to use SQL mobile.
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ID: 36571040
No, I have not.
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Author Comment

by:mph23
ID: 36571054
Ok thanks all. Will look into using SQL Server Compact Edition and SQL Mobile.

Actually wanted some advice on using VS 2008 for Windows Mobile 6 device was a good/painful idea and any other recommendations on 3rd party tools.

Has anyone developed using VS 2008 for Windows Mobile 6 smart devices?

Thanks,
jw
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Expert Comment

by:Mikal613
ID: 36571100
I have developed ALL with all versions. I suggest you move to VS2010 and WP7
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Author Comment

by:mph23
ID: 36581771
I wish!
The motorola es400 unit only comes with Windows mobile 6.

Spent all afternoon yesterday trying to figure out the dev tools. Apparently you need VS 2008 PRO (not standard) for Windows mobile 6. Or VS 2005 Standard.

Is this correct? What's the cheapest way to start developing?

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Expert Comment

by:Mikal613
ID: 36581816
buy VS on ebay
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Author Comment

by:mph23
ID: 36581883
ooh, good tip.  Thanks!
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Author Comment

by:mph23
ID: 36581891
Wow even on ebay VS 2008 Pro is $600.

Will VS 2005 Standard work ok with Windows Mobile 6 dev?
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Assisted Solution

by:Mikal613
Mikal613 earned 375 total points
ID: 36582408
Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition and above or Microsoft Visual Studio 2005, Standard Edition or above (Express Editions are not supported). SP1 recommended.
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Author Comment

by:mph23
ID: 36584686
Thanks!
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Author Comment

by:mph23
ID: 36584697
Mikal613: What do you mean by,
"The only way around it is to make a web service or wcf service to host the Access database and the windows mobile can communicate with the access database. You other alternative is to use SQL mobile."

How do you make a web service (what is wcf?) to host the Access db? How would WM communicate with the db?

Would you first recommend that solution or SQL mobile?
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Assisted Solution

by:Mikal613
Mikal613 earned 375 total points
ID: 36584745
Yes first is SQL mobile because its local to your phone and would not require an internet connection. The second option would be the wcf or web service which would act as a "Wrapper" to the access database and you can used the exposed methods from the services to your device.
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Author Comment

by:mph23
ID: 36592822
Do you use VS2005 to build the wcf/web service wrapper?
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Assisted Solution

by:Mikal613
Mikal613 earned 375 total points
ID: 36594054
you need 2008 and above for the wcf service but you can create web services in any version.
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Author Comment

by:mph23
ID: 36594075
Ok I'll research more on  it. Thanks for the tip!
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Author Closing Comment

by:mph23
ID: 36594081
Thanks everyone!
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