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Creating Slick User Interface for Windows Mobile

With rise of iOS, Android and Windows Phone platforms, plenty of mobile developers are starting to question the future of Windows Mobile platform. Is it gonna last or is it already dead??

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Future of  Windows Mobile platform

With rise of iOS, Android and Windows Phone platforms, plenty of mobile developers are starting to question the future of Windows Mobile platform. Is it gonna last or is it already dead??

To answer this question you have to look at following statement: All mobile platforms have their own advantages but also disadvantages. These predestine them for their use. I don’t want to go into deep details in this topic but the fact is that iOS, Android and Windows Phone platforms are targeting consumer end-users. Those are usually normal people that want to impress their friends with various crazy gadgets, funny games or other totally useless applications.

These platforms are good for certain stuff such as browsing internet, sms, calling and normal daily use of anyone of use. But when it comes to enterprise applications, the good old Windows Mobile is still a clear winner. Surprised?  This was also confirmed by the research of Gartner, the most trusted and recognized research institution in the world,  in February 2011 for instance.

When it comes to enterprise application development, the third party developers are usually heavily restricted by the architecture of Google, Apple and Microsoft (Windows Phone). The application’s file access is narrowed to only those applications that are associated with it. This helps the security but it limits lots of enterprise features such as the ability to work with internal radios to save battery life, battery information for better battery life management, ability to lock down or limit the user experience etc. 

Android developers must often develop device driver and application extensions since the fragmentation does not occur in the API layer but in the application layer. Windows Mobile devices often have BAR code scanners, RFID readers, they are able to sustain high temperatures, pressure, some of them are water proof and resistant to sand and dusts.

Windows Mobile Development

Since Windows Mobile is not an open source platform, the development is often not easy. The standard .NET framework used for Windows Mobile development is called Compact Framework. However, the controls included in .NET Compact Framework are very basic. The developer often needs to do a lot of routine programming to develop a good looking and user-friendly interface for intuitive navigation. Developers thus often use 3rd party controls and components when dealing with Windows Mobile platform.

Resco MobileForms Toolkit

Resco is a leading vendor of controls, components and libraries for Windows Mobile platform. Resco has over 3,500 corporate mobile developer customers and over 12 years of experience in industry. The main product, Resco MobileForms Toolkit was designed to help create neatly looking and user friendly environment for corporate Windows Mobile end-users.

Take a brief look at Resco MobileForms Toolkit Windows Mobile Edition video showcase:

Controls included in Resco MobileForms Toolkit Windows Mobile edition:

AdvancedList

Most powerful control. You can absolutely freely design all rows in the list. This control will allow the end-user to select any row to display additional information. You can use smooth touch-scrolling and add any visual objects into the rows such as texts, images, hyperlinks, input text boxes, buttons, etc.

Resco MobileForms Toolkit: AdvancedList Resco MobileForms Toolkit: AdvancedList Resco MobileForms Toolkit: AdvancedList

SmartGrid

Also one of the most widely used controls. This advanced grid control is able to present a large amount of data in a neatly organized way. Touch scrolling is also absolutely smooth. The grid is interactive and the developer can add various objects into the cells to edit the data including: input text boxes, check boxes, drop-down lists, and others

Resco MobileForms Toolkit: SmartGrid Resco MobileForms Toolkit: SmartGrid Resco MobileForms Toolkit: SmartGrid

DetailView

With the help of this control, the user will be able to input data using: check boxes, radio buttons, drop down lists, text boxes, numeric UpDowns, date and time pickers and images. For better organization of the fields the user will be able to switch between screens using tabs.

Resco MobileForms Toolkit: DetailView Resco MobileForms Toolkit: DetailView Resco MobileForms Toolkit: DetailView

AdvancedTree

This control is often being used instead of the native treeview, where the user can absolutely freely design all rows in the tree.

Resco MobileForms Toolkit: AdvancedTree

AdvancedComboBox and TouchComboBox

Drop down list controls with advanced graphic capabilities

Resco MobileForms Toolkit: AdvancedComboBox Resco MobileForms Toolkit: TouchComboBox

Toolbar and TabControl

Presents items which can be represented by images or visual effects.

Resco MobileForms Toolkit: Toolbar Resco MobileForms Toolkit: TabControl

TouchPanel

The TouchPanel is a container for various controls. Developer can even apply an image to the background. It supports the touch scrolling.

Resco MobileForms Toolkit: TouchPanelResco MobileForms Toolkit: TouchPanel

InkBox

Suitable for quick notes or signatures.

Resco MobileForms Toolkit: InkBox

KeyboardPro and CustomKeyboard

Original device keyboard and fully customizable keyboard suitable for comfortable user input.

Resco MobileForms Toolkit: KeyboardProResco MobileForms Toolkit: CustomKeyboard

LocationServices and GPS

Implements Google and Bing maps or manage the GPS location coordinates, position tracking and other functions.

Resco MobileForms Toolkit: LocationServices

CompactChart

Pie, Bar, Line, Doughnut and Area charts.

Resco MobileForms Toolkit: CompactChartResco MobileForms Toolkit: CompactChart

RichTextBox

Formatted text displaying and editing (fonts, styles, alignment, color, bullets, numbering, hyperlinks, protected texts). Support for RTF files and plain text.

Resco MobileForms Toolkit: RichTextBox

ImageButton

Displays different image upon user click. Various other properties.

Resco MobileForms Toolkit: ImageButton

MessageBox

Shows pop up dialog.

Resco MobileForms Toolkit: MessageBox

TransparentLabel

Label with transparent background.

Resco MobileForms Toolkit: TransparentLabel

ShortcutBar

Shortcut control can be divided into groups accessible through group buttons.

Resco MobileForms Toolkit: ShortcutBar

ProgressBar

Progress bar tracking progress of any process. Various options such as colors, gradient, boarders, pictures, blocks…

Resco MobileForms Toolkit: ProgressBarResco MobileForms Toolkit: ProgressBar

Tooltip

Displays additional info for items that cannot be displayed due to lack of space.

Tooltip

NumericUpDown

Control for easy input of numbers.

Resco MobileForms Toolkit: NumericUpDown

ScrollBar

Browse screen content. Ability to adjust arrows, thumbs and tracks or add letterbar.

Resco MobileForms Toolkit: ScrollBarResco MobileForms Toolkit: ScrollBar

TouchTextBox

Text box with support for rounded corners, additional buttons, image background and other features.

Resco MobileForms Toolkit: TouchTextBox

TouchRadioButton and TouchCheckBox

Edit box can be resized or you can put image or set color, alignment or transparent background.

Resco MobileForms Toolkit: TouchRadioButtonResco MobileForms Toolkit: TouchCheckBox

MaskedTextBox

Restricts user input to letters, capital letters or numbers. Allows password input.

Resco MobileForms Toolkit: MaskedTextBox

Month and WeekCalendar

Customizable cells of days, hours. Supports images, gradient and other graphic capabilities.

Resco MobileForms Toolkit: MonthCalendarResco MobileForms Toolkit: WeekCalendar

DateTimePicker and TouchDateTimePicker

Select date, time or combination of both. Touch scrolling functionality allowed

Resco MobileForms Toolkit: DateTimePicker and TouchDateTimePickerResco MobileForms Toolkit: DateTimePicker and TouchDateTimePicker

ImageBox

Zoom, crop, rotate, invert colors, brightness, contrast, gamma correction…

Resco MobileForms Toolkit: ImageBox

Audio

Playing and recording sound (mp3, wav, ogg, spx, raf)

Resco MobileForms Toolkit: Audio 

CallHistory

Access to mobile device’s call history database.

Resco MobileForms Toolkit: CallHistory

Network

WebDAV client establishes connection with WebDAV server.

Zip

Compress and decompress files or folders.

SIM

Access to SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card information.

Telephony

Access to WiFi, Bluetooth and phone device.

For more information check out the website: http://www.resco.net/developer/mobileformstoolkit/
Or send us your feedback: peter.hanustiak[at]resco.net

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

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Comments and Discussions

 
QuestionIn brazil and Latin America it's already dead PinmemberEternal Bard19-Aug-11 9:24 
AnswerRe: In brazil and Latin America it's already dead Pinmembertttdolph20-Aug-11 19:09 
I wonder where does QT fit in your opinion.
AnswerRe: In brazil and Latin America it's already dead PinmemberResco Developer Tools22-Aug-11 1:12 

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