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Visual CE® FAQ

Visual CE software allows you to build custom mobile database applications for any Windows Mobile, Pocket PC, Smartphone, or Windows CE device

V1-a) Other than Visual CE®, what do I need to create a form?

If you have a Windows CE device and a desktop PC with any Microsoft Windows operating system installed, you have everything you need.

Your Windows CE device came with a CD that had the Windows CE desktop connectivity software (ActiveSync and/or Windows Mobile Device Center). Make sure this is installed on you PC before installing Visual CE.

At the time of this writing, download and setup instructions for ActiveSync and the Windows Mobile Device Center are also available from Microsoft.

V1-b) I'm not a programmer, will I be able to use Visual CE?

Visual CE was designed for people who are comfortable with computers, but are not necessarily programmers. If you can use a web browser (and you probably can since you are reading this), you can create forms and databases with Visual CE.

V1-c) Does Visual CE work with Microsoft Visual Basic, Visual C++, Visual Studio .NET?

Visual CE is a self contained development environment. Forms created with Visual CE cannot be used directly as input forms for Visual Basic or Visual C++ programs.

However, from your Visual CE application, you can launch Visual Basic, Visual C++, Visual Studio .NET programs. Likewise Visual Basic, Visual C++, and Visual Studio .NET can launch a Visual CE application. Data can be passed from one to the other through the database.

Visual CE's tables reside in the Windows CE Database Object Store, a Pocket Access database, or a SQL Server CE database. If the tables were created using Pocket Access or SQL Server CE, they can be accessed using the operating system's database APIs. If the table were created using Visual CE, they can be accessed through the operating system's APIs.

You can also pass values to a Visual CE application by setting a Visual CE variable in your application. You do this by using the /a command line switch on the Visual CE runtime.

V1-d) Does Visual CE work on Pocket PC devices? Windows Mobile Devices? P/PC devices? H/PC devices? H/PC Pro devices?

Visual CE works on all Windows CE devices running Windows CE 3.0 or better.

Visual CE works on all Pocket PC's, Smartphones, Windows Mobile, and H/PC Pro devices.

Visual CE works on Windows CE 3.x, Windows CE 4.x, Windows 5.x devices, and Windows 6.x devices.

V1-e) What versions of Windows CE does Visual CE work with?

Visual CE works on all Windows CE devices running Windows CE 3.0 or better.

Visual CE works on all Pocket PC's, Smartphones, Windows Mobile, and H/PC Pro devices.

Visual CE works on Windows CE 3.x, Windows CE 4.x, Windows 5.x devices, and Windows 6.x devices.

V1-f) What is the difference between the Personal Edition, Professional Edition, and MobileSuites?

The Professional Edition and MobileSuites licenses allow you to redistribute your forms to third parties. This redistribution license is royalty free. (Does not include mEnable and sqlceEnable) The Personal Edition has no redistributable components.

The MobileSuites include a Professional Edition, as well additional SYWARE, Inc. products. For a detail of what is included in each, please go here

V1-g) How can I upgrade from one edition (Personal, Professional, Enterprise or MobileSuite) to another?

Our current policy is that you can upgrade one edition to a higher edition by just paying the difference the price of the edition you want minus whatever you paid for the edition you have. For example, if you paid $129 for your Personal Edition, you can upgrade to the Pro Edition for just $270 ($399 minus $129). For more details, visit our upgrade information page.

V1-h) Does Visual CE support color?

You can set the background and foregound color on a control by control basis. You can also specify the background color for the entire form.

Visual CE also allows you to "dress up" your form by putting color bitmaps on form. You can do this by creating a read/only scribble control and picking a color bit map as the background image.

V1-i) Does Visual CE support sound?

Visual CE Command Buttons can be used to play a variety of beeps and buzzes. Visual CE can also play pre-recorded .WAV files.

V1-j) Can Visual CE capture a signature? Recognize handwriting?

Visual CE can capture a drawing or signature and put it in the database. If the database is synchronized to a desktop database, it is stored as an OLE Object. If the desktop database is a Microsoft Access database, you can view the drawing/signature by double clicking on it or you can print it.

Visual CE has no handwriting recognition capabilities built in, but it has been used successfully with third party handwriting recognition software.

V1-k) What does "royalty-free" pricing mean for Visual CE?

Royalty-free pricing means you don't have to pay a separate fee for each handheld on which your final application is running. This insures that anyone can inexpensively deploy mobile database applications. For example, a company that is using a Visual CE-based application, built using the Professional Edition, on 25 handhelds pays as little as $16 per device for the Visual CE built applications. There are no per device fees required to deploy applications built with Visual CE, unless they also use mEnable or sqlceEnable.

V1-l) Do you provide evaluation copies?

SYWARE is confident you'll like what you see with our family of database development tools. In case you're not sure, download the Visual CE Evaluation Edition.

V1-m) Is there a Macro Programming capability?

The Visual CE Personal and Professional Editions and all MobileSuites have a Macro Programming capability. Read more about it here.

V1-n) Can you design forms on the desktop? On the handheld?

Forms can be built and modified on both the desktop and the handheld.

V1-o) Do the forms run on the desktop? On the handheld?

Forms usually run on the handheld (read/writing data on the handheld).

The forms can also be run on the desktop. The forms will read/write data in the desktop tables that the handheld tables are being synchronized to.

V1-p) How can I put Visual CE's relational capabilities to work?

Visual CE has multi-table / multi-form capabilities. For example, say you have a table of ORDERS and ITEMS. Each ORDER record has multiple, corresponding ITEM records, and records in both tables have a column called ORDER_ID which relates the ORDER records to the ITEM records.

A Visual CE application can make use of this relational characteristic in the following ways:

  • On the ITEM form you can have a button that, when pressed, launches the ORDER form and positions at that item's order.

  • On the ITEM form, you can have a lookup control that displays information from the corresponding ORDER record (like date of the order, customer, etc.)

  • On the ORDER form, you can have a grid that displays the items associated with that order. If the user double clicks on a particular item, Visual CE will launch the ITEM form and display that item.

  • In the ITEM form, you can have a dropdown of possible items and this dropdown can be populated with data from another table, such as an INVENTORY table.

  • The Visual CE synchronizer can synchronize both tables to the desktop.

  • Visual CE can generate new, unique ORDER_ID's when creating new ORDER records. In addition, Visual CE can automatically set an ITEM record's ORDER_ID when a new ITEM record is created.

  • Visual CE can delete all the corresponding ITEM records for an ORDER when the ORDER record is deleted.

In addition to the foreign key capabilities described above, Visual CE allows you to specify a uniqueness constraint on a table.

Also, a form can be larger than the physical screen on the device. You can put buttons on the form so the user can move from one "region" to another. From the perspective of your user, it will appear that the application has multiple "pages".

You can do all the above by just creating controls and setting their properties. No coding is needed.