Click here to close now.

Welcome!

.NET Authors: Pat Romanski, Kevin Benedict, VictorOps Blog, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: .NET

.NET: Article

Creating Controls for.NET Compact Framework in Visual Studio 2005

Learn to build the building blocks of mobile UI

One of the new features in Visual Studio 2005 (VS2005) is easier custom control development for .NET Compact Framework. This article is about how to use Visual Studio 2005 to create custom control for .NET Compact Framework and provide design-time support.


Introduction to Custom Control

A Windows Forms custom control is a class that derives directly or indirectly from System.Windows.Forms.Control or System.Windows.Forms.
UserControl. Using custom control technology, developers can easily create powerful, reusable and redistributable Windows Forms controls.

There are three common custom control scenarios:

  • Combine existing controls to author a composite control. In this case, the custom control should derive from System.Windows.Forms.UserControl.
  • Extend an existing control to add to its functionality. In this case, the custom control should derive from the existing control, such as System.Windows.Forms.TextBox.
  • Author a control that doesn’t depend on existing WinForm controls. In this case, the custom control should derive from System.Windows.Forms.Control.

Visual Studio 2005 fully supports creating custom controls in .NET Compact Framework. In addition, custom control developers can create a great design-time experience for custom control users. Design-time support makes it easier for developers to use custom controls in Visual Studio 2005 Smart Device projects.

Usually, building a custom control for .NET Compact Framework consists of two steps:

  1. Code the custom control
  2. Add design-time support

In this article I am going to illustrate these steps by building a .NET Compact Framework custom control in Visual Studio 2005. The custom control is for sign-in forms and will look like Figure 1 on a Smartphone device. It is called SignInControl. Developers can utilize this custom control to implement a consistent sign-in experience for their apps. It has the following features:

  • Can take user name and password input
  • Provides animation functionality
  • Can be easily used in Visual Studio 2005 designer
  • Supports numeric input mode to help Smartphone users

To follow the article, you will need Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2 and Windows Mobile 5 Smartphone SDK.

Code the Custom Control
SignInControl uses Label and TextBox controls to take user input, and PictureBox to display the animation. Thus it should derive from UserControl.

The first step is to create a Visual Studio Smart Device project. Visual Studio 2005 has many Smart Device project types to choose from. In this example I am going to create a C# SmartPhone Windows Mobile 5 (code named Magneto) Control Library project called SignInControl (see Figure 2).


After creating the project, rename the UserControl1.cs to SignInControl.cs. To protect my custom control assembly from tampering, I also signed my assembly with a strong name key file (right click on the project in the solution explorer, select “Properties,” and click on “Signing” tab). Now I am ready to implement my custom control.

Go to the designer and drop two Label controls, two TextBox controls, one PictureBox control, and one Timer component. When doing this, notice the designer automatically displays snap-line to help aligning the controls. Set the Label controls to have proper text, and set the PasswordChar property of the password TextBox to “*.” Figure 3 is a screenshot of SignInControl in the designer.

Two properties should be added to SignInControl to give developers access to the user name and password entered. Their implementation simply gets or sets the Text property value on the corresponding TextBox controls.

Animation support is provided by the use of Timer and PictureBox. Add a Timer object to SignInControl, set its Interval property to 1000 (one second), and double click it to generate Timer.Tick event handler. The Timer object will raise an event every second. The PictureBox control’s image will be refreshed on each tick to achieve an animation effect.

The images for animation are set in AnimationImages property using ImageList. An AnimationMode property is provided so that developers can turn animation on or off. After adding the above implementation, SignInControl.cs looks like Listing 1.

More Stories By Xin Yan

Xin Yan has been a software design engineer at Microsoft for over 7 years. He works on Visual Studio developer tools platform team.

Comments (4) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
Jay Dixit 10/11/07 07:07:23 AM EDT

Hi truly a great article but i am new for it and just have some queries.
1. I don't understand AnimationMode.
2. I don't understand PasswordInputMode.
As per the understanding i have gone throught the detail and implemented the same. After leaving AnimationMode and PasswordInputMode, i have run the code on emulator but i am not able to see the effect.

Please help me for this.

Jacques Herweijer 02/05/07 03:23:28 PM EST

Hi great article, I completely understand the usercontrols now in a few minutes, its better than reading a book about it ! That however leaves me with 2 unanswered questions hope you can answer them.

My first question is, How can I access the properties of the labels as soon as the usercontrol is used on a form, so I can change the Text property depending on the form I am using it on, or do I have to create a new usercontrol that inhertis your example for each label Text I want to use and drop that one on my form. I think this is very much work for just setting a label.

And then my second one, How can I add controls to the usercontrol when I put it on my form ? For example if I wanted to add a button to the usercontrol when it is on my form but not in de usercontrol class itself (like a panel can contain controls) in Design-time ofcourse.

Hope you can and be willing to give me an answer because I cannot find these answers anywhere. I think its hard to search the web when some functionallity is not available for Smart Device projects.

Anyway Great article that give me a head start.

.NET News Desk 07/28/05 02:49:36 PM EDT

Creating Custom Controls for Microsoft .NET Compact Framework in Visual Studio 2005
Visual Studio 2005 fully supports creating custom controls in .NET Compact Framework. In addition, custom control developers can create a great design-time experience for custom control users. Design-time support makes it easier for developers to use custom controls in Visual Studio 2005 Smart Device projects.

.NET News Desk 07/28/05 02:49:30 PM EDT

Creating Custom Controls for Microsoft .NET Compact Framework in Visual Studio 2005
Visual Studio 2005 fully supports creating custom controls in .NET Compact Framework. In addition, custom control developers can create a great design-time experience for custom control users. Design-time support makes it easier for developers to use custom controls in Visual Studio 2005 Smart Device projects.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that BroadSoft, the leading global provider of Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC) services to operators worldwide, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's WebRTC Summit, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. BroadSoft is the leading provider of software and services that enable mobile, fixed-line and cable service providers to offer Unified Communications over their Internet Protocol networks. The Company’s core communications platform enables the delivery of a range of enterprise and consumer calling...
VoxImplant has announced full WebRTC support in the newest versions of its Android SDK and iOS SDK. The updated SDKs, which enable audio and video calls on mobile devices, are now compatible with the WebRTC standard to allow any mobile app to communicate with WebRTC-enabled browsers, including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, and, when available, Microsoft Spartan. The WebRTC-updated SDKs represent VoxImplant's continued leadership in simplifying the development of real-time communications (RTC) services for app developers. VoxImplant (built by Zingaya, the real-time communication servi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that GENBAND, a leading developer of real time communications software solutions, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's WebRTC Summit, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The GENBAND team will be on hand to demonstrate their newest product, Kandy. Kandy is a communications Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) that enables companies to seamlessly integrate more human communications into their Web and mobile applications - creating more engaging experiences for their customers and boosting collaboration and productiv...
The IoT Bootcamp is coming to Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo on June 9-10 at the Javits Center in New York. Instructor. Registration is now available at http://iotbootcamp.sys-con.com/ Instructor Janakiram MSV previously taught the famously successful Multi-Cloud Bootcamp at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo in November in Santa Clara. Now he is expanding the focus to Janakiram is the founder and CTO of Get Cloud Ready Consulting, a niche Cloud Migration and Cloud Operations firm that recently got acquired by Aditi Technologies. He is a Microsoft Regional Director for Hyderabad, India, and one of the f...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Optimal Design, an Internet of Things solution provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Optimal Design is an award winning product development firm offering industrial design and engineering services to the consumer, medical, and defense markets.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Vicom Computer Services, Inc., a provider of technology and service solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. They are located at booth #427. Vicom Computer Services, Inc. is a progressive leader in the technology industry for over 30 years. Headquartered in the NY Metropolitan area. Vicom provides products and services based on today’s requirements around Unified Networks, Cloud Computing strategies, Virtualization around Software defined Data Ce...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ciqada will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Ciqada™ makes it easy to connect your products to the Internet. By integrating key components - hardware, servers, dashboards, and mobile apps - into an easy-to-use, configurable system, your products can quickly and securely join the internet of things. With remote monitoring, control, and alert messaging capability, you will meet your customers' needs of tomorrow - today! Ciqada. Let your products take flight. For more inform...
What exactly is a cognitive application? In her session at 16th Cloud Expo, Ashley Hathaway, Product Manager at IBM Watson, will look at the services being offered by the IBM Watson Developer Cloud and what that means for developers and Big Data. She'll explore how IBM Watson and its partnerships will continue to grow and help define what it means to be a cognitive service, as well as take a look at the offerings on Bluemix. She will also check out how Watson and the Alchemy API team up to offer disruptive APIs to developers.
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
With IoT exploding, massive data will transform businesses with opportunities to monetize almost anything that can be measured. In this C-Level Roundtable Discussion at @ThingsExpo, Brendan O’Brien, Aria Systems Co-founder and Chief Evangelist, will lead an expert panel of consultants, thought leaders and practitioners who will look at these new monetization trends, discuss the implications, and detail lessons learned from their collective experience. Finally, the panel will point the way forward for enterprises who wish to leverage the resulting complex recurring revenue models, adding valu...
How is unified communications transforming the way businesses operate? In his session at WebRTC Summit, Arvind Rangarajan, Director of Product Marketing at BroadSoft, will discuss how to extend unified communications experience outside the enterprise through WebRTC. He will also review use cases across different industry verticals. Arvind Rangarajan is Director, Product Marketing at BroadSoft. He has over 19 years of experience in the telecommunications industry in various roles such as Software Development, Product Management and Product Marketing, applied across Wireless, Unified Communic...
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? Join this panel of experts as they peel away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud environment, and we must architect and code accordingly. At the very least, you’ll have no problem filling in your buzzword bingo cards.
Internet of Things (IoT) will be a hybrid ecosystem of diverse devices and sensors collaborating with operational and enterprise systems to create the next big application. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Bramh Gupta, founder and CEO of robomq.io, and Fred Yatzeck, principal architect leading product development at robomq.io, will discuss how choosing the right middleware and integration strategy from the get-go will enable IoT solution developers to adapt and grow with the industry, while at the same time reduce Time to Market (TTM) by using plug and play capabilities offered by a robust I...
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential Internet of Things Brand by Onalytica in the ‘The Internet of Things Landscape 2015: Top 100 Individuals and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed Twitter conversations around the #IoT debate to uncover the most influential brands and individuals driving the conversation. Onalytica captured data from 56,224 users. The PageRank based methodology they use to extract influencers on a particular topic (tweets mentioning #InternetofThings or #IoT in this case) takes into account the number and quality of contextual references that a user receives.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dyn, the worldwide leader in Internet Performance, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Dyn is a cloud-based Internet Performance company. Dyn helps companies monitor, control, and optimize online infrastructure for an exceptional end-user experience. Through a world-class network and unrivaled, objective intelligence into Internet conditions, Dyn ensures traffic gets delivered faster, safer, and more reliably than ever.
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. He also discussed how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics discussed were barriers to success, what is new, what is old, and what the future may hold. Mike Kavis is Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Pa...
The only place to be June 9-11 is Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo 2015 East at the Javits Center in New York City. Join us there as delegates from all over the world come to listen to and engage with speakers & sponsors from the leading Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data companies. Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo are the leading events covering the booming market of Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data for the enterprise. Speakers from all over the world will be hand-picked for their ability to explore the economic strategies that utility/cloud computing provides. Whether public, private, or in a hybrid form, clo...
The WebRTC Summit 2015 New York, to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 16th International Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, Big Data Expo, and DevOps Summit.
As Marc Andreessen says software is eating the world. Everything is rapidly moving toward being software-defined – from our phones and cars through our washing machines to the datacenter. However, there are larger challenges when implementing software defined on a larger scale - when building software defined infrastructure. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Boyan Ivanov, CEO of StorPool, will provide some practical insights on what, how and why when implementing "software-defined" in the datacenter.
While not quite mainstream yet, WebRTC is starting to gain ground with Carriers, Enterprises and Independent Software Vendors (ISV’s) alike. WebRTC makes it easy for developers to add audio and video communications into their applications by using Web browsers as their platform. But like any market, every customer engagement has unique requirements, as well as constraints. And of course, one size does not fit all. In her session at WebRTC Summit, Dr. Natasha Tamaskar, Vice President, Head of Cloud and Mobile Strategy at GENBAND, will explore what is needed to take a real time communications ...