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Introduction to .NET Mobile

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Cell phones (mobile telephones) have become part of our life style.

One exciting thing about mobile devices is their ability to connect to the Internet and to execute web applications.

Mobile applications can now be developed to deliver any types of data, to any user, any place in the world!

Different mobile devices support different programming languages. Some support WAP and WML, some support HTML or a limited version of HTML, and some support both or a different language.

To support all types of mobile devices, developers must create one different application for each language.

With .NET Mobile, Microsoft has introduced a new platform for developing mobile applications.

This tutorial is about how to develop applications with an extension to the .NET Framework, called the Microsoft Mobile Internet Toolkit (MMIT) or simply .NET Mobile.

What You Should Already Know

Before you continue you should have a basic understanding of the following:

  • XML namespaces
  • ASP .NET

If you want to study these subjects first, find the tutorials on our Home page.

.NET Mobile

.NET Mobile is an extension to Microsoft ASP.NET and the Microsoft's .NET Framework.

.NET Mobile is a set of server-side Forms Controls to build applications for wireless mobile devices.

These controls produce different output for different devices by generating WML, HTML, or compact HTML.

How Does It Work?

The following table shows how the .NET Mobile works:

Mobile Devices
The Internet
Internet Information Services - IIS
The .NET Framework
.NET Mobile
  • A web client requests a web page
  • The request travels the Internet
  • The request is received by IIS
  • The request is handled by the .NET framework
  • The requested page is compiled by ASP.NET
  • .NET Mobile handles any mobile device requirements
  • The page is returned to the client

Software Requirements

To develop mobile applications with .NET Mobile, you must have the following components:

  1. Windows 2000 Professional/Server with IIS 5
  2. All Windows 2000 service packs
  3. The ASP.NET framework
  4. Microsoft Mobile Internet Toolkit (MMIT)
  5. Internet Explorer 5.5 or later
  6. A WAP simulator

You will need Windows 2000 to develop .NET applications (IIS 5 (Internet Information Services) is a part of Windows 2000).

If you want to read more about how to install .NET go to our ASP.NET tutorial.

You also have to install MMIT (.NET Mobile).

Internet Explorer and MMIT can be downloaded from Microsoft MSDN.

How To Start

Developing a mobile web application with ASP.NET is very easy:

  1. Create an ASP.NET page
  2. Include System.Mobile.UI
  3. Add Mobile Controls to the page

See the details in the next chapters.

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