Fun with Anonymous Methods

A few months ago I wrote some code that really made me appreciate the new language feature in C#: Anonymous Methods. I decided to turn it into a sample application that creates a web request to www.google.com and downloads it when you push a button… asynchronously (that means the UI does not hang while the application is downloading). Prior to C# 2.0, doing a web request and download the content asynchronously was several hundred lines of sloppy spaghetti code: you need to implement callbacks, cleanup, error handling, state maintenance, etc. A lot of developers, myself included, would “cheat” and wrap synchronous calls in a thread to fake asynchronous requests (this is not ideal for performance).

The beauty of anonymous methods is that the compiler’s syntactic sugar handles a lot of the aforementioned for the developer very elegantly in the background. Read the rest of this entry »


Windows Mobile Device Emulator: Installment 2 – Configuration of the NE2000 Adapter

Here is the follow-up installment #2 on device emulator configuration.  You may want to read installment #1 first.

I often need to test our code across various versions and SKUs of Windows Mobile.  For instance, I need to test one feature across WM 5.0 Smartphone, WM 5.0 Pocket PC Phone Edition, WM 6.0 Standard, WM 6.0 Professional and, of course, the newer WM 6.1 SKUs.

When testing, you often want to use a hard/cold booted device for the most reproducible results.  Cold booting and then reconfiguring a bunch of devices is super time consuming.  Even if using the device emulator, configuration can be time consuming. Read the rest of this entry »


Windows Mobile Device Emulator: Installment 1 – Setup and Use

The following is the first of 2 installments that describe how I use Windows Mobile Device Emulators. This installment covers setup and basic use while the second installment covers configuration.

A lot of people test and demo Windows Mobile devices using actual devices. This works fine for most scenarios. However, there are some distinct advantages to using device emulators:

  • The device emulators are free as they come with the Windows Mobile SDKs.
  • If you use a device emulator for your demo, you don’t need to use an Elmo overhead projector to show what’s happening on the device.
  • You can pre-configure a device emulator, save the pre-configured state and quickly “reset” the emulator back to the pre-configured state. This is a real time saver for both demoing and testing.
  • You can test across multiple versions of the Windows Mobile Operating System simultaneously on one PC

If I’ve convinced you that the device emulator is worth setting up, follow these steps. Read the rest of this entry »


SCMDM Sessions at TechEd North America 2008

For those going to the upcoming TechEd North America 2008, IT Pro Conference, June 10-13 in Orlando Florida my Enterprise Mobile colleague Patrick Salmon has two sessions just about SCMDM:

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My other Enterprise Mobile colleague Doug Field, is managing the Hands-On-Lab for SCMDM as well!

Find more information on TechEd 2008 here.

There is also a ton of sessions on Windows Mobile and Windows Mobile 6.1 that could be very interesting!

Marco Nielsen


SCMDM Article in Smartphone/PocketPC Magazine June 2008

Another great article in the current issue of Smartphone/PocketPC Magazine from my colleague Patrick Salmon. Check it out here:

http://www.pocketpcmag.com/cms/_archives/Jun08/SystemCenterDevice

Good round-up of knowledge skills and necessary to get started with SCMDM. Provides an excellent overview of the technology and why it is important as well!

Marco Nielsen


MDM connectivity issues with some APNs

When installing System Center Mobile Device Manager (aka MDM) in a customer environment recently, I encountered a scenario where VPN connectivity worked on all but one of the mobile networks we tested. Here’s a recap of the challenges I encountered, and the eventual solution.

Summary
After installing all MDM components, we were able to successfully enroll and connect two T-mobile devices without any problems. Next, we tried connecting AT&T devices (using the recommended isp.cingular APN), and the tunnel would come up but the device could not access any internal systems. Policies would get pushed down to T-mobile (or even WiFi) connected devices flawlessly, yet isp.cingular would always fail. This happened consistently across a variety of devices, SIMs and regions of the country. We were also able to take the same device, SIM and APN and connect fine to our MDM lab here at Enterprise Mobile. Read the rest of this entry »


Software distribution with MDM

UPDATE: Check out our CAB Signing Tool if you need to sign CAB files with your own certificate.

A recurring question I get is how to test and demo the software distribution capabilities of MDM.

People generally run into errors with importing test CAB files because the DM does not trust the signature the CAB was signed with – or the CAB is simply unsigned. First thing to note is the software distribution server can only import signed CAB files. You cannot disable this feature (as of this writing anyway.) The root certs of the certificate that signed the cab file must be in the Trusted Publisher store on the DM server. In most cases you will have to manually put it there. Read the rest of this entry »


Needed: OMA DM API on Windows Mobile

The Windows Mobile device management platform supports two different Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) standards: OMA Client Provisioning (OMA CP) and OMA Device Management (OMA DM). By the say, OMA CP is the new name for WAP Provisioning. So, when you see Windows Mobile configuration XML with the root node of <wap-provisioningdoc>, you know you are using OMA CP.

Because Windows Mobile supports both OMA CP and OMA DM, you’ll find that MSDN documentation for most Windows Mobile Configuration Service Providers will include information on configuration XML for both standards. OMA DM is suppose to be the new, improved standard (and it is in many ways). So, you may wonder why OMA CP support is still included. Read the rest of this entry »


The “Save Password” checkbox does not work in Mobile IE

Here is a little issue that I researched this week and I thought I’d share it on the blog.

PROBLEM: When accessing a website that is secured to use an NTLM authenticated password, the “Save Password” option does not work on Windows Mobile Pocket PCs and Smartphones.

Here are detailed steps that outline how to reproduce this problem using a Motorola/Symbol MC70 Pocket PC. Note that the test device was running Windows Mobile 5.0 AKU3. Read the rest of this entry »


Permalinks in WordPress

I have to pause for a moment and thank Jon Tackabury at Binary Fortress for the URL rewrite ISAPI filter that enables us to run WordPress with proper permalinks. I know that the work builds on the shoulders of others, but most development is that way. Jon has put it all together and made it relatively easy to use (once permissions are set and you decide on at 64 or 32 bit implementation).

So a big Thank You to Jon and your donation is on the way…

Mark Riley
Sr. Architect