What is this
With the latest releases of our applications, particularly
Logbook Pro Pocket PC Companion, you've had to learn about
the new technology by Microsoft. Well, it's not
exactly new, it's been out a few years, but developers such
as ourselves are now beginning to adopt this technology and
make it part of the mainstream for new application
development. Here is the description from Microsoft's
Getting Started web page.
The .NET Framework is a development
and execution environment that allows different
programming languages & libraries to work together
seamlessly to create Windows-based applications that are
easier to build, manage, deploy, and integrate with
other networked systems.
APDL's Pocket PC edition relies on the .NET "Compact"
Framework, a scaled down version of the PC edition dubbed
the ".NET Framework" (notice no "compact" in the name) for
several years now. It uses version 1 of the .NET
Compact Framework which is part of most mobile operating
systems so it's been a transparent matter that we really
haven't had to discuss. However, with the release of
Logbook Pro's new Pocket PC software, which uses version 2
of the .NET Compact Framework and version 1.1 of the .NET
Framework (for the PC), things are getting a bit confusing,
so it's time to discuss this a little bit. Not to make
you a programmer, but just to give you an understanding of
this new stuff and what goes where.
First off, the .NET Framework is a great thing! Take
for example the all too common "Error 530" when backing up
Logbook Pro. This is due to something commonly
referred to in the development community as "DLL HELL."
Without repeating the phrase so as not to offend any of our
readers, this happens when some program out there completely
disregards versions of DLL's on your computer. For
example, Logbook Pro uses version 6 of a DLL. Then you
go install some other product who doesn't use a good
installation system and they forcibly overwrite version 6
with version 5. Logbook Pro is now broken!
However, the other application should work fine with newer
versions, when you step on a newer version with an older
version you can have problems. It can get quite
complex, but the common repository of files in
C:\Windows\System or C:\Windows\System32 is just not proving
to be the best of ideas. Along came the .NET Framework
(remember, no Compact, so we're talking about the PC
version) which now allows these great DLL's to actually be
placed in the same folder as the application you're
installing. Application 1 has their set of files and
Application 2 has theirs, so they don't step on each other.
This is just one of the main benefits of the .NET Framework,
isolation of files so when you install that nifty new
something, it doesn't break that nifty old reliable you've
used for years.
The .NET Framework is a "runtime engine" that is used to
power applications developed for use with this .NET
Framework. A runtime engine is not new, Logbook Pro
uses a runtime engine of a different type. In order
for Logbook Pro to run on your Pocket PC, it requires a
runtime engine to work. Therefore, the .NET Compact
Framework version 2 is required for use with Logbook Pro on
the Pocket PC, which of course is free from Microsoft.
We now have an installer that combines both Logbook Pro and
this .NET Compact Framework (remember, Compact is for the
Pocket PC) so you just install and use!
On the PC, Logbook Pro uses the PC version of this
framework, yep, it's the ".NET Framework," which is
available in three versions (with a fourth just announced):
Version 1.0, 1.1, and 2.0 (with 3.0 just announced for
Windows Vista). Typically, version 2.0 will work for
1.1 applications (which also holds true on the Pocket PC),
however, both can be installed on your computer, and
actually should be installed to make sure everything works
just right. You can get the .NET Framework for your PC
simply by going to Windows Update. Click "Custom"
(instead of Express) so you can see both the critical and
optional updates when checking for Windows Updates. If
you see either Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1 or 2.0, go ahead
and install them, you will need them some day, not only for
our products, but other vendors as well.
This may have been a little confusing but the main thing to
take away is there are two versions of this .NET Framework:
The .NET Framework is for your PC (Windows) and the .NET
Compact Framework is for your Pocket PC (Windows Mobile).
I hope this shed a little light to help you understand this
requirement for our future applications we will be