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Best dev tool for PDA companion to our desktop software

We currently have a commercial Windows desktop application that functions as an inventory software.  We are receiving requests to develop a PDA companion for data collection outside of the office. 

Our desktop application is Access-based (front end and back end) so we will somehow need to synchronize the data.  Also, we would like to be able to connect a barcode scanner.

I wondered about Visual Studio 2005 but wasn't sure if there was a better tool.  It seemed like VS 2005 had such a large footprint with the framework.

Perplexed about PDAs Send private email
Monday, February 19, 2007
It really depends on what OS the PDA's will be running. For Windows Mobile/CE devices you really ought to be using Visual Studio. If they are some other OS, then you will need to download the appropriate dev environments from the manufacturers.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
What operating system will the PDA use?

Visual Studio comes with a decent development tool for Windows CE based applications - I've never used it so I don't know the specific merits, but everyone I've talked to says developing for a PDA is arguably no harder than writing for the desktop.

Eclipse similarly does a good job with Java for mobile applications. I dunno about PalmOS or the Symbian stuff...
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Check into what PDAs you're going to support. I don't think you can support all of them. For PDAs with barcode readers built in, there aren't that many on the market that I am aware of:
SPT1550 - palm 3 derivative ($500)
SPT1800 - later palm derivative ($900)
PPT8800, MC50, MC70 - WinCE. ($1k - $2k)
You can probably find SPT1500 and SPT1550 (replaces 1500) on ebay for $100-200. Metrowerks used to be the leading dev environment for Palm systems, but they got bought by Motorola and spun off into "Freescale."

Sells them with other stuff:

For barcode readers that plug into other PDAs, well, fiddly little bits are going to break in the hands of the folks who are going to use them every day. You don't want dainty fragile stuff in a warehouse.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Maybe look at ?
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
I did this for a living in my previous job. VS 2005 is fine enough tool assuming you already have the expertise with it on desktop development and .Net compact framework footprint isn't big for modern pda.
Friday, February 23, 2007
"Maybe look at ?"

This is looking like a goer. Too bad the interface is clunkier than VB3 from 10 years ago....

Aaron DC Send private email
Monday, February 26, 2007
For developing for the PalmOS, there's 'PODS' - Palm OS Developer Suite, it's based on Eclipse. You can find it here:

Actually, it looks like it's been renamed to Garnet OS Developer Suite.
Full name
Monday, March 12, 2007

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