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The Microsoft Mobile Internet Toolkit 1.0

If your VS.NET development plans include Web-based services for mobile devices, this is one toolkit you won't want to miss.

One of the major premises driving the whole Microsoft .NET phenomenon is the ability to access data from any platform, at any location, at any time. That's why one of the more interesting developer downloads on the MSDN site is entitled "Microsoft Mobile Internet Toolkit 1.0." It's designed to extend the .NET Framework and the Visual Studio .NET development environment to support mobile Web applications. In simpler, less jargonistic terms, this means that .NET-based server side technology -- especially ASP.NET -- can deliver markup documents to mobile devices that include WML and cHTML cellphones*, HTML pages and various types of personal data assistants (PDAs) that feature markup support.

The Mobile Internet Toolkit is around 4MB in size and includes four developer components and two types of documentation:

  • Device Adapter Code: Pre-fab code modules designed to make it easy to built adapter code for new devices using the Windows driver extensibility model.

  • Device Capabilities: Updates the ASP.NET browser to add more and improved support for wireless or mobile devices.

  • Documentation: General toolkit documents, including a technical reference guide and a language reference guide for support markup.

  • Mobile Internet Controls Runtime: A collection of ASP.NET controls that dynamically interrogate and then generate appropriate markup for various mobile devices, including WML 1.1, cHTML 1.0 and HTML 3.2 as needed.

  • Mobile Internet Designer: A Visual Studio .NET add-on that supports drag and drop user interface design based on the mobile Internet controls included with this download.

  • QuickStart Tutorial: A set of documents and code samples that teach how to use this set of tools, adapters, and interfaces by example. Microsoft recommends (and I concur) that developers should work through the tutorial to learn how to use these tools.

    If your Visual Studio .NET development plans include providing Web-based services for mobile devices, this is one toolkit you won't want to miss. Visit the Web page to grab this toolkit, and to follow pointers to hotfixes and new device updates. You'll also find a reviewer's guide, video training materials, a list of test devices and much more information on this topic there.

    *Note: WML is the Wireless Markup Language, a special-purpose XHTML and CSS-based markup language specifically created for wireless applications; cHTML is a strict subset of XHTML 1.0 developed for use in iMode compatible wireless devices. Visit and search on either term for more info.

    About the author:
    Ed Tittel presides over LANWrights, Inc., a company that specializes in Web markup languages and development tools, with a decidedly Microsoft flavor. He is also a co-author of more than 100 books on a variety of computing topics, and a regular contributor to TechTarget web sites. Contact Ed via e-mail at

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