WinCE Programming Tips
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This page is a under construction reference to help in the development for the Windows CE platform, covering common programming topics specific to it.
- 1 Other Interfaces
- 2 TIPS / FAQ
- 2.1 The error message: SomeProject is not a valid Windows CE application
- 2.2 Application runs on Windows Device Emulator, but not on physical device
- 2.3 Get Device ID
- 2.4 Get Device Name
- 2.5 Show/Hide SIP Panel
- 2.6 Wakeup Device/ Power On
- 2.7 LED / Vibrator
- 2.8 Getting Battery Status
- 2.9 Prevent Phone from Entering in Standby Mode
- 2.10 Installation of an app build with Lazarus on a WinCE device
- 2.11 Debugging with a log file
- 2.12 Current Directory and Placement of DLLs
- 2.13 Going Full Screen
- 2.14 Rotating the Screen
- 3 Pre-compiled Windows CE Libraries/Utils
- 4 Links
- Lazarus known issues (things that will never be fixed) - A list of interface compatibility issues
- Win32/64 Interface - The Windows API (formerly Win32 API) interface for Windows 95/98/Me/2000/XP/Vista/10, but not CE
- Windows CE Interface - For Pocket PC and Smartphones
- Carbon Interface - The Carbon 32 bit interface for macOS (deprecated; removed from macOS 10.15)
- Cocoa Interface - The Cocoa 64 bit interface for macOS
- Qt Interface - The Qt4 interface for Unixes, macOS, Windows, and Linux-based PDAs
- Qt5 Interface - The Qt5 interface for Unixes, macOS, Windows, and Linux-based PDAs
- GTK1 Interface - The gtk1 interface for Unixes, macOS (X11), Windows
- GTK2 Interface - The gtk2 interface for Unixes, macOS (X11), Windows
- GTK3 Interface - The gtk3 interface for Unixes, macOS (X11), Windows
- fpGUI Interface - Based on the fpGUI library, which is a cross-platform toolkit completely written in Object Pascal
- Custom Drawn Interface - A cross-platform LCL backend written completely in Object Pascal inside Lazarus. The Lazarus interface to Android.
Platform specific Tips
- Android Programming - For Android smartphones and tablets
- iPhone/iPod development - About using Objective Pascal to develop iOS applications
- FreeBSD Programming Tips - FreeBSD programming tips
- Linux Programming Tips - How to execute particular programming tasks in Linux
- macOS Programming Tips - Lazarus tips, useful tools, Unix commands, and more...
- WinCE Programming Tips - Using the telephone API, sending SMSes, and more...
- Windows Programming Tips - Desktop Windows programming tips
Interface Development Articles
- Carbon interface internals - If you want to help improving the Carbon interface
- Windows CE Development Notes - For Pocket PC and Smartphones
- Adding a new interface - How to add a new widget set interface
- LCL Defines - Choosing the right options to recompile LCL
- LCL Internals - Some info about the inner workings of the LCL
- Cocoa Internals - Some info about the inner workings of the Cocoa widgetset
TIPS / FAQ
The error message: SomeProject is not a valid Windows CE application
This is a generic error message from Windows CE which can be caused by one of the following reasons:
- The executable was compiled for a different Operating System, for example desktop Windows
- The executable was compiled for a different architecture then the device has
- One of the DLLs which the device requires could not be found. Usually this is either a database dll or aygshell.dll. See further in this FAQ about those
- The binary is too big and doesn't fit the available RAM
Unfortunately Windows CE does not give specific error messages in this case, so one should simply test all hypotheses.
Application runs on Windows Device Emulator, but not on physical device
When running a compiled application on the Windows Device emulator, it works fine, but running it on the physical device you get the error:
Cannot find 'project1' (or one of its components).
Possible causes are:
This error is usually indicative of missing DLLs on the target device, especially if you have a very simple "Hello World" type of application. In many instances, it is related to the aygshell.dll file, which is not present on many industrial-type devices running a bare Windows CE version - normally devices running "Windows Mobile" versions of Windows CE will not have this problem.
This problem has been reported on Motorolla/Symbol MC9000 and MC1000 barcode scanners running both Windows CE 4.2 and 5.
To resolve, do a search for "aygshells.zip" in a search engine - there are some "Dummy" aygshell.dll files available that can be copied to the device to overcome this problem.
Here is a list of forum topics where people had trouble with aygshell.dll and found a solution:
And here a number of DLLs to substitute missing ones and make applications work:
Maybe your device runs a x86 or mips processor instead of the more common ARM.
Missing functions due to Operating System version
Possibly your operating system is very old and doesn't have some functions required by Lazarus.
Get Device ID
Get and ID of your device useful for protect your application. This work only on Windows Mobile 5.0 and Windows CE 5.1
function GetDeviceUniqueID(AppData:LPCWSTR; cbApplictionData:Integer; dwDeviceIDVersion:Integer; var deviceIDOuput; var pcbDeviceIDOutput:DWORD):Integer; external 'coredll.dll' name 'GetDeviceUniqueID'; function GetDeviceID: string; var AppData: array[0..19] of WideChar; DeviceID : array[0..19] of Byte; Count: DWORD; s: string; Res, i:Integer; begin //not sure about Unicode AppData := Utf8Decode('MY_SIG');//any string you like Count := SizeOf(DeviceID); FillChar(DeviceID, Count, #0); Res := GetDeviceUniqueID(AppData, SizeOF(AppData), 1, DeviceID, Count); if Res = 0 then begin Result := ''; for i := 0 to Count -1 do begin if (i > 0) and ((i mod 2) = 0) then Result := Result + '-'; //add space make the string wrap in label Result := Result + IntToHex(DeviceID[i], 2); end; end else Result := '';//error accord // you can MD5 it with your string // Result := MD5Print(MD5Buffer(DeviceID, Count)); end;
Get Device Name
Easy to get it from registry
function GetDeviceName: string; var aReg:TRegistry; begin aReg := TRegistry.Create(KEY_READ); try aReg.RootKey := HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE; aReg.OpenKey('Ident', False); if aReg.ValueExists('Name') then Result := aReg.ReadString('Name') else Result := 'GUEST'; finally aReg.Free; end; end;
Show/Hide SIP Panel
SIP: Software Input Panel button, it is a keyboard come with WinCE for touch screen devices.
const //some of consts already found in Windows SIPF_OFF = $00000000; SIPF_ON = $00000001; SIPF_DOCKED = $00000002; SIPF_LOCKED = $00000004; function SipShowIM(IPStatus:DWORD):Integer; stdcall; external 'coredll.dll' name 'SipShowIM'; begin SipShowIM(SIPF_ON) end;
Microsoft documentation for the SipShowIM routine: 
Wakeup Device/ Power On
If you like to make alarm application this function make your device power on, you need also make some sounds with it.
function SetSystemPowerState(psState: PWideChar; StateFlags: DWORD; Options : DWORD):DWORD; stdcall; external 'coredll.dll' name 'SetSystemPowerState'; SetSystemPowerState(nil, POWER_STATE_ON, POWER_FORCE); Application.BringToFront; ShowWindow(Handle, SW_SHOW);
LED / Vibrator
You can turn on/off then LED/vibrator in, your device, it worked for me but not as like as i want, may be it need some improvements.
const NLED_COUNT_INFO_ID = 0; NLED_SUPPORTS_INFO_ID = 1; NLED_SETTINGS_INFO_ID = 2; type TNLED_COUNT_INFO = record cLeds: DWORD; end; TNLED_SETTINGS_INFO = record LedNum: DWORD; // LED number, 0 is first LED OffOnBlink: Integer; // 0 = off, 1 = on, 2 = blink TotalCycleTime: DWORD; // total cycle time of a blink in microseconds OnTime: DWORD; // on time of a cycle in microseconds OffTime: DWORD; // off time of a cycle in microseconds MetaCycleOn: Integer; // number of on blink cycles MetaCycleOff: Integer; // number of off blink cycles end; function NLedGetDeviceInfo(nID:Integer; var pOutput): WordBool; stdcall; external 'coredll.dll' name 'NLedGetDeviceInfo'; function NLedSetDevice(nID: Integer; var pOutput): WordBool; stdcall; external 'coredll.dll' name 'NLedSetDevice';
function TForm1.MakeLEDOn; var Countnfo: TNLED_COUNT_INFO; Info:TNLED_SETTINGS_INFO; begin NLedGetDeviceInfo(NLED_COUNT_INFO_ID, Countnfo); //with Countnfo.cLeds you can check if your device support LEDs; Info.LedNum := 0; //<--- First LED Info.OffOnBlink := 1; Info.OffTime := 0; Info.MetaCycleOff:= 50; Info.MetaCycleOn:= 50; Info.TotalCycleTime := 100; NLedSetDevice(NLED_SETTINGS_INFO_ID, Info); end; procedure TForm1.MakeLedOff; var Info:TNLED_SETTINGS_INFO; begin Info.LedNum := 0; Info.OffOnBlink := 0; NLedSetDevice(NLED_SETTINGS_INFO_ID, Info); end;
Vibrator it is the last LED in your device, if you can write some music you can now make your phone dance.
function TForm1.MakeVibratorOn; var Countnfo: TNLED_COUNT_INFO; Info:TNLED_SETTINGS_INFO; begin NLedGetDeviceInfo(NLED_COUNT_INFO_ID, Countnfo); Info.LedNum := Countnfo.cLeds -1; Info.OffOnBlink := 1; NLedSetDevice(NLED_SETTINGS_INFO_ID, Info); end; function TForm1.MakeVibratorOff; var Countnfo: TNLED_COUNT_INFO; Info:TNLED_SETTINGS_INFO; begin NLedGetDeviceInfo(NLED_COUNT_INFO_ID, Countnfo); Info.LedNum := Countnfo.cLeds -1; Info.OffOnBlink := 0; NLedSetDevice(NLED_SETTINGS_INFO_ID, Info); end;
Getting Battery Status
For more information : MSDN GetSystemPowerStatusEx
//by Philip Heinisch type TBAT_INFO = record ACLineStatus:byte; //0=Offline, 1=Online, 2=Backup Power,3= Unknown status BatteryFlag:byte; //0=High, 1=Low, 2=Critical, 3=Charging, 4=No Battery, 5=Unknown BatteryLifePercent:byte; //0..100 Battery Life in Percent Reserved1:byte; //always 0 BatteryLifeTime: DWORD; //remaining time in seconds BatteryFullLifeTime: DWORD; //max usage time in seconds Reserved2:byte; //always 0 BackupBatteryFlag:byte; //0=High, 1=Low, 2=Critical, 3=Charging, 4=No Battery, 5=Unknown BackupBatteryLifePercent:byte; //0..100 Backup Battery Life in Percent Reserved3:byte; //always 0 BackupBatteryLifeTime: DWORD; //remaining time in seconds BackupBatteryFullLifeTime: DWORD; //max usage time in seconds end; function GetSystemPowerStatusEx(var pOutput;fUpdate:boolean ): WordBool; stdcall; external 'coredll.dll' name 'GetSystemPowerStatusEx'; //Usage Example: function getbat : byte; var batinfo: TBAT_INFO; begin if GetSystemPowerStatusEx(batinfo,True) then getbat:=batinfo.BatteryLifePercent else getbat:=255; //255=Function Call Failed end;
Prevent Phone from Entering in Standby Mode
Inside a timer event add the following line of code:
keybd_event(VK_F24, 0, KEYEVENTF_KEYUP or KEYEVENTF_SILENT, 0);
Installation of an app build with Lazarus on a WinCE device
The simplest way to install an app is to simply copy the executable and other files it needs, but a proper installer can be made with the instructions bellow: 1) one needs a inf file (maybe Lazarus could generate one on his own some time...). A good brief on how to create one can be found here: http://web.archive.org/web/20080205125046/http://www.sundialsoft.freeserve.co.uk/cabinfo.htm (original website is dead) I used the following (only for ARM prozessors):
[Version] ; Required section Signature = "$Windows NT$" Provider = "bilettiX" CESignature = "$Windows CE$" [CEDevice.ARM] ProcessorType = 2577 ; processor value for ARM [DefaultInstall.ARM] CopyFiles = Files.ARM [Files.ARM] bilettixscan.exe,,,0 sqlite3.dll,,,0 [DefaultInstall] ; Required section CEShortcuts = Shortcuts.All AddReg = RegData [SourceDisksNames] ; Required section 1 = ,"common files",,C:\Dokumente und Einstellungen\xyz\Dev;A existing folder on your HD, where the common files to be copied are found (not processor specific) [SourceDisksNames.ARM] 2 = ,"ARM files",,arm;folder below the common files folder above for ARM specific files [SourceDisksFiles] ; Required section, application binary, files to copy bilettixscan.EXE = 2 sqlite3.DLL = 2 bilettix.db = 2 [DestinationDirs] ; Required section Shortcuts.All = 0,%CE11% DefaultDestDir = 0,%InstallDir% [CEStrings] ; Required section AppName = Ticket Validator InstallDir = %CE1%\%AppName% [Shortcuts.All] %AppName%,0,bilettixscan.exe [RegData] HKLM,Software\bilettix\%AppName%,MajorVersion,0x00010001,1 HKLM,Software\bilettix\%AppName%,MinorVersion,0x00010001,0 HKLM,Software\bilettix\%AppName%,Installpath,0x00000000,%InstallDir%
2) now create a cab file out of your files using this inf file by using cabwiz.exe from the platform SDK of MS 3) generate a install.ini - my looks like this (icon-section is nor really needed...):
[CEAppManager] Version = 1.0 Component = Ticket Validator [Ticket Validator] Description = bilettiX Ticket Validator Uninstall = bilettiXscan DeviceFile = bilettiXscan.exe IconFile = bilettix.ico IconIndex = 0 CabFiles = bilettiXscan.ARM.CAB
4) download EzSetup for free from here: http://www.spbsoftwarehouse.com/products/ezsetup/index.html
5) generate the installer using the ini-file, a readme and a eula file you generated as txt files
6) done :-)
be sure to have ActiveSync installed. double-click the installer and have fun :-)
Debugging with a log file
Windows CE doesn't ship with a command line, so people used to command-line log debugging may have trouble. In some versions of Windows CE it is possible to install a command-line, but another solution for this is using the logging routines from the LCLProc unit in Lazarus to write log information to a file in the same directory as the executable and then read it, as in the code bellow.
uses LCLProc; DbgAppendToFile(ExtractFilePath(ParamStr(0)) + '1.log', 'Some text');
The unit LCLProc also contains other cool routines for debugging, like GetStackTrace, which returns a string with the stack trace.
Current Directory and Placement of DLLs
Windows CE does not have the concept of current directory, so paths to files should always be complete and never relative to the executable path.
As one exception to this rule, DLLs can be placed in the same folder as the executable and they will be loaded from there. Another suitable location for DLLs is the \Windows directory.
Going Full Screen
Making an application Fullscreen requires removing both the bottom menu bar and the top taskbar
Removing the top taskbar
This code should remove the taskbar by passing False to the parameter of this function:
Note that if you don't provide a quit button it will be then impossible to close the application and that if the application crashes, the taskbar will not be restored automatically. Rebooting the device will restore it.
uses Windows, aygshell; procedure TForm1.RemoveTaskbar(AFullScreen: Boolean); const MENU_HEIGHT = 26; var rc: TRect; begin if AFullScreen then begin GetWindowRect(Handle, @rc); SHFullScreen(Handle, SHFS_HIDETASKBAR); MoveWindow(Handle, rc.left, rc.top-MENU_HEIGHT, rc.right, rc.bottom+MENU_HEIGHT, TRUE); end else begin GetWindowRect(Handle, @rc); SHFullScreen(Handle, SHFS_SHOWTASKBAR); MoveWindow(Handle, rc.left, rc.top+MENU_HEIGHT, rc.right, rc.bottom-MENU_HEIGHT, TRUE); end; end;
Removing the Virtual Keyboard
One can remove the keyboard with SHFS_HIDESIPBUTTON, like this:
uses Windows, aygshell; procedure TForm1.RemoveVirtualKeyboard(ARemove: Boolean); begin if ARemove then SHFullScreen(Handle, SHFS_HIDESIPBUTTON) else SHFullScreen(Handle, SHFS_SHOWSIPBUTTON); end;
Alternative way with SHFullScreen
This is a different solution for going Fullscreen. Make sure that you have included the windows unit to your program (uses windows;) In the INTERFACE section of your program paste the following code:
const //ShFullScreen SHFS_SHOWTASKBAR = $01; SHFS_HIDETASKBAR = $02; SHFS_SHOWSIPBUTTON = $04; SHFS_HIDESIPBUTTON = $08; SHFS_SHOWSTARTICON = $10; SHFS_HIDESTARTICON = $20; function SHFullScreen(hwndRequester: hWnd; dwState: DWord): WINBOOL; stdcall; external 'aygshell.dll' name 'SHFullScreen';
Then in your Forms, OnCreate or OnShow (better on the OnShow) event add the following code:
procedure TForm1.FormCreate(Sender: TObject); var Rect:TRect; hTaskBar:THandle; menuh:Integer; begin hTaskBar := FindWindow('HHTaskBar',''); GetWindowRect(hTaskBar,rect); menuh:=Rect.Bottom-Rect.Top; GetWindowRect(Form1.Handle,Rect); SHFullScreen(Form1.Handle,SHFS_HIDETASKBAR or SHFS_HIDESTARTICON or SHFS_HIDESIPBUTTON); movewindow(Form1.Handle,Rect.Left,Rect.Top-menuh,Rect.Right,Rect.Bottom+menuh,True); end;
Rotating the Screen
There is a Microsoft tutorial with code in C here about this: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms812499.aspx Bellow is code equivalent to that tutorial, but in Pascal.
Getting the Current Display Settings
To obtain the current display settings, pass the ENUM_CURRENT_SETTINGS constant in the iModeNum parameter to the EnumDisplaySettings API, as illustrated by the following Pascal code.
var dm: DEVMODE; begin FillChar(dm, #0, SizeOf(dm)); dm.dmSize := sizeof(dm); if 0 <> EnumDisplaySettings(0, ENUM_CURRENT_SETTINGS, @dm) then begin // inspect the DEVMODE structure to obtain details // about the display settings such as // - Orientation // - Width and Height // - Frequency // - etc. end;
Enumerating All Supported Display Settings
To enumerate all display settings supported by the current display device pass zero in the iModeNum parameter to the EnumDisplaySettings API and then continue calling it with incremented iModeNum values until the function returns zero, as shown in the following Pascal code.
var index: Integer = 0; dm: DEVMODE; begin FillChar(dm, #0, SizeOf(dm)); dm.dmSize := sizeof(dm); while 0 <> EnumDisplaySettings(NULL, index, @dm) do begin // inspect the DEVMODE structure to obtain details // about the display settings such as // - Orientation // - Width and Height // - Frequency // - etc. Inc(Index) end;
Changing Display Settings
To change the display settings pass in a pointer to a valid DEVMODE structure to the ChangeDisplaySettings API. The following Pascal code demonstrates how to rotate the screen orientation clockwise by 90 degrees. Note that this code will only work with devices that support the respective display settings. It is important to obey the return value of the ChangeDisplaySettings API as some operations may require the computer to be restarted in order for the graphics mode to work.
var dm: DEVMODE; dwTemp: Cardinal; lRet: Integer; begin FillChar(dm, #0, SizeOf(dm)); dm.dmSize := sizeof(dm); if (0 <> EnumDisplaySettings(NULL, ENUM_CURRENT_SETTINGS, @dm)) do begin // swap height and width dwTemp := dm.dmPelsHeight; dm.dmPelsHeight:= dm.dmPelsWidth; dm.dmPelsWidth := dwTemp; // determine new orientaion case (dm.dmDisplayOrientation) of DMDO_DEFAULT: dm.dmDisplayOrientation := DMDO_270; DMDO_270: dm.dmDisplayOrientation := DMDO_180; DMDO_180: dm.dmDisplayOrientation := DMDO_90; DMDO_90: dm.dmDisplayOrientation := DMDO_DEFAULT; else // unknown orientation value // add exception handling here end; lRet := ChangeDisplaySettings(@dm, 0); if (DISP_CHANGE_SUCCESSFUL <> lRet) then begin // add exception handling here end; end;
Pre-compiled Windows CE Libraries/Utils
Pre-compiled sqlite dll
You can find sqlite3.dll pre-compiled for Windows CE here.
And newer ones can be found here: http://www.parmaja.com/downloads/sqlite3/
OpenSSL for Windows CE
It is pretty hard to find a good binary OpenSSL library for Windows CE these days, so good versions which dont depend on any wierd, unusual library, are hosted here:
They were obtained from here: http://q3.snak.org/en/old.html and hosted on the link above in case this page goes offline
Here are some links that might be useful for creating Windows CE interfaces.