Monday, July 30, 2007

Bluetooth Service Publishing

The code for my forthcoming article on Microsoft Bluetooth Stack inquiry and discovery (remember, inquiry is for devices and discovery is for services) is ready. Apart from inquiring the available devices, it also discovers the existing services and lists the SDP record contents.

After being able to find a device with the service you want to consume, you can connect to that device using Windows Sockets. The reverse process involves publishing a service for other devices to consume and to serve requests using WS. Unfortunately the SDK has no means (nor explanation) on how to create an SDP record. Platform Builder users have the BTHNSCREATE sample to play with, but what about us, mere SDK users? Looks like Microsoft thinks this is something that should only concern people designing new Windows CE or Windows Mobile devices. I sincerely hope not and I'd rather think this is a design oversight. Why would I need such a thing?

Well, one of my plans is to provide P2P support for my products. If you look around the newsgroups you will see lots of people asking for an SDF-only synchronization package. This will require that two SDF files can "talk" to one another. I already support having a PC talk to an SDF file on a device, but what about having one device talk to another? A year ago I actually achieved this using WiFi, but this is not the correct protocol for ad-hoc P2P scenarios - Bluetooth is better. So if I want to support this scenario, I must publish a new Bluetooth service. Yes, of course I could use emulated COM ports and the code already supports serial communications. But I want the real thing: a dedicated service with its own GUID.

So how am I going to circumvent this? Most likely I will use Doug Boling's solution: use a templated SDP record and fill in the gaps (not nice, I know). What really bugs me is that the Widcomm stack makes it so much easier to publish a new service...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


My WTL 8.0 experience with Windows Mobile development is going just great. The application wizard worked out correctly with only a very minor issue: the WTL include directory is not set up either for C++ compilation nor for resource compilation. As I said, this is a minor issue that you overcome quite easily.

While working for the new Microsoft Bluetooth device inquiry and service discovery (these seem to be the appropriate Bluetooth terms) I found out that Sergey Solozhentsev's WTL Helper tool works like a charm in Windows Mobile projects under VS 2005. All of the message handling functions for the main frame window were generated with this tool and it makes it very easy to write all the UI code - this tool just rocks.

Today I found out about something that does not seem to be documented anywhere: when using the SHMENUBAR resource, never specify a menu resource with a grayed (MF_GRAYED) menu item - the menu will not show up. The WTL code is very straight forward and uses the SHCreateMenuBar API, so this was not where the problem lied. After removing the grayed style from the resource editor the menu magically showed up! So is this a bug on the shell or on the compiler?

Monday, July 23, 2007

Back to Bluetooth the WTL way

I'm writing this post from (today not so) sunny Algarve using my brand-new Vodafone Mobile connect card. This thing really works but the Vista version of the software seems to be a bit slow when booting. Also, if I boot the machine with the card plugged in the driver will not find it. Apart from this it's a treat - I get internet access pretty much wherever I want to (coverage permitting).

I'm coming back to writing about Bluetooth on Windows Mobile devices and this time I'm exploring the Microsoft stack. Using MFC code I had written almost a year ago, I'm now turning to WTL to rewrite the sample for the article. So far I can tell you that the Windows Mobile WTL wizard looks quite competent at generating the basic application code. More impressions on this experience will be published here. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

CeGetDiskFreeSpaceEx - II

This is not an ActiveSync issue: my iPAQ 2210 does not support this API nor do some Windows CE 5.0-based GPS devices I've been working with. At the end of the day, I had to write a RAPI DLL to support this. The code is quite simple:

typedef struct _DISKSPACE

int DevGetDiskFreeSpace(DWORD cbInput, BYTE* pInput,
DWORD* pcbOutput, BYTE** ppOutput,
LPVOID pReserved)

bOk = GetDiskFreeSpaceEx((LPCTSTR)pInput, &ds.uliFreeUser,
&ds.uliTotalSize, &ds.uliTotalFree);
*ppOutput = (BYTE*)LocalAlloc(LPTR, sizeof(ds));
memcpy(*ppOutput, &ds, sizeof(ds));
*pcbOutput = sizeof(ds);

return 0;

Of course, you need to put this in a device DLL and consume it as a blocking RAPI call.