Considering offering Windows Mobile solution on iPhone -some questions on porting

Discussion in 'iOS Programming' started by chinnybloke, Sep 6, 2008.

  1. chinnybloke macrumors newbie

    Sep 6, 2008

    I have a long background in developing for touch-screen handhelds of approximately 13 years, using either C, C++ or C#. I am now considering offering one of my Windows Mobile/WinCE products on the iPhone. The application will have to query SQL 2005. This maybe done once at the start of a working day or have to receive "in-the-field" updates through out the day. At the moment I offer either XML files for syncing or syncing SQL running on the smart device with the main business server, depending on the user environment.

    I would just like to get a feel for how much porting work is going to be needed. Is anyone out there linking to SQL 2005 and what types of objects are available to handle the data/results from queries? For example, is there anything like a .net DataSet object? My applications at the moment do not conform to Windows Mobile development standards at all, all of the applications do not require a stylus, they are big simple to use buttons, easily pressed with a finger, how easy is it to implement your own owner drawn controls, buttons mainly on iPhones?

    One final question, is it easy/possible to implement kiosk type applications? In some instances it will be essential that the user has NO access to any other software or functions of the iPhone, they can literally only do what my application lets them.


    PS, I hope you don't put me off, I'm itching to have an excuse to start developing for iPhones!
  2. DenNukem macrumors member


    Jul 12, 2008
    I don't think there are any bindngs from iPhone to SQL Server - I don't see Microsoft shipping ODBC or OLEDB drivers. Your best bets are:
    1. Create a custom XML web service using ASP.NET and consume it on iPhone.
    2. Use SQL 2005's HTTP-SOAP interface.

    I recommend using libxml2 to parse XML data on iPhone - it gives you XML DOM.

    You can use images for iPhone buttons if that's what you want.

    There is absolutely no way to lock down iPhone from a legit application. You could probably jailbreak the device and then lock it down to your app, but I have no idea how to do that.
  3. PhoneyDeveloper macrumors 68040


    Sep 2, 2008
    Howdy, just a few comments. The iPhone is, you guessed it, a cell phone, and mp3 player on the side. iPod touch is an iPod. A kiosk app isn't in the cards. Not to mention that your users will hate you if try to lock up the device. If the phone rings your app quits. There are (currently) no background apps allowed and only one foreground app runs at a time.

    There is plenty of support with APIs for networking as well as third party classes to add networking features. There are classes for XML parsing. The idea of having an app that contacts an http server (or other kind) and downloads XML data for display on the phone is certainly do-able. I think iPhone OS is well designed for something like that. Aside from the Mac/iPhone APIs for this sort of thing there are standard Unix apis that are also supported.

    I don't think there is anything built-in for contacting SQL 2005 but you might find a Cocoa third party solution for that. Most likely a Cocoa solution would also work on iPhone OS.

    The phone does have sqlite3 built-in, which you might use for local storage of your downloaded info. (See

    You are most likely looking at a 100% from the ground up re-write. It's a requirement that the UI be done using the iPhone OS classes, which are all in objective-C. C and C++ can also be used for your non-UI code. The existing button class supports using images for its appearance so there's likely no need to write your own buttons. You'll just need an artist to draw your content.

    If you have access to a Mac I recommend you get the SDK and run some sample code in the simulator. You'll get a good idea in a few hours of playing with it what is possible.
  4. chinnybloke thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 6, 2008
    Thanks for the replies. The application would not be consumer targetted, it would strictly be an enterprise application and unfortunately kiosk based is essential in some user environments.

    I might have to forget it for now and maybe think of some other applications instead...

  5. mccannmarc macrumors 6502


    Aug 15, 2008
    Manchester, UK
    Target the app at jailbroken iPhones, you could still charge for the app if you are targeting the enterprise market. Just make sure you make it clear that the iPhones have to be jailbroken in order to run your app. It's possible to modify a jailbroken iPhone to the extent that it would behave like a kiosk
  6. chinnybloke thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 6, 2008
    Ok now a real dumbo question, I've been onto the Apple store....where are the iPhone and iPod touch apps listed? I wanted to make sure its worth me developing my application - ie 5,000 others haven't beat me to it. I can only find iMac software.
  7. dejo Moderator


    Staff Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    The Centennial State
    You have to visit the App Store within iTunes.
  8. admanimal macrumors 68040

    Apr 22, 2005
    You need to look for the App Store link in the left sidebar of the iTunes Store inside the iTunes application.

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