OpenNETCF SDF WebBrowser Control

The OpenNETCF SDF has a WebBrowser control under the OpenNETCF.Windows.Forms namespace.  There have been some “issues” with the WebBrowser control and using it on a WindowsCE device using .NETCF 1.0.  The WebBrowser control works on Pocket PC devices but does have limited functionality on Windows CE devices. 

First some background on the control.  The SDF WebBrowser control is a wrapper to the HTMLView.dll that come with PocketPCs.  This gives the functionality to browse URLs as long as you have connectivity.  For more technical information see here.  The SDF WebBrowser control wraps this functionality so it can be used in managed code and has design time support.  

On windows CE devices you cannot browse to external URLs but you can browse to files on the local device.  For example if you set the URL property on the WebBrowser control to file://[YOUR FILE] you should be able to see your file.  The reason for this is, WindowsCE uses HTMLView for Help files so it has limited functionality on a WindowsCE device. 

To have a full blown WebBrowser on windows CE there are a few things you have to do.  First, you have to pay for a Pro License which includes a full blown IE browser.  You may be able to get the Core license which has a scaled down version of IE but I’m not 100% sure.  Check here for more details or contact your distribution partner for more information. Second, you have to wrap IWebBrowser2 to be p/invoked from managed code and to display the unmanaged browser window within your unmanaged application.  This is not an easy task but is possible.

So basically, the OpenNETCF SDF WebBrowser control is fully functional and does not have any “bugs” or “issues” since we rely on the underlying OS.

Here are a few links to that may be of help if you attempt to wrap IWebBrowser2.  NOTE: There is an article on MSDN that goes through a C++ sample which is useful. I don’t have the link but will post if I find it.


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