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Sergey Sverchkov
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Kiosk Mode for Logistics Applications on Windows Mobile
Technologies: MS .NET, Mobile
Industries: Transportation and Logistics

Project type: Mobile
Services: Development, Design, Testing

Project Description:

The application designed to use logistics apps on Windows Mobile devices in Kiosk mode. The application also provides system maintenance, e.g. time synchronization, task scheduler for technical support of the system, including deleting logs, database maintenance, etc.

Customer's Need:

The customer is one of Europe’s leading suppliers of logistics solutions. The company’s clients needed software that allows running only pre-installed logistics applications on Windows Mobile devices, blocking all other functions of the device that are not needed to run that application.

This type of software is known as Kiosk. It locks down the device in order to prevent the user from ever reaching its file system. The application also had to perform some maintenance tasks to technically support the device.

Main challenges:

It is known that building Kiosk applications for Windows Mobile devices is not the easiest to accomplish, since Windows Mobile is designed to be a generic operating system. It was hard to lock down a Windows Mobile device in order to build a kiosk app, because there are too many ways of accessing native applications and running the code: through the start menu, from the file explorer, etc. The most difficult feature to block was the ‘Run’ command available from the home screen.

Another challenge was to implement the time synchronization, as Windows Mobile does not support this type of synchronization natively.

It was also difficult to set up the Task Scheduler so that it could perform different maintenance tasks with a given frequency.

Technology Stack
Client Platform/Application Server Windows Mobile
Technologies WinAPI, MFC, MS .NET
Programming Language C++
Modeling Tool Visio
Development Environment Visual Studio 2008

The Solution:

The team of Windows Mobile developers created the Kiosk mode application using a variety of approaches: hiding the top tray window, intercepting system messages when the hardware keys were pressed, and so on.

The Network Time Protocol was implemented to enable time synchronization.

We introduced the special format for task descriptions to configure the Task Manager. The tasks are executed on time with a given frequency.

The Outcome:

The customer extended their mobile solutions product line. End-users can now run pre-installed logistics applications on Windows Mobile devices in the Kiosk mode, which saves time, costs, and resources.


 
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