Tablet PC beginer questions RRS feed

  • Question

  • I need to create an application for a Tablet that is a lot like a Questioner. The user asks questions, then can either check a box for the answer or select the answer from a drop down list or hand write what the answer is. Then after all the questions are asked and answered we need to be able to download the answers to a database. So that would mean the handwritten stuff would need to be translated into text before being saved as text to the database.

    1) Is what I am describing above feasible?
    2) Being brand new to tablet programming how difficult of a program would this be to develop?
    3) What languages can I use? Can I use Visual Studio 2008? Can I use WPF?
    4)I don't want a tablet that can also be used as a Laptop. All we need is the screen and the pen NO KEYBOARD. Can you recommend a tablet like that?
    5) Can you recommend any books or sites on this, especially the part on how to download the data to a database on a server?

    And one stupid question
     Can you program on a Digital Notepad?

    Saturday, February 14, 2009 7:06 PM


  • Hi Matt.

    What you're looking to do is very possible. Writing code for Tablet PC at this level is relatively straightforward. You will need to use an ink collector (InkCollector or InkOverlay [both in the Microsoft.Ink namespace and the C++ headers] for native or managed code; InkCanvas [System.Windows.Controls] for WPF). There are a number of hands-on labs for instruction and sample code for getting started, and Programming Tablet PC  by Jarrett and Su or Dr. Neil Roodyn's E-Text  are the books I most often recommend.

    There are only a few considerations, the most important of which is saving out the native ink to a database. Fortunately, we have a technical article, Storing Ink in a Database, which--though dated-is still the preferred method for accomplishing this. The article has sample code written in C# and Visual Basic .NET, but you could easily write against the Tablet PC API in C++. You could also use WPF, and all of these languages can be coded against in Visual Studio.

    Unfortunately, all the digital notepads that I know about use proprietary code bases for their ink and therefore do not interop with the Tablet PC ink. You would have to check with those models to determine if any have adopted our API set. If they have, please let me know. It would be welcome news.

    For Tablet PCs that are not laptops, Motion Computing has the largest line that I know of, although Fujitsu, AMtek, and a number of other manufacturers make one or two models, also.

    Let me know if I can be of any further help.

    Eliot - MSFT
    Tuesday, February 17, 2009 4:12 PM