Display and Hiding SIP on Pocket PC in VB.NET

When you get your hands on a Pocket PC for the first time you have to wonder just how the heck do you enter information? Well as you will see in this article Pocket PC has something called a SIP or Soft Input Panel? The idea is you click a button at the bottom of the screen and up pops a miniature QWERTY keyboard which when used enters information into an active control like a textbox.

Now this is useful but how to use it from a C# project? If I was programming in Embedded Visual Basic 3.0 or eVB I could set a property called sipvisible to true and magically the SIP would appear on screen. Currently on the compact framework nothing similar exists so we have to call into our friends the WIN32 set and specifically call SipShowIM from coredll.

As you can see from this code its pretty straightforward to do this and results in a simple program that allows us to display the SIP and enter text into the text box.

Here is what the application runs like on my Pocket PC emulator.


At this point I have pressed the Show SIP button and clicked into the textbox and then am able to click on letters in the SIP keyboard to enter data. Of course pressing the Hide SIP button hides the SIP again.

In previous articles I stressed not to use the Pocket PC emulator for testing your code all the time but of course this is exactly what I am doing now. I did say however that with each release of the Pocket PC development tools the emulator gets better.

So just for fun I launched the Pocket Internet Explorer and of course with a few clicks I was reading C# Corner on a Pocket PC emulators Pocket Internet Explorer! Here is the screenshot in case you think I am lying.


So as if C#.NET was not cool enough, now you have a new platform to run it on in the form of Pocket PC and all its derivatives. Of course as we are still in beta of the compact framework things will change over the next few releases but it is looking very impressive and of course I am not having to learn anything new over what I have learnt on the full .NET to create mobile applications

  1. 'PocketPCSIPView.cs  
  2. 'Shows how to hide and display the SIP on a Pocket PC  
  3. 'Written June 4th by John O'Donnell - csharpconsulting@hotmail.com  
  4. Imports System  
  5. Imports System.Windows.Forms  
  6. Imports System.Runtime.InteropServices  
  7. Public Class Form1  
  8. Inherits System.Windows.Forms.Form  
  9. Private button1 As System.Windows.Forms.Button  
  10. Private button2 As System.Windows.Forms.Button  
  11. Private textBox1 As System.Windows.Forms.TextBox  
  12. Private mainMenu1 As System.Windows.Forms.MainMenu  
  13. #Region " Windows Form Designer generated code "  
  14. Public Sub New()  
  15. MyBase.New()  
  16. 'This call is required by the Windows Form Designer.  
  17. InitializeComponent()  
  18. 'Add any initialization after the InitializeComponent() call  
  19. End Sub  
  20. Private Declare Function SipShowIM Lib "coredll.dll" (ByVal dwFlag As IntegerAs Boolean  
  21. 'Form overrides dispose to clean up the component list.  
  22. Protected Overloads Overrides Sub Dispose(ByVal disposing As Boolean)  
  23. MyBase.Dispose(disposing)  
  24. End Sub  
  25. 'NOTE: The following procedure is required by the Windows Form Designer  
  26. 'It can be modified using the Windows Form Designer.   
  27. 'Do not modify it using the code editor.  
  28. Private Sub InitializeComponent()  
  29. Me.mainMenu1 = New System.Windows.Forms.MainMenu  
  30. Me.button1 = New System.Windows.Forms.Button  
  31. Me.button2 = New System.Windows.Forms.Button  
  32. Me.textBox1 = New System.Windows.Forms.TextBox  
  33. '  
  34. 'button1  
  35. '  
  36. Me.button1.Location = New System.Drawing.Point(8, 88)  
  37. Me.button1.Size = New System.Drawing.Size(88, 32)  
  38. Me.button1.Text = "Show SIP"  
  39. AddHandler button1.Click, AddressOf button1_Click  
  40. '  
  41. 'button2  
  42. '  
  43. Me.button2.Location = New System.Drawing.Point(128, 88)  
  44. Me.button2.Size = New System.Drawing.Size(96, 32)  
  45. Me.button2.Text = "Hide SIP"  
  46. AddHandler button2.Click, AddressOf button2_Click  
  47. 'textBox1  
  48. '  
  49. Me.textBox1.Location = New System.Drawing.Point(8, 144)  
  50. Me.textBox1.Size = New System.Drawing.Size(216, 22)  
  51. Me.textBox1.Text = ""  
  52. '  
  53. 'Form1  
  54. '  
  55. Me.Controls.Add(Me.textBox1)  
  56. Me.Controls.Add(Me.button2)  
  57. Me.Controls.Add(Me.button1)  
  58. Me.Menu = Me.mainMenu1  
  59. Me.Text = "PocketPCSipView"  
  60. End Sub  
  61. Shared Sub Main()  
  62. Application.Run(New Form1)  
  63. End Sub   
  64. 'Main  
  65. #End Region  
  66. 'Show the SIP  
  67. Private Sub button1_Click(ByVal sender As System.ObjectByVal e As System.EventArgs)  
  68. SipShowIM(1)  
  69. End Sub  
  70. 'Hide the SIP  
  71. Private Sub button2_Click(ByVal sender As System.ObjectByVal e As System.EventArgs)  
  72. SipShowIM(0)  
  73. End Sub  
  74. End Class