Platform Builder for Windows CE has become a very useful tool for developing a Windows CE platform.  It does a lot of things well, but for building it can be slow.  The reason is that as an IDE it has an obligation to idiot proof the build process.  In doing so, it sometimes does more work than is actually necessary to take your changes and output an OS that you can run.  I don't know that I would want it any other way because it makes it easier for new Windows CE developers to get started.

If you want to, you can use your expertise to speed the process along.  This isn't always a good idea unless you understand what you are doing though.  The reason is that you need to understand which changes require which build steps.  If you do understand the reasons to do which steps you can save some time.  Get it wrong and you will loose time, so over the next several posts I will explore the tools and explain what you need to know to use them.

Let's get started by listing the command line build tools.  These are the tools that the IDE uses to build and knowing what they do will be to your advantage.  The tools most commonly used are:

  • BldDemo
  • CEBuild
  • Build
  • NMake
  • BuildRel
  • Makeimg
  • Romimage
  • FMerge

I could probably extend that list, and may do it later.  But these are the most common, and some of them I don't actually use very often, and some I don't really use directly but understanding them helps in getting things done and in solving problems when the build goes wrong.

I know that there are new Platform Builder users who spend 20 minutes, or maybe more, to build a change into an OS when the same results can be done in a minute or two.  For example, a change to platform.bib or project.reg do not require a full Sysgen.  If the file is copied to the release folder, you just need to run makeimg to get the change incorporated into the OS image.  First we need to understand what the tools do though, and we will get to that over the next few days.

Go to Summary of Building Windows CE

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