Detecting Changes in Device Connection State in Visual Studio .NET

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ActiveSync provides two ways to let you know that a device has created a connection We call one method the auto-start method and the other the callback method The first is simple but crude, while the second involves more code but is also more elegant You install both with registry entries in the desktop registry
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The auto-start method relies on registry keys that contain command lines to start programs running When a connection begins, ActiveSync runs all of the programs in one key When a connection ends, ActiveSync runs all of the programs in the other key You could put the same program file in each registry key with a different command-line argument to differentiate when you re connecting from when you re disconnecting Thecallbackmethodusesacallbackmechanism aCOMinterface to let you know when the connection state changes Your program must be running to get this notification You could rely on the auto-start method to start your program running and then use the callback method to detect specific changes to the connection state Let us look at each approach in turn
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931 The Auto-Start Approach When ActiveSync establishes a connection to a Windows CE device, it starts all of the programs listed in its AutoStartOnConnect registry key When ActiveSync detects that a connection has been dropped, it starts another set of programs, this time the ones listed in the AutoStartOnDisconnect registry key You can start as many programs as you like, with one registry value entry per program An auto-start registry entry is a program command line Valid command lines include program names, program names with parameters, and data filenames with extensions of registered file types You can test a command line by typing it into the Run dialog box from the Windows Start menu Examples of valid auto-start registry entries include the following:
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As these examples show, you can pass parameters to the program by putting the program name between quotation marks Here is the registry key for start connection command lines: HKEY_
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LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows CE Services\AutoStartOnConnect The registry key for end connection commands is identical except that the final part is AutoStartOnDisconnect
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The auto-start approach is easy to set up A disadvantage is that each event starts a program running, which you have to shut down sooner or
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93 Detecting Changes in Device Connection State
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later Another disadvantage is that your auto-start program usually has to let another program know of the start or stop event, which leaves you having to pick an interprocess communication technique The callback approach, which we discuss next, involves more code but ends up providing a more elegant solution than the auto-start approach
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932 The Callback Approach ActiveSync supports a second notification mechanism, an Advise Sink This COM-oriented approach involves creating an IDccMan COM object provided by the RAPI libraries To get a callback, you must create an object that exposes the IDccManSink interface, which gets called when a connection has started or stopped ActiveSync uses TCP/IP for its connections IP networking is so versatile that the IP connection can run on a wide range of physical media, including USB, serial, infrared, and Bluetooth and, of course, over both wired and wireless networks For most of the other RAPI operations, the use of TCP/IP is transparent to your application When you use the callback method for notifications, however, ActiveSync sends you the IP address for the connected device You can use this IP address to establish a socket connection to a device if you want to establish a direct link to a running program on your device Listing 912 shows the RapiConnectDetectcs source file, which has the C# declarations needed for the two interfaces used to detect changes to an ActiveSync connection This source file is part of FindProgramsOnConnect, the latest installment in our ongoing saga of running programs on a device from a desktop using RAPI In this episode, our hero automatically starts a search when a device connection is detected It uses the faster of the two search methods and so provides a complete list of executable programs whenever a device is connected
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