Chapter 2. WinInet

The avalanche has started; it is too late for the pebbles to vote.

?Kosh, Babylon 5

This chapter describes how you can greatly facilitate developing your Internet applications by using the Internet support libraries on Pocket PC, instead of pure socket interfaces. Although sockets do offer you the lowest level of control over a TCP/IP connection, interacting with standard Internet protocols that communicate over TCP/IP can be a bit cumbersome and time-consuming.

The Windows Internet Services library, also known as WinInet, is used primarily for writing client Internet applications, as it handles all the communications between your program and the socket level. For example, suppose you need to write an application that transfers data over an HTTP connection. You could easily spend time researching the HTTP protocol (RFC 1945) and writing socket code that handles all the functions to connect, read and write data, maintain a session, and so on. WinInet simplifies this by handling all these functions for you, enabling you to concentrate on the specifics of your application, rather than the details of the protocol. On Pocket PC, WinInet supports both HTTP and FTP protocols, as well as basic Internet connections.