Platform Builder Automation Introduction

Posted by: Shane Tangen

Hello from the Platform Builder test development team. Due to the increasing number of requests for sample code and code snippets on how to automate common actions and processes using Platform Builder, the PB team will be blogging the most requested samples here. Common requests have included: creating OS Design, adding and removing components from an existing OS Design, building images, debugger interaction, generating SDKs, and… well, the requests are numerous

What is the Platform Builder Automation Object Model? With the Windows CE Embedded 6.0 release, Platform Builder moved into the Visual Studio 2005 shell as a VSIP plug-in. As many might know, VS 2005 has an object model that allows developers to write code which calls VS directly. This allows developers to create applications that manipulate VS itself. This can range from creating C# applications, to stepping over a breakpoint. The PB team followed suit. How does that benefit Windows CE 6.0 customers? This object model is actually public. Now the sigh… Microsoft is not officially supporting PB’s Object Model. This is why you don’t see it listed in the help system, MSDN, or samples shipped in the box. While this object model was exposed to support my team, actually anyone can use it.

Now the disclaimer: Microsoft does not officially support the Platform Builder Automation Object Model. You are using untested and undocumented functionality. I also recommend that you don’t write code using the PB object model while driving, running with scissors, or sky diving. That said, my team and I are here to help you understand what is exposed and how to use those objects to automate common tasks.

What about Windows CE 5.0? With the 5.0 release, the Platform Builder team had just started it’s migration to a true object model. While we have a good object model for some of the key functionality, it is not as extensive as the CE 6.0 release. If there are requests for this product, let me know.

The first sample will be posted on January 12th by Brent Bishop.  New samples will follow every other Friday from Brent and other members of the team. If demand warrants or as requests come in, we can modify that schedule.

If you have any suggestions, please let me know by sending me email at