The truth about EEFs in WES 7

28 08 2011

Embedded Enabling Features, also known as EEFs are an essential asset in Windows Embedded Standard. They make an embedded OS out of the componentized desktop operating system, it would be instead.

The most prominent features are disk and registry filters, dialog interception, headless capabilities and device management.

Microsoft claims that WES 7 is “on par” with the XP embedded WES 2009 EEFs, but this is not completely true!

In WES 7 the following functionalities are not included:

  • Device Update Agent (DUA)
  • CD/DVD Boot

While DUA was not really widely used (due to its complex handling), the CD/DVD boot option certainly will be missed by some customers.

In contrast to this, there are also very good additions to the EEF functionality. The most important to me is dialog filter, which enables You to close certain dialogs (not only message boxes) as soon as they appear. This works fine with dialogs created by native code, but has some gotchas regarding managed code.
Due to the fact that the JIT compiler creates new class IDs each time the code is compiled, these windows cannot be captured by the filter service.
If you run into this, turn to the code WES 7 samples and implement your own filter service targeting these windows by their name or another unique and non-changing identifier.

Alexander


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