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You can use a Cabinet (.cab) or Cab Provisioning Format (.cpf) file to package the provisioning XML file, new applications, sounds, and updates for delivery. Typically, you would use this packaging method for the following delivery methods:

The following table describes these packaging method by file type.

File type Comments


Create the cabinet (.cab) file by using the CAB Wizard.

Typically, .cab file creation requires the finalized program files and SDK tools for Windows Mobile software. In addition, some users might want to provide extra CEsetup.dll integration or Microsoft ActiveSync installation information.

The CAB Wizard uses the .inf file, which is parsed to determine which finalized application files should be packaged. For more information about the .inf file, see Information File.

The .inf file used for .cab file creation provides many options for customizing the installation of files, including the names and locations of registry keys and whether the user is offered a choice of installation location.

For a walkthrough of creating a CAB file, see Walkthrough: Packaging a Smart Device Solution for Deployment .


Create the Cab Provisioning Format (.cpf) file by using the Makecab.

Downloading the provisioning XML file from the desktop using the Remote Application Programming Interface (RAPI) in ActiveSync is not supported when a file is downloaded in a .cpf file.

A .cpf file is processed as a .cab file, including the handling of security. However, .cpf files are processed in silent mode and the user is not prompted for any options or decisions. An example of how this affects the user is if security requirements are not met, such as the .cpf is unsigned, then the processing fails.

Packaging in a .cpf file allows you to compress the XML file by means of the MSZIP compression algorithm, which significantly reduces the file size and transmission time.

Previous versions of Windows Mobile software do not support compressed .cpf files.

To create a .cpf file, see How To Create a .cpf File.

Signing the .cab or .cpf file

You can sign the .cab or .cpf file by using the Microsoft AuthenticodeĀ® signing tools. This enables a role mask to be assigned to the provisioning request based on the role mask stored with a matching certificate on the device. For information about these tools, see the Authenticode documentation under "Security" in the MSDN library.

You can also use Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) Hierarchy for code signing. To facilitate testing for logo compliance, you must operate a PKI for privileged code signing. If you release your own applications or vendor-licensed applications on the Windows Mobile device, you must also operate a second PKI for standard code signing.

Each PKI must contain at least one distinct signing certificate that can be provisioned in the Windows Mobile device. For more information about PKI, see Windows Mobile PKI Hierarchy.

For information about revoking, see Revoking Applications.

See Also