Windows CE development tools can be split into two separate categories: application development tools and embedded development tools. The embedded tools can be used to develop applications, but are not optimal.
The preferred application development tool is Visual Studio, which ships with the Platform Builder. Applications can use object-oriented frameworks such as Microsoft Foundation Classes (MFC) or ActiveX Template Library (ATL) to accelerate application development. Visual Studio also contains a debugger that can be used for source code debugging of applications on your target. When you are developing applications, the Integrated Development Environment (IDE) will call a utility to download your newly built code to the target platform using the communication facilities built into Windows CE services. You can execute, debug, and terminate the application on your target entirely from the IDE.