If you followed the exercise from our first C# post, you must have noticed that the PortableDeviceApi and PortableDeviceTypes typelibs don't expose the WPD property keys such as WPD_OBJECT_ID, WPD_OBJECT_FORMAT, etc. This can be a major blocker since for starters, we need to specify a basic set of client information properties to open a connection to the device.

If you used C++, the WPD property keys definitions could be brought in by linking against PortableDeviceGuids.lib. Linking against a C lib is not an option for a C# application. It's not even possible to generate a typelib for a C lib. The only option is to manually define each of the property keys all over again in your C# application.

The C++ PROPERTYKEY data type maps to the PortableDeviceApiLib._tagpropertykey interop data type. We can look up the PROPERTYKEY declaration in PortableDevice.h and use that to generate an equivalent C# property key object.

Let's take a look at WPD_OBJECT_ID - the C++ definition (from PortableDevice.h) is:

//   [ VT_LPWSTR ] Uniquely identifies object on the Portable Device. 
DEFINE_PROPERTYKEY( WPD_OBJECT_ID , 0xEF6B490D, 0x5CD8, 0x437A, 0xAF, 0xFC, 0xDA, 0x8B, 0x60, 0xEE, 0x4A, 0x3C , 2 ); 

Mapping this to C# would result in something like:
class PortableDevicePKeys
    static PortableDevicePKeys()
        WPD_OBJECT_ID.fmtid = new Guid(0xEF6B490D, 0x5CD8, 0x437A, 0xAF, 0xFC, 0xDA, 0x8B, 0x60, 0xEE, 0x4A, 0x3C);
        WPD_OBJECT_ID.pid = 2;

    public static PortableDeviceApiLib._tagpropertykey WPD_OBJECT_ID;

We can then reference the property as PortableDevicePKeys.WPD_OBJECT_ID whenever required.

Making life easier

Since defining each of these property keys by hand may cause severe RSI, here's a little script that will generate the definitions for you given PortableDevice.h. In addition to generating the property keys, it will also generate the GUID definitions (such as for WPD_FUNCTIONAL_CATEGORY_STORAGE, WPD_OBJECT_FORMAT_WMA, etc.)

Copy the script from the text-box above, paste it into Notepad and save it as gencsinc.js. Copy PortableDevice.h to the same folder as gencsinc.js and then run gencsinc.js using "cscript gencsinc.js". This will generate a PortableDeviceConstants.cs file which you may add to your C# project.

Once the generated file is added to your project, add "using PortableDeviceConstants;" to your target C# source. To reference property keys, you can simply use PortableDevicePKeys.propertyname (e.g. PortableDevicePKeys.WPD_OBJECT_ID) and to reference GUIDs, you can simply use PortableDeviceGuids.guidname (e.g. PortableDeviceGuids.WPD_OBJECT_FORMAT_WMA).