Accessing internal platform APIs through the API Partnering Program
This article describes how developers can request access to the internal APIs for Nokia platforms (also know as an API Partnering request). This process is primarily intended for use in obtaining access to Symbian APIs - at this time it does not grant access to internal S40 or Windows Phone APIs.
Requests for access to internal APIs must be raised as (chargeable) technical solution support requests through the Nokia Developer support page. The support request is treated as an "API Partnering request" if it is a request for access to an internal API.
Technical solutions and API Partnering requests may be purchased by any developer with a Nokia Developer account. Nokia Developer Pro membership is not a requirement.
- There is no guarantee that an API Partnering request will be granted, nor is there a money back guarantee if the request is rejected by the '"Cross Nokia API Forum".
- There are risks in using undocumented APIs and we expect anyone that uses those APIs to be aware of and accept the risks and possible consequences. Nokia does not provide any compatibility guarantees on internal APIs across platform or firmware versions.
What information is required from developers
The support request should specify the:
- use case that is to be implemented - this will allow the support team to evaluate whether an internal API is definitely required. If the name of the required API is known, this should also be specified.
- target device for which they want the API tested. The requested API will be verified and tested against the specified target device only. Developers are expected to test themselves on other required devices in the platform(s), or raise new support requests for verification by Nokia.
When will a request be granted
API Partnering requests may be granted when:
- A Symbian C++ Technical Support request has been submitted and Nokia Developer experts have come to the conclusion that internal APIs are needed
- When there's a need to renew the Limited License Agreement (LLA) (for example if the API is used in other project or for a different use case.)
The final decision is made by the Cross Nokia API Forum.
Steps for developers/3rd party companies in Symbian C++ API Partnering Case:
- The developer/3rd party company will purchase an support request for API Partnering case
- The developer/3rd party company will fill the case with an API Partnering information (if API is known) otherwise describes the use case.
- The developer/3rd party company will sign either a Limited License Agreement (LLA) or a Limited License Frame Agreement (LLFA)
- The developer/3rd party company will wait for decision from Cross Nokia API Forum
- The developer/3rd party company will sign the Supplement Agreement
- The developer/3rd party company will receive the internal API file(s)
- Question: The developer/3rd party company will sign either a Limited License Agreement or a Limited License Frame Agreement (Weeks? Months?)
- Answer: We have LLA and LLFA templates available and can be immediately sent to the 3rd party company for signing. However, if a 3rd party company wants to make changes to the agreements, then the legal department will have to review the changes.
- Question: The developer/3rd party company will wait for decision from Cross Nokia API Forum (Days? Weeks? Months?)
- Answer: Cross Nokia API Forum roughly has meeting once every two weeks. Depending on the sensitivity of the API that is being requested, internal IPR check may be needed.
- Question: The developer/3rd party company will sign the Supplement Agreement. Why is this needed?
- Answer: The supplement will list the exact libraries and files that will be delivered. This will be send to the developer company immediately after the decision is made by Cross Nokia API Forum
- Question: The developer/3rd party company will receive the internal API file within (Days? Weeks? Months?)
- Answer: Once the supplement is signed, the internal API package will be sent via PGP encrypted e-mail or through our secure web site within days.
- Question: How many APIs are available? and What kind of them?
- Answer: We cannot list all the API to the public.
- The general steps for someone to request an internal API are:
- First you submit a Support Request to our Professional Support page to see for a particular functionality. You don't need to know the exact API for the functionality. Just tell us what you want to do.
- Our experts will investigate and see if there is an open API for the functionality, or a workaround. If an internal API is needed and exists, out expert will advice you to apply for accessing an internal API.
- If you decide to pursue the API Partnering option please refer the support request in your application, the case will contain all the information needed to identify the needed APIs.
- Your should receive credit back for the Support Request if no workaround is available.
- Also please check our extension plugin as the API you need might have been released through this package.
- Question: Can someone tell us, who has already got Partnering API?
- Answer: Sorry, we can not disclose partnering information.
- Question: How many APIs can I buy?
- Answer: None. Nokia is not selling APIs, they are either available for free in the public SDK or not available at all for certain reasons (BC breaks scheduled, immature/incomplete implementation, security risk, ...). From the Nokia Developer eStore you buy a voucher that covers partly the processing costs for handling your request but if the API partnering is approved it will be granted to you for use, free of charge.
- Question: How many APIs can I apply for with one API Partnering request?
- Answer: You should not apply for one (or more) specific API(s) but for one (only one) desired functionality. Our experts will analyze the request and depending on the use case they will identify the needed API or APIs. The request is then processed for those APIs and if approved you will receive the complete set of needed API. This is why it is important to specify the exact use case, with as much details as possible.
- Question: Can I use this process to access an API which is own by Symbian Ltd. ?
Nokia does not have the right to distribute APIs which belong to Symbian Ltd. and which are not classified as public APIs. Please contact Symbian for informations regarding their API partnering policies and programs.
- Answer: Yes, you can apply for access to APIs previously owned by Symbian Ltd. as well.
- Question: The API needed for my project has an internal dependency on a non-public Symbian API. Will I get access to the internal API in this case?
If the dependency can be removed without affecting the proper functionality of the API you may eventually get access to the API. If the dependency cannot be removed you will only get access to the API if you already have access to the Symbian API (i.e. if your company is a Symbian Partner).
- Answer:: There is no distinction between Nokia and Symbian APIs anymore. For pre-Symbian^3 releases you can apply for any API you need through the API Partnering process and, if approved, it will be made available to you with all its dependencies included. Post-Symbian^3 all platform APIs are Open Source and can be accessed directly from the Symbian Foundation.
- Question: I am expected to demonstrate my project to a customer within days therefore I need the internal API tomorrow. Is this doable?
- Answer: The API partnering request is processed as fast as possible however we cannot guarantee next day delivery.