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Developing a 2D game in Java ME - Part 7

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This article shows how to use HTTP connection to send high scores data to a central server and how to use the SMS functionality to invite other friends to play the Arkanoid-clone game. This is the seventh (and last) in a series of articles that covers all the basics of developing an application for mobile devices using Java ME, learning the main base libraries, classes, and methods available in Java ME.

Needs-update.pngThis article needs to be updated: If you found this article useful, please fix the problems below then delete the {{ArticleNeedsUpdate}} template from the article to remove this warning.

Reasons: hamishwillee (18 Jun 2013)
Original comment by r2j7 in Sept 2008 still valid - server side implementation required. On 20130618 Mishrapk12 - posted that the pads are not moving in SDK1.0 nor sdk 2.0

Article Metadata
Code Example
Source file: Full Source Code
Installation file: Jad File, Jar File
Tested with
Devices(s): Nokia 701, Nokia Asha 305
Created: SergioEstevao (12 Feb 2008)
Reviewed: mtilli (Error: Invalid time.)
Last edited: hamishwillee (25 Jul 2013)
Featured Article
24 Aug



Now that the Arkanoid single-player experience is complete, the game can be connected to the rest of the world. Besides showing high scores to friends, the results can be shared in the Internet.

One of the main features of mobile devices is the ability to be connected almost anywhere and anytime. With Java ME, you can easily access the following communication features:

  • HTTP
  • Socket
  • SMS
  • Bluetooth

This article explains how to use HTTP connection to send high scores data to a central server and how to use the SMS functionality to invite other friends to play the Arkanoid game.

Connector and connections

The main entry point for network functionality is the factory class Connector. This class allows creating Connection objects trough the following static methods:

  • open(String name)
  • open(String name, int mode)

The name parameter is a URL string that identifies the connection you want to make. Depending on the protocol in the URL, a different kind of Connection object is returned. See the following list of URLs and the corresponding Connection objects:

  • "": returns a HTTP connection using the class HttpConnection.
  • "socket://": returns a TCP/IP connection.
  • "btsp://2343434d3434": returns a Bluetooth connection.
  • "sms://+351910000000": returns an SMS connection to the phone number +351910000000.

Of the above-mentioned protocols, only HTTP is mandatory on all devices supporting Java ME. All other protocols are device dependent; however, most new phones support all these protocols.

Note that when you try to open any kind of connection, the user of the application is notified by the Application Management System and given the option to accept or decline the connection request. If the connection request is declined, the application receives a SecurityException and the connection is not established.


HTTP connections are among the most commonly used types of connections. To create an HTTP connection:

public class Network {
public byte[] httpConnection(String url, byte[] dataToSend)
throws IOException
HttpConnection hc = null;
// Prepare Connection
hc = (HttpConnection), Connector.READ_WRITE);

HTTP connections are represented by the HttpConnection class. This class has three states:

  • Setup where the request parameters can be defined.
  • Connected where you can send and receive data. You need to send data before you can receive an answer.
  • Closed after you read the data and the connection is ended.

When you receive the HttpConnection object from the Connector, it is in the Setup state. You can then configure the request parameters. One of the main options is the HTTP request method (POST, GET, or HEAD).

  public byte[] httpConnection(String url, byte[] dataToSend) throws IOException {
if (dataToSend == null){
hc.setRequestMethod( HttpConnection.GET );
} else {
hc.setRequestMethod( HttpConnection.POST );

You can also configure the request properties, such as the type of the content you are sending in case of POST.

    hc.setRequestProperty("Content-type", "application/octet-stream" );

After you have configured the connection, you can start sending data. When you start this process, you cannot change the request parameters. If the connection is established, you start receiving data.

  public byte[] httpConnection(String url, byte[] dataToSend) throws IOException {
if (dataToSend != null){
// Write Data
OutputStream os = hc.openOutputStream();
os.write( dataToSend );
// gets answer from server
int rc = hc.getResponseCode();
// check http response
if (rc == HttpConnection.HTTP_OK){
// Read Data
InputStream in = hc.openInputStream();
ByteArrayOutputStream tmp = new ByteArrayOutputStream();
int ch;
while ((ch = != -1) {
data = tmp.toByteArray();
return data;

The httpConnection() method is now complete, and next, it is implemented in the game to send the high scores to a server. Start by adding a new option to the high scores screen:

public Displayable initScoreForm() {
cmdSendHighScore = new Command("Send to Server", Command.ITEM, 1);

Next, create a method to use it when this Command is selected:

  public String sendScore(String user, int score) {
String result = "No Answer";
// server to send data
String url = "";
// prepare http request
String urlTotal = url + "?user=" + user + "&score=" + score;
byte[] data = null;
try {
data = network.httpConnection(urlTotal, null);
} catch (IOException e) {
result = "Communication Problems";
} catch (SecurityException s) {
// user denied access to communication
result = "You need to allow communications in order to send the highscore to server.";
// check data return.
if (data != null) {
result = new String(data);
return result;

And call it when the Command is used:

   if (cmd == comInviteSend) {
result = sendScore(scores[0].name, scores[0].value);
display(new Alert("Result", result, null, AlertType.INFO));

If you test this code, the following warning is displayed:

Warning: To avoid potential deadlock, operations that may block, such as networking, should be performed in a different thread than the commandAction() handler.

Remember that you are executing this network code as an answer to a user event that is being executed on the UI thread. If this code blocks or takes a long time to execute, the application will get stuck.

To avoid this issue, use a thread to do the network-related tasks. Start by declaring a thread and some state variables to control the actions of the thread.

  private static final int ACTION_SEND_HIGHSCORE = 0;
public Thread workThread;
public boolean active = false;

Whenever there is a time-consuming event, a method that prepares the thread and starts the action is called.

  public void doAction(int action) {
// stores action to do
this.action = action;
// check if thread is already created
if (workThread == null) {
workThread = new Thread(this);
active = true;
// wakes up thread to work
synchronized (this) {

The new thread executes the run method and does what needs to be done:

public void run() {
while (active) {
// check what action to do
switch (action) {
// send the first score to the server
result = sendScore(scores[0].name, scores[0].value);
commandAction(cmdReceiveHighScore, highScoreForm);
// waits for action to do.
synchronized (this) {
try {
} catch (InterruptedException e) {

Declare the Runnable interface in the MIDlet:

 public class MyMidlet extends MIDlet implements CommandListener, Runnable {

Now call the doAction() method when the user selects the 'Send high score' option. Note that the run() method invokes a command called cmdReceiveHighScore. This is used to show the results of the communication to the user.

      if (cmd == cmdSendHighScore) {
if (cmd == cmdReceiveHighScore) {
display(new Alert("Result", result, null, AlertType.INFO));


Another use case for communication in Java ME is to invite friends to play the game. You can also have a competition in the high-scores tables.

First, implement the method that sends the SMS in the network class.

  public boolean sendSms(String number, String message){
boolean result = true;
try {
//sets address to send message
String addr = "sms://"+number;
// opens connection
MessageConnection conn = (MessageConnection);
// prepares text message
TextMessage msg =
//set text
// send message
} catch (Exception e) {
result = false;
return result;

As you can see, you just need to use the open() method of the Connector class with a URL of the format "sms://number". Then create a TextMessage and send it trough Connection. The size of the message is limited to around 160 characters.

Next, create a form to receive the name and phone number from the user.

  public Displayable initInviteForm() {
if (inviteForm == null) {
inviteForm = new Form("Invite");
inviteName = new TextField("Name:", "", 20, TextField.ANY);
inviteNumber = new TextField("Number:", "", 20, TextField.PHONENUMBER);
comInviteSend = new Command("Invite", Command.ITEM, 1);
return inviteForm;

Implement the command's action to show the form and send the message using the worker thread.

public void commandAction(Command cmd, Displayable display) {
else if (display == inviteForm) {
if (cmd == comBack) {
if (cmd == comInviteSend) {

Next, implement the new action in the run method:

public void run() {
// invite another player to play
String inviteMessage = " invites you to play Transnoid!";
network.sendSms(inviteNumber.getString(), inviteName.getString()
+ inviteMessage);

Now run the game and start sending invitations to friends.


Developing a 2D game in Java ME - Part 1

This page was last modified on 25 July 2013, at 06:51.
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