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Become an Series 40 application developer - Part 1

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This article explains how to ... Develop an Native Application for S40 devices
This is for absolute Beginners. If you are familiar with JavaME application development and looking forward to get started with S40, this suits best for you.
Skills Level: Beginner.
S40 experts, please keep updating this article.



Java is the Native application development platform for S40 devices. However, Flash Lite and S40 Web environment are also supported by these devices.

Developing applications to these devices are Interesting. S40 phones are like budget phones cost less and more efficient considered to any other manufacturer's low-end devices. Most of the users of phones are students, teachers, farmers, senior citizen and taxi drivers and all. The total number of users are not few 100's neither millions. More than 3 billion people are using S40 devices. So, your are going to develop applications for billions of people.

When it comes to development, Series 40 devices have different screen resolutions, different memory size, different CPU clock rates and different hardware type. There are Classic phones, Touch and Type phones, Qwerty Phones and Full Touch phones. When it comes to screen resolution; it ranges from small screen (128x160 pixels) to medium (240x320 pixels, 320x240 pixels) and to large (240x400 pixels) resolutions.

We need to consider memory at most. For some of device max. jar size allowed is 2MB and max. heap memory available is 4MB. S40 devices are feature phones and there are some smart phones also,(ex: Asha 303 and Asha 311) which have got processing power of 1GHz.

Picture: Series40 Devices.

Beginning With Development

Through out the development process, we will use two IDE's and three SDK's. We will use NetBeans IDE with Sun Java Micro-edition SDK to develop application for classic phones, NetBeans IDE with Nokia Java SDK 1.1 for Touch and Type devices and Nokia IDE for full touch devices.
At the end of this tutorial, you should be able to develop application for S40 devices. You will be taken from Absolute Beginner to Expert. This include one full application development (Which will ready to publish on Nokia Store), apart from the application/project created in part 1.
You will be creating four packages for four different resolution and hardware to target all the above devices.

In this "Become an S40 application developer - Part 1", I will cover the things about - Getting Started, Creating and running a project in both NetBeans and Nokia IDE.

Getting Started with NetBeans IDE

Download the latest NetBeans IDE with JavaME technology included and follow the procedure to install and configure the IDE.

NetbeanIDEStartPage.png This is how NetBeans IDE looks like when it is launched.

Creating and Running a first project

  • Create a New Project by press "Ctrl+Shift+N" keyboard shortcut or File>New Project. Now in New Project window select "JavaME" and "Mobile Application" and hit "Next" button.
  • Now in New Mobile Application window, enter the Project Name as s40_firstapp and make sure that "Set as Main Project" and "Create Hello MIDlet" is checked and click "Next" button.

Netbean first project step1.png

  • Now Make sure that Emulator Platform" is set to "CLDC Oracle Java(TM) Platform Micro Edition SDK" and Device to "DefaultCldcPhone1" and Device Configuration to "CLDC-1.1" and Device Profile to "MIDP-2.0" and click "Finish" button.

Netbean first project step2.png

The bellow picture shows the components of NetBeans IDE, with which you are going to work.
Netbean first project step3.png
1- Source - Here your are going to code all program statement.
2- Screen - Visual editor to work with form components.
3- Flow - Shows flow diagram of command and actions.
4- Displays - Drag and Drop option to create all display components like Form, Alert, List etc.
5- Commands - Drag and Drop option to create commands.
6- Elements - Drag and Drop option for components to add to list, choice group and all.
7- Properties - Shows properties of the selected component. We use this to change name, type and all.
8- Clean and Build - Clears all previously build jar files and builds again.
9- Run - Runs the jar file on emulator.
10 - Work-space - Work-space to work with.

  • Now your first project is ready to run. Run project by clicking Run button.

Netbean first project step4.png Picture: Running a project.
Wow, you just created your project by coding nothing. You might be amazing how is this possible to get output without writing any code. That's because NeatBean had generated code on behalf of you. Now explore the code, by clicking on "Source" button.

Getting Started with Nokia IDE

Download the Nokia SDK 2.0 for Java Developers. Follow the instructions to install and configure the SDK.

NokiaIDEStartPage.png Picture: Nokia IDE Welcome/Start page.

Creating and Running a first project

  • Create a New Project by pressing "Alt+Shift+N" keyboard shortcut or "File>New>MIDlet Project"
  • Now in "New MIDlet Project" window, enter the Project Name as "frists40app" and click "Next" button.

Nokiaide first project step1.png

  • Enter MIDlet Name as "firsts40app" and "Your Name" in MIDlet Vendor and select Microedition Configuration" as "Connected Limited Device Configuration(1.1)" and Microedition Profile as "Mobile Information Device Profile(2.1)" and click "Finish" button to create.

Nokiaide first project step2.png

  • Create a MIDlet, by right clicking on "src" folder, select "new" from the pop-up menu and select "JavaME MIDlet"

Nokiaide first project step3.png

  • Enter the Name as "Hello" in New Java MIDlet window and click "Finish" button.

Nokiaide first project step4.png

  • Type the following statements inside the class.
import javax.microedition.lcdui.Display;
import javax.microedition.lcdui.Form;
import javax.microedition.midlet.MIDlet;
import javax.microedition.midlet.MIDletStateChangeException;
public class Hello extends MIDlet {
Form main;
public Hello() {
protected void destroyApp(boolean arg0) throws MIDletStateChangeException {
protected void pauseApp() {
protected void startApp() throws MIDletStateChangeException {
main = new Form("Welcome");
main.append("Hello World!");
  • Now, Its time for testing our first project. Right click on project folder. Select "Run As" from the pop-up menu and "Emulated JavaME MIDlet".

Nokiaide first project step5.png

  • Repeat the previous step, if you didn't get application running on Emulator.

Nokiaide first project step6.png

Congratulations, you just created your first application in Nokia IDE for S40 full touch device. Try to run the application by changing the string in new Form("Welcome") and main.append("Helo World!").


  • "Java" is the Native Platform to develop application for Series 40.
  • There are more than 3 billions of S40 users.
  • You can develop applications for taxi drivers, teachers, farmers and for every one.
  • There are different screen resolution, memory size, hardware support and CPU clock rate to be considered while developing Series 40 applications.
  • Netbeans IDE and Nokia IDE are used to develop applications for S40 device.

Where to go Next

Explore S40 devices.
Try testing your first application on different S40 device using RDA. Check out the "How it looks on different S40 device with different screen resolution?"
Become an S40 application developer - Part 2 (Coming Soon).

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