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Getting started with Java ME

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(This page is very much work in progress, please add more information, link to other relevant pages and edit it to give more complete view of this)

Basically getting your first Java ME application (MIDlet) running on a real device, requires a number of steps. This Wiki page tries to guide through the process. As this is targeted to firsdt time MIDlet developers, soe things are simplified, and more detailed information can be found elsewhere


Analyze the situation

Java ME is a limited subset of the standard Java (Java SE) available on the desktop computers. Additionally there are some mobile phone related APIs available. There are a number of limitations you need to keep in mind

  • MIDlets run in a sandbox because of security reasons (there are confirmations when using certain functionalities, like networking or sending SMS messages)
  • There is no JNI (Java Native Interface) so you cannot extend the capabilities of Java ME environment on the phone
  • There is no Swing or AWT classes, MIDlets use their own (simplistic) UI classes
  • The capabilities of the Java ME environment vary widely, meaning that the phones have different set of optional APIs implemented (examples include access to files, access to phonebook, video/audio recording, 3D graphics, etc.)

So first of all, before starting anything else, think if Java ME is the right choice for you or should you try to use Flash Lite for your application (runs both on Series 40 and S60 phones), or should you start using Symbian C++ programming (those apps work on S60 phones). You can find a lot of good information in this Wiki or in the FN Java Discussion Forums. There is also documentation available on Forum Nokia web site, as well at Sun Web site and IBM DeveloperWorks Web site.

Overview of the development process

What tools to use and installing them

Coding and compiling your first MIDlet

Running your MIDlet in the emulator and on real device

Typical pitfalls

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