The Java Platform, Micro Edition (Java ME), formerly known as J2ME, is Java's official mobile platform, supported by several Java Specification Requests (JSRs), and it has spent many years in the mobile space.
Starting with IBM Worklight version 5.0.5, IBM Mobile Foundation offers support for the Java ME platform, devices and applications with several interesting features comprised by the IBM Worklight client-side application programming interface (API).
Oracle says Java ME currently has almost four billion devices deployed worldwide. This includes not only the Mobile Information Device Profile (MIDP) available for mobile phones since the Java Micro Edition 1.0 market inception back in 1999 but also other devices like Machine-to-Machine (M2M) modules using the Information Module Profile (IMP), an alternative profile of Java ME, as well as variations such as JavaCard (smart cards), navigation systems, set-top boxes and many other specific devices. Some may have doubts, but the truth is that Java ME is still a strong, largely deployed platform.
Smartphones and feature phones alone represent more than one billion devices, and Nokia says the next billion is on its way, mainly within developing markets like Africa, Latin America, and some Asian and Eastern European countries—more specifically, Brazil, Russia, India and China.
With such a huge base of users and devices already in place, it is obvious that a sound mobile strategy cannot disregard these volumes, which are expected to grow more in the coming years.
IBM Worklight V5.0.5 and newer versions support the use of a Java API to develop Java ME applications, allowing us to access Worklight services from native Java ME applications.
Enabling support of Worklight native API for Java ME is very simple and straightforward. You simply copy the library files, which are common Java archive (JAR) files, into the /lib directory of your Java ME native project. Then copy a single, common properties file into the /res directory of your Java ME native project.
These simple and direct configuration steps allow Java ME developers to leverage the powerful and important features of Worklight naturally, features that we as developers know can be advantageous. You just need to make sure that the build path of your native Java ME application includes these few resource configurations.
The Worklight features available for Java ME native applications are able to communicate with the IBM Worklight Server to call Worklight adapter procedures.
Also, Worklight support for Java ME offers:
• Use of Worklight adapters, allowing many communication protocols and integration choices as leveraged by common offers by Worklight for other platforms like Android and iOS
• Support for the vast majority of feature phones based on Java ME and Windows Embedded Compact (CE) devices with Java Virtual Machine (JVM) .dll files
• Short Message Service (SMS) push notifications
• Eclipse support for Java ME applications
Given all of the features it supports (and more to come), its ease of use and the supported Java ME applications with IBM Worklight, would you consider the Java ME platform as a good alternative for your mobile strategy?
Let me know your opinion. Please provide feedback in the comments section or connect with me on Twitter @juarezjunior.
Juarez Barbosa Junior is an IT Specialist working for WW Development Support Team (DST) at IBM and an IBM Redbooks Thought Leader for IBM Mobile. Follow Juarez Junior on Twitter.