By: Emiley J. in J2ME Tutorials on 2007-12-06
A brief introduction of what is J2ME? is a good place to getting started. As with any other technology J2ME has its own set of toolkits and IDEs.
Sun Java Wireless
A free development environment directly from SUN is the Sun Java Wireless toolkit. It is a free IDE which can be downloaded at http://java.sun.com/products/sjwtoolkit/index.html
Netbeans mobility pack
If you are more comfortable with Netbeans development, this is another free toolkit which you can use to develop J2ME applications. This is downloadable from http://developers.sun.com/prodtech/javatools/mobility/downloads/index.jsp
If you are familiar with other Java development tools such as Code Warrior or Borland JBuiler etc, then you can search for an extention for developing J2ME applications using your existing IDEs.
There are other device specific J2ME toolkits provided by the device manufacturers. An important point to note here is that if you are using one of these toolkits such as Motorola's or Nokia's toolkit, is that there is a tradeoff in using these proprietary toolkits.
The advantage of using these proprietary toolkits is they are API rich and have many inbuilt device specific apis that can be used in your J2ME application. Motorola for example provides rich APIs to support their GPS enabled J2ME phones. Nokia's toolkit has many Games APIs to support their Nokia phones.
The disadvantage of using proprietary toolkits is that they are no more portable. But if you are targeting a specific model or make of phones or devices then using these toolkits are the way to go. However, if you are developing a J2ME program targeted towards a wide range of phones and devices then it is best to use the Sun Wireless toolkit.
In addition to these toolkits and manufacturer specific APIs, there are other third party APIs for specific functionalities. For instance, Symbol provides the APIs for its Barcode scanners. A J2ME device when attached to these barcode scanner will have to use this third party API to control it from a J2ME program
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