Nokia offers software developer programme

Nokia will offer development tools and technical information to those programmers who are demanding more.

Nokia will offer development tools and technical information to those programmers who are demanding more.

Under the programme, the world's largest mobile phone maker will oraganise software developers into tiers based on their needs and willingness to pay for additional software development services, said Lee Epting, vice-president of developer operations at Forum Nokia, the group in charge of co-ordinating the efforts of more than 1.3 million software developers creating applications for Nokia handsets.

The move to establish levels of access to its Forum Nokia software developer website comes in response to programmers asking for greater and quicker access to software development tool kits, documentation and other support services and Nokia. Meanwhile, others want to make its growing software development programme more effective and cost efficient.

"Developers are asking us for more and more tools and other services, but we can't continue doing everything for free," she said. "Certain things have an inherent cost. We know that many developers are willing to pay for this."

While conceding that every developer is important to Nokia and acknowledging that the forum's website will continue to provide tools and information for free, Epting said the time has come for the company to offer a "value proposition" to those willing to pay for additional support.

"We want to establish a more streamlined process of working with key developers," she said. A process, for example, will help Nokia not only drive the development of cutting-edge applications, but also ensure a sustainable and profitable business for those making a major contribution, she added.

Nokia already provides a wide range of documentation and software tools, such as APIs (application programming interfaces), for three distinct user interface platforms: the mass-market Series 40, the smart phone Series 60 and the new multimedia Series 90.

Nokia will launch the Unified Testing Initiative (UTI). The initiative, whose supporters include Sun Microsystems, Siemens and Motorola, aims to simplify the certification process for Java-based applications.

"Today, Java application developers have to run their applications through multiple supplier and carrier testing programmes; this is expensive and inefficient," Epting said.

Under the scheme, applications will go through only one series of tests with handset manufacturers at designated certification centres and another scaled-down test with carriers.

John Blau writes for IDG News Service

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