Sun teams with mobile phone firms for Java apps

Java's creator and four mobile phone makers have developed a process for testing and certifying Java 2 Micro Edition (J2ME)...

Java's creator and four mobile phone makers have developed a process for testing and certifying Java 2 Micro Edition (J2ME) applications for wireless handheld devices.

The Java Verified Process was spearheaded by Sun Microsystems, Motorola, Nokia, Siemens and Sony Ericsson in an effort to facilitate creation and dissemination of J2ME applications and to spur the adoption of standards for J2ME development.

"This programme was set up to help developers have a single means of testing their Java content and ensuring compatibility across devices from Motorola, Nokia, Siemens and Sony Ericsson," said Craig Miller, group marketing manager, consumer and mobile solutions group at Sun.

There are about 250 million Java technology-enabled wireless devices from 31 manufacturers deployed in more than 75 carrier networks around the world, so this market presents a tremendous opportunity for J2ME developers, Miller said.

There are also about 10,000 J2ME applications worldwide, he added.

Once an application has been certified by the Java Verified Process it will receive the Java Powered Logo and each version of the application shipped will be signed digitally to guarantee the user it has not been tampered with.

Adam Zawel, an analyst at the Yankee Group, said there now can be numerous versions of the same J2ME application to accommodate the different ways suppliers have implemented Java.

"There needs to be a standard process though which application developers can certify their products and have the ability to write it once and publish it anywhere," he said, adding that this sort of simplification is necessary to get more developers writing, distributing and profiting from J2ME applications.

Zawel said the Java community could look to Qualcomm and what it has done with its Brew platform as a guide.

Brew is a development platform for mobile devices for Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) phones. Qualcomm has used its website to create a one-stop shop for Brew developers to get their applications tested, certified and distributed to any Brew carriers.

While the Java Verified Process provides a means for developers to get their applications tested, it does not provide a standard means for distribution.

However, Sun has announced it will aggregate a list of J2ME content from developers on its website and provide this list to operators.

This way they can, potentially, deliver these applications over their own networks, which will benefit the end user, because their operators will be able to offer them more products.

Testing for the Java Verified process has been outsourced to four different companies that each have offices around the world.

These include Babel Media, Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, the National Software Testing Labs and RELQ Software.

The cost to have an application verified will range between $200 and $400 depending on location.

Rebecca Reid writes for

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