Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Java 2 Micro Edition - An Overview

Mobile devices have become a part and parcel of almost everybody’s life. By mobile devices, we don’t mean just our cell phones, but also devices such as pagers, personal digital assistants (PDA’s) and small retail terminals (devices such as set-top boxes).

To use these devices more effectively and more efficiently, programming was introduced into these devices. Every mobile device has a basic operating system which co-ordinates the various tasks to be performed by the device itself. Examples of these operating systems are the Symbian operating system, Windows operating system, Linux operating systems and many others. Many of the primitive models had a PROM built in them, instead of an operating system, so as to start the mobile device without any hassles.

Different file formats have been developed for these mobile devices. Many of these are basic extensions of a high level language so as to perform properly even at the availability of less memory. Examples of this are the *.sis and *.sisx file formats which are basic extensions of C, *.jar and *.jad which are basic extensions of the Java 2 Standard Edition.

Bringing J2ME Into The Picture

One of the popular languages used in the development of these mobile programs is Java, more specifically the Micro Edition of Java called J2ME. As known, Java is divided into three segments J2SE, J2EE and J2ME, while the former two are used for servers and higher end computers, J2ME is used for mobile devices.

At first J2ME was intended as a platform for game development, but now-a-days J2ME is used for developing almost every kind of application. Following the fundamental principle of Java, J2ME also follows the principle of "Write Once Run Anywhere (WORA)" to a large extent. Also the security of these programs is high as it runs in the confinement of the virtual machine itself. Further the possible users of this technology are estimated to be very high, making it popular as a whole.

J2ME Architecture

J2ME runs mainly on virtual machines, which actually runs the Java byte code on the device. Before the implementation of any byte code, every program written in J2ME should specify its configuration and its profile. They are layers immediately above the virtual machine layer, as shown in the figure. These layers form the very bone structure of the J2ME program and selecting these layers properly in the key of writing a suitable program for a particular device. The first and foremost layer is the Operating System layer which co-ordinates the tasks of the entire device itself.

1 comment:

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