Nokia Backs Eclipse for Building Apps

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2004-06-30

Nokia Backs Eclipse for Building Apps

SAN FRANCISCO—Nokia extended its support for Java development by announcing support of the Eclipse platform for developers building applications to run on its phones and devices.

The Helsinki, Finland-based mobile communications giant announced support for the open-source development platform Tuesday at the JavaOne Conference here. And Pertti Korhonen, chief technology officer at Nokia Corp., delivered a keynote presentation at the conference highlighting the companys commitment to Java.

Meanwhile, DArcy Salzmann, senior manager of product management and tools partners at Nokia, said at a news event Wednesday that support for the Eclipse integrated development environment (IDE) is included in new versions of the Nokia Developers Suite for J2ME (Java 2 Micro Edition), version 2.2, and the Nokia Mobile Server Services SDK (software developer kit).

The tools are now available for free to members of the Forum Nokia Pro developers program, said Lee Epting, vice president of developer operations at Nokia. Epting said the tools first go to the Nokia Forum Pro membership, a paid, elite-level developer community, and then to the overall Nokia Forum community after a month or two.

Salzmann said Nokia sees Eclipses primary benefit as its ability to easily integrate more and new tools into the IDE as Eclipse plug-ins.

"We started this investigation into Eclipse at the grass-roots level, and the end result is we have our first products here," Salzmann said. "Were also looking at Eclipse as a C++ development environment." The CDT, or C/C++ Development Tools, is a plug-in for Eclipse developed by QNX Software Systems Ltd.

The Nokia Developers Suite (NDS) for J2ME provides developers with utilities for creating and deploying MIDP (Mobile Information Device Profile) 1.0 and MIDP 2.0 applications. It can be used either alone or as an integrated plug-in to Borland Software Corp.s JBuilder, IBM Corp.s WebSphere, Sun Microsystems Inc.s Sun ONE Studio and now Eclipse, Salzmann said.

Applications written with NDS for J2ME can be deployed to any Nokia developer platform SDK with MIDP, such as Series 40, Series 60, Series 80 or Series 90, the company said.

"Going forward, we have a really good rapport with our developer community," Salzmann said. "The initial feedback is weve gotten it right the first time, and were seeing mostly kudos."

Next Page: Support in server-based Java components.

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Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation, said at the Nokia event, "Were thrilled Nokias made this support on the Eclipse platform available. When it comes to the embedded world, Eclipse is also well-known. And we see two important themes coming together: the embedded world and the Java world."

Milinkovich added that Nokias interest shows that "the [Eclipse] drumbeat for developers goes as far and is heard as far as Helsinki."

Nokia also offers a suite of server-based Java components that now support Eclipse in the Mobile Server Services SDK, which enables the creation of server-side mobile messaging, location presence solutions.

Salzmann said the NDS for J2ME also offers a game designer for game developers. "And in the fall time frame, we should understand what types of additional things we might want to add," he said.

"Were looking at whether the CDT project is ready to build native applications. We have no product plans to release a product, but its an interest were taking in terms of research."

Salzmann said Nokia also puts Borland Software and Metrowerks tools in its developer kit.

"Since we launched it, weve had like 700 to 800 solutions coming from different companies," he said. "We have 300 member companies in [Nokia Forum Pro] right now."

Nokia also announced that its certified training program in mobile application development has been expanded to include centers in Finland, Korea and Australia, as well as in California. The company also announced expanded support for CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) development and tools to port applications between GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) and CDMA devices.

And Nokia and Orange PCS Ltd., a mobile communications carrier based in London, also announced a developer contest for developers to build innovative mobile applications for Java- and Symbian-based devices. The winners will get a commercial agreement with Orange to support and market their applications, the companies said.

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