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Getting Started With C++ SDKs and Symbian Development

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This chapter overviews the process of building, deploying and running an example Series 60 application with a Graphical User Interface (GUI).

Covering the essentials of a Series 60 project, plus building, deploying and running an example application

This chapter overviews the process of building, deploying and running an example Series 60 application with a Graphical User Interface (GUI). If you have already been involved in Series 60 development, you may want to skip this chapter. Chapter 2 builds on the overview, providing a detailed description of the project files and the development tools that are used on a regular basis.

We assume that you have installed both a Series 60 Software Development Kit (SDK) and a chosen Integrated Development Environment (IDE). Both installations are reasonably easy and are well documented elsewhere. If you do not have the necessary SDK and IDE, see the Preface for details of how to obtain them.

Topics covered are:

  • Series 60 C++ SDKs— Different versions of the SDKs that are available and how they relate to versions of Series 60 Platform releases, and hence to specific Series 60 products.

  • Development Process Overview— A high-level description of the process of specifying, building and running a Series 60 project for an emulator or a target device, plus a guide to the many IDE and build options available to developers.

  • Series 60 Emulators— The features and layout of the Series 60 emulators, both debug and release versions. An overview of the similarities and differences between an emulator and a real Series 60 device.

  • Building for the Emulator— How to build the HelloWorld project for the emulator using IDEs from different vendors and also from a PC command prompt.

  • Running the Emulator— Each method of starting an emulator, and how to locate and run the example HelloWorld application—as both release and debug build variants.

  • Building for a Target Device— How to build the HelloWorld example project for a Series 60 device as an appropriate ARM binary executable.

  • Deploying on a Target Device— How to package up the various components of an application, options for transferring it to a Series 60 device and then how to locate and execute it.

A step-by-step overview of the development process shows you the essential steps. This is the fast-track guide to using Series 60 C++ build tools and various IDEs. You will see how to build and run an example "Hello World" application with the Series 60 emulator (version 1 and 2), plus how to build, deploy and run the application on a target device. All the information needed to build and run the HelloWorld example is provided within this chapter.

All the project files, source files and deployment information associated with the examples in this book are available online as noted in the Preface. If you have not already obtained the source materials, you are advised to download and install them—they will be helpful for reference as you read through this chapter.

Chapter 2 gives detailed explanations of the components that make up a typical project and the key build tools. Chapter 3 covers the fundamentals of Symbian OS and the key concepts you must understand fully to develop efficient, reliable code for Series 60 devices. In Chapter 4 the class structure of a GUI application is described and a detailed examination of typical application code is begun.

Details on debugging and testing applications are provided in Chapter 13.

Series 60 C++ Software Development Kits (SDKs)

Symbian OS is widely used in multiple smartphone platforms, such as Series 60, Series 80 and Series 90, three of the UI platforms from Nokia, and UIQ (the UI platform from UIQ Technology).

Series 60 SDKs are built upon specific versions of Symbian OS C++ SDKs released by Symbian. An SDK contains a wide range of tools, APIs, libraries and documentation to enable you to develop new applications, typically as after-market applications.

As a developer you may need to work with SDKs for more than one version of Series 60 (or even SDKs for different Symbian OS UI platforms). The most important issue is to select the correct SDK version for your chosen Series 60 product.

Nokia or Series 60 Licensees release SDKs that are suitable for development for a specific version of Series 60 Platform. That is to say, each Series 60 product is based on a particular release of the platform, and SDK releases are made to be suitable for development for a platform version. A particular SDK release may also be suitable for use with earlier versions of the platform as well. Such "backward compatibility" will depend on the version of the Symbian OS used as the basis of the release, the APIs used by the application developer and any changes that have occurred in those APIs between platform releases. Particular Licensees also may introduce additional product-specific APIs to allow developers to access the features that differentiate their Series 60 product from those from other Licensees. For example, the Siemens SX1 smartphone includes an FM radio, so the relevant SDK may include "add-on" APIs to manipulate the radio. For maximum compatibility across different Licensee products you may want to avoid using such product-specific APIs. You may even choose to limit your use of the general APIs to those that are common and unchanged across a selected range of platform versions.

You will find the key differences between releases of Series 60 Platform described in broad detail in the Introduction to this book.

More extensive variants of Series 60 Development Platforms are available to Licensees, Competence Centers, and other software and technology partners to allow them to develop at the system level, rather than at the application level. This book, however, will focus on the publicly available SDKs.

Using Multiple SDKs

Using a single Symbian OS SDK is very easy, and the installation process will prepare it for immediate use. However, developers often need to work with SDKs for different versions of Series 60, or even SDKs for different user interface (UI) platforms. As described in Chapter 2, you can install multiple SDKs on your development PC, with a few restrictions on where they can be installed and how they are selected for use.

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