Home > Articles

Getting Started With C++ SDKs and Symbian Development

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.

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020