Home > Articles

Introducing Nokia Developer Platforms

The Nokia Developer Platforms allow developers to write scalable applications across a range of Nokia devices. This chapter covers the technologies from a bird's-eye view.
This chapter is from the book

The Nokia Developer Platforms allow developers to write scalable applications across a range of Nokia devices.

The mobile handset industry has seen fast-paced innovation in the last several years. Nokia alone has been announcing more than a dozen new devices every year. That is great news for consumers, since Nokia offers choices. But for mobile application developers, it is tough to make sure that applications work correctly on all handsets. The Nokia Developer Platforms aim to solve this problem by standardizing developer APIs among Nokia phones. Each Developer Platform supports a standard set of technologies on a series of Nokia devices. In 2004, more than 100 million Developer Platform devices will be sold worldwide.

Key technologies supported on Nokia Developer Platforms are open industry standards. In particular, Java technology plays a crucial role. Client-side and server-side Java technologies can be used to develop applications for all Developer Platform devices. That helps 3 million existing Java developers to enter this exciting new market. In this chapter, we discuss the big pictures and architectures behind the Nokia Developer Platforms as well as the technical specifications of the most popular Series 40 and 60 Developer Platforms. From a Java developer's perspective, we cover the four technology pillars on the Series 40 and 60 Developer Platforms: Wireless Markup Language (WML), and Extensible Hypertext Markup Language (XHTML) browsers, Multimedia Message Services (MMS), Java 2 Micro Edition (J2ME), and Symbian C++. Strengths and weakness of each technology are addressed. Key topics in this chapter include

  • Open Standard Mobile Technologies: explains the synergy between open standards and mobile technologies.
  • Nokia Developer Platform Architecture: covers the basic architecture, device characteristics, and supported technologies on each Nokia Developer Platform.
  • Pervasive Client Technologies: discusses the thin-client application paradigm using browser and MMS technologies. They are available on all Nokia Developer Platforms.
  • Managed Smart-Client Technology: introduces Java technology for smart-client development on Series 40, 60, 80, and 90 devices.
  • Tightly Integrated Smart-Client Technology: introduces the Symbian C++ technology for native smart-client applications on Series 60, 80 and 90 devices.
  • Get Connected: gives a brief overview of services from Forum Nokia that help developers, operators, and business leaders to take advantage of the Nokia Developer Platforms.

In this chapter, we cover the technologies from a bird's-eye view. Development tools, API tutorials, design patterns, and best practices are covered in later chapters. In a sense, the rest of this book is to elaborate the concepts discussed in this chapter and put them into practical terms through real-world code examples.

Open Standard Mobile Technologies

Mobile commerce and mobile entertainment present users and developers with tremendous opportunities. But in order to realize those promises, the enabling technologies must keep up with the customer demands. We need continued innovations in both device hardware and software. The successes of the PC and the Internet industries have taught us that standardization and open platforms are the keys to sustainable innovations. In the mobile space, open standards are crucial to both device manufacturers and software developers.

  • For developers, standards-based technologies lower the barrier of entry for development and reduce the time and effort required to learn new proprietary APIs and tools. Developers can easily optimize standard-technology-based applications for several different devices.
  • For device manufacturers, standards-based technologies allow them to reach out to developer communities. A large portfolio of innovative third-party applications is crucial to the market success of any new device.

However, traditionally, mobile device manufacturers have been slow to embrace open standards. Closed platforms are often considered more secure and more efficient for small consumer devices. Proprietary solutions are developed to take advantage of special hardware optimizations. But that practice has hindered the independent developer's ability to write applications for these smart devices. As the computing power of mobile devices increases exponentially according to Moore's law, a smart phone today can easily have more processing power and memory than a 10-year-old desktop PC. The need for innovative software outweighs the benefits of proprietary optimizations. Today, all major mobile device manufacturers have their own open standards strategies. Nokia is leading the way with the Nokia Developer Platforms.

The Nokia Developer Platforms allow developers to write applications for almost all Nokia devices using open standard technologies. Such platform-enabling technologies include the following.

  • Java 2 Micro Edition (J2ME) is a smart-client platform developed by the Java Community Process (JCP), which includes Nokia and all other major wireless handset vendors. J2ME specifications define the programming language, the virtual machine, and programming APIs. It is available on all Nokia Developer Platform devices.
  • WML and XHTML are markup languages for authoring Web pages. They are standardized by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Dynamic Web pages can be served by Java-enabled application servers via the HTTP network. All Nokia Developer Platform phones have WML or XHTML browsers.
  • MMS is the standard way to deliver multimedia content asynchronously to mobile devices. The Third-Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) defines an open XML/SOAP API (MM7) to access MMS service-center servers in wireless carrier networks. We can use Java Web services toolkits to send and receive MMS messages to handsets from the desktop or server computers. All Nokia Developer Platforms support sending and receiving MMS messages.
  • Digital Rights Management (DRM) enables content publishers to provision copyrighted material with special metadata that prevents the receiving device from copying and forwarding it to third parties. The content is typically downloaded from the HTTP network or via MMS. Nokia's DRM solutions are based on the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) standard.
  • The OMA Client Provisioning solution enables developers and wireless operators to send device configuration settings to supported Nokia Developer Platform phones over the air.
  • Symbian OS is an open standard mobile operating system developed by a group of leading mobile handset manufacturers, each owning a stake in Symbian. It is the operating system for all Nokia high-end smart phones and enterprise and mobile media devices. The Symbian C++ native programming API can be used to develop applications for Symbian devices.

The audience of this book is primarily Java developers who are interested in developing end-to-end applications for Nokia devices. Throughout the book, we cover, in detail, the use of both client-side and server-side Java technologies to develop smart-client or server-driven mobile applications. In this chapter, we introduce Nokia Developer Platforms from a Java developer's perspective (Figure 2-1).


Figure 2-1 Nokia Developer Platform technologies from a Java developer's point of view.

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