Thursday Oct 16, 2008

Visual Databinding in Netbeans Mobility 6.5

We just have reached code freeze in Netbeans organization, it means no more P3's bug fixes for this release. I think it's a good time to present next new feature of Netbeans Mobility 6.5 which is Visual Databinding. You should be familiar with idea of data binding but just to refresh your memory... - idea behind this technology is to "bind" any kind of data source (Data Base, Web Service, etc ...) to the data receiver which is very often UI elements. Basically it helps to create program which (for example) can automatically update state of UI based on changes in data source or/and vice versa. The Visual Designer in version 6.5 has ability to bind MIDP UI components with data source of any kind, it can be Web Service like in the example listed below or something else like UI component. It's very flexible. Screen below shows places in Visual Designer where you can find tools to help you create application using data binding technology.

Major part of this feature is Mobility Databinding library as well new set of custom components: DataSet and IndexableDataSet (components in the Moblity Palette marks with red square in the screen shot). Those components are providing layer of communication between source and data receiver (MIDP UI). Most of the parameters are editable using Visual Designer through new Property Editors and Screen Designer.

Binding is very easy, using property editor user chooses one of the available DataSets and provides basic information like Expression Language query. You can find more information about this feature in the specification also there is tutorial coming up soon. Another thing is to implement logic in the source code of DataSet or IndexableDataSet component. Particular implementation depends of the type of data source. One of the DataSets components in the Visual Designer has logic already implemented, name of this component is ComponentsDataSet. This component provides easy to implement communication between MIDP UI widgets and database of contacts on mobile device. If you want to try Visual Databinding use latest build of Netbeans 6.5 (with Mobility included).

Example below shows weather status based on the City and Country. Both examples utilize public Weather Web Service. In this application DataSet component suites as a layer between Web Service client and MIDP UI. Web Service Client has been created using Mobility End to End technology. Author of those two examples is Andrei Chistiakov. Below you can see screenshot of this application running on Nokia S40.

Currently Visual Designer doesn't support Visual Databinding for SVG Rich Components but I'm showing this as a example of the Rich SVG Components in action. In future releases we also add support for Visual Databinding to the Rich SVG Components.

Examples:

Download Global Weather with MIDP UI and Visual Databinding

Download Global Weather with Rich SVG Components (no databinding)

Thursday Oct 09, 2008

Upgrade for Netbeans Mobility Microemulator Plugin - Solaris, Mac OS, Linux

+ +

Finally I've had some time to take care of Microemulator Plugin Support. Previous version of this plugin does not work with the Netbeans Mobilty 6.5 and I've promised to fix it as soon as 6.5 is in the stable state. Unfortunately I was not able to do it until now because I was busy with new features and bug fixing for new NB release. New version of Microemulator plugin is not very well tested (yet) so please report problems on the home page of plugin (listed on the end of this entry). Information about plugin and Microemaultor below.

List of technologies implemented in the Microemualtor 2.0.2 and what is supported (or not supported) by Netbeans Microemultor plugin 1.0.1:

  • Works with all wersion of Netbeans 6.x
  • Operation Systems supported: Solaris, Mac OSX and Linux
  • CLDC 1.0/1.1 (JSR 30/139) - no reported issues
  • MIDP 2.0 (JSR 118) - large parts of CustomItem are not implemented
  • Bluetooth API (JSR 82)-1.0 - requires lib/microemu-jsr-82.jar, this is stub API definition used only during compilation process, for runtime integration with BlueCove (http://code.google.com/p/bluecove/) is needed (in this version of plugin bluetooth is supported only during compilation)
  • FileConnection API (JSR 75)-1.0 - requires lib/microemu-jsr-75.jar and additional command line parameter: --impl org.microemu.cldc.file.FileSystem (in this version of plugin bluetooth is supported only during compilation)
  • Mobile Media API (JSR 135)-1.1 - requires lib/microemu-jsr-135.jar, this JSR is only partially implemented
  • Wireless Messaging API (JSR 120)-1.0 - requires lib/microemu-jsr-120.jar, this is stub API definition used only during compilation process
  • Nokia UI API-1.0 - requires lib/microemu-nokiaui.jar
  • Siemens API-1.0 - requires lib/microemu-siemensapi.jar
  • Location API (JSR 179) - possible integration with OpenLAPI (http://thinktankmaths.com/technologies/openlapi/)

Links:

NB Microemulator plugin home page + tutorial how to use it: http://plugins.netbeans.org/

search keyword: Microemulator

Microemulator home page: http://www.microemu.org/

Saturday Sep 13, 2008

Going To JavaZone in Oslo, Norway

I and Lukas Hasik going to JavaZone conference in Norway next week. We have BOF (Birds of a Feather) session which ia about new Java ME SDK Early Access 3.0, new features in Netbeans Mobility 6.5 and other new technologies in Java Mobile world. So if you interested in any of this subjects come and see our lecture in room: Lab 4, timeslot: 17.09.08 19:30. You can find more details about it here:

Future and Present of Java ME development – Netbeans Mobility IDE

Homepage of JavaZome conference:

JavaZone 2008

See you there!

Thursday Sep 11, 2008

T-Mobile App Store including Java by the end of the year

It looks like that T-Mobile going to open app store for mobile devices and what is important Java applications are on the list. The developers should be be able to set the price of the application and baseline for the developer’s initial cut is 50 percent (it may increase to 70 percent). T-Mobile will also help deal developers with device fragmentation by providing devices to test applications on and a virtual lab. According to T-Mobile this loaner program for the devices is free! (I think you need to cover S&H) Good job T-Mobile! I have to admin that because Apple App store things are changing for better in Java Mobile world. I'm looking forward to see this store online and waiting for other operators to follow T-Mobile. If your are interested in details look here:

http://www.moconews.net/entry/419-ctia-t-mobile-usa-outlines-details-of-its-developer-program-mum-on-its-/

About

Stuff about Java ME, NetBeans Mobility, mobile devices and more...

Karol Harezlak is the Netbeans Visual Mobile Designer lead at Sun Microsystems

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