Monday, March 1, 2004

Use WebSphere to develop Java applications for Palm handhelds


By David Gewirtz

Did you know you could use WebSphere to develop applications that'll run on Palm OS handhelds? The combined Palm, Inc. and Handspring, now known by the very silly palmOne name, has announced general availability of an ARM-processor-optimized Java runtime for end users.

IBM's WebSphere Micro Environment and its accompanying developer toolkit, WebSphere Micro Environment Toolkit for Palm OS developers, enables the development, testing, deployment and execution of Java 2 Micro Edition-compliant applications on palmOne devices. This continues what Palm claims is the growing trend of Java enthusiasm in the Palm OS community, as evidenced by the recent announcement from PalmSource, Inc. regarding its licensing of IBM's WebSphere Micro Environment Java 2 Micro Edition (J2ME) certified runtime environment and WebSphere Studio Device Developer (WSDD) toolset for integration into the Palm OS platform.

The company also is debuting a Java application section on its Software Connection website (at This includes support for standard Palm OS applications, installed via HotSync operation, as well as Java applications that can be installed wirelessly, over the air.

As WebSphere developers, this gives you access to palmOne's Treo and Tungsten product lines, giving you a very interesting opportunity to deliver compelling mobile business and consumer solutions. Mobile workforces and consumers alike will benefit from a greater number of compelling, standards-based applications, development tools, and solutions. Mobile Java applications run the gamut from clients for sophisticated business systems, to fun and easily downloadable games.

"Delivering Java to Treo and Tungsten products is just the beginning of the tremendous benefits customers will enjoy. Whether it's providing new games for consumers to pass time more enjoyably or making sure a field force always has the latest data when and where they need it, Java makes it even easier for end users and developers to tap those possibilities," Jonathan Oakes, senior director of strategy for palmOne. "We're thrilled to be providing three million plus Java developers the tools and support necessary to build truly great mobile applications."

What's cool for you as developers is that the toolkit for this is free. You can download the no-cost MIDP 2.0 toolkit and get more information on palmOne's Java strategy and activities for developers at