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Enterprise J2ME: Developing Mobile Java Applications
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2004
Format: Paperback
I go to Java Users Groups (yes, I'm struggling to get in touch with my inner geek) once every two or three months. Sometimes there's an engaging speaker, but most of the time the fellow up front looks like he's just swallowed a hot pepper, speaks like he has a permanent stutter, and answers questions like I'm speaking Greek. (I'm not making fun; I had a hard time when I was in front of a JUG too.) Regardless of the quality of the speaker, I gain something just by watching the presentation--he points out interesting technologies and usually has a list of resources at the end that I can use for further research.
I think Michael Yuan would be a great speaker at a JUG, as he seems to have a masterful understanding of Java 2 Platform, Micro Edition (J2ME). However, the true value of his book, Enterprise J2ME, was in its introduction of new ideas and concepts, and the extensive resource listings. This book is a survey of the current state of the art in mobile java technology. Whatever your topic is, except for gaming development, you'll find some coverage here. Securing information on the device or network, XML parsing strategies, messaging architectures, and data synchronization issues are all some of the topics that Yuan covers.
My favorite chapter was Chapter 7, 'End to End Best Practices.' Here, Yuan covers some of the things he's learned in developing his own enterprise applications, and offers some solutions to five issues that differ between the J2ME world and the worlds familiar to most Java developers: J2EE and J2SE. He offers capsule solutions to the issues of "limited device hardware, slow unreliable networks, pervasive devices, ubiquitous integration [and] the impatient user." Later in the book, he explores various architectures to expand on some of these capsules.
However, the strength of this book, exposing the reader to a number of different mobile technologies, is also its weakness. JUG speakers very rarely dive into a technology to the point that I feel comfortable using it without additional research; I usually have to go home, download whatever package was presented, and play with it a bit to get a real feel for its usefulness. This book was much the same. Some of the chapters, like chapters 12 and 13, where issues with databases on mobile devices (CDC devices, not CLDC devices) weren't applicable to my kind of development, but you can hardly fault Yuan for that. Some of the later chapters felt like a series of 'hello world' applications for various vendors. This is especially true of chapter 12, and also of chapter 20, which is a collection of recipes for encryption on the device.
Additionally, I feel like some of the points he raised in Chapter 7 are never fully dealt with. An example of this is section 7.3.3, "Optimize for many devices." The project I'm on is struggling with this right now, but I had trouble finding any further advice on this important topic beyond this one paragraph section. However, these small issues don't take away from the overall usefulness of the book--if you are developing enterprise software, you'll learn enough from this book to make its purchase worthwhile.
However, I wouldn't buy the book if you're trying to learn J2ME. Yuan gives a small tutorial on basic J2ME development in Appendix A, but you really need an entire book to learn the various packages, processes and UI concerns of J2ME, whether or not you have previously programmed in Java. Additionally, if you're trying to program a standalone game, this book isn't going to have a lot to offer you, since Yuan doesn't spend a lot of time focused on UI concerns and phone compatibility issues. Some of the best practices about limited hardware may be worth reading, and if it's a networked game, however, you may gain from his discussions in Chapter 6, "Advanced HTTP Techniques." In general though, I'm not sure there's enough to make it worth a game developer's while.
I bought this book because I'm working on a networked J2ME application, and it stands alone in its discussion of the complex architectural issues that such applications face. It covers more than that, and isn't perfect, but it is well worth the money, should you be facing the kind of problems I am. Indeed, I wish I had had this book months ago, as I'm sure it would have improved the my current application.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
The substance of this book bodes well for the future of J2ME. As you may known, there have been several books on J2ME published in the last year. Like "Java Development on PDAs" by Wilding-McBride. For the most part, these have been aimed at someone completely new to J2ME development. They have tended to focus on the client side, because this is more tangible and easier to explain.
Here Yuan shifts the focus to the server side. He does have screen shots of some client UIs and related code. But the bulk of the discussion moves to server related issues, like how can you sync to a database, or how to send SMS messages in a network. You can consider the book to be focused on connectivity. Not at the lowest level of network connections, but at a higher conceptual level of hooking to existing applications.
In part, this is because UI capabilities are much more limited compared to those on a full Java desktop or even a laptop. But it is mostly because the bigger value is in building logic on the server.
Sound familiar? Mainstream java traced this route from applet development in 1996 to, a few years later, J2EE/XML on the server, when people realised that is where java is best suited. In about half the time, J2ME is walking down the same path. Yuan does not suggest this, but the impression I got from the book is that in a few more years, if J2ME is running on a server that is not as resource constained as its clients, then it may be replaced by J2EE. It seems that if server side J2ME is to prosper, it may be only on very physically limited servers.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
Review
Michael Yuan has done a great job on writing a book that goes well beyond the basics. While the concept of developing mobile applications with Java has seen much hype over the years, the actual software has yet to hit the critical mass. Yuan goes beyond the basics to take the developer to the next level of mobile development.
The book assumes more than beginning level J2ME knowledge. If you've never dealt with J2ME, you'll need to start with a book such as Wireless J2ME Platform Programming by Vartan Piroumian. This will give you the foundation you need in order to tackle the concepts here.
The layout of the book is well done for combining both conceptual and practical knowledge. The author starts out with a brief discussion of the subject, such as why best practices are necessary when developing for a mobile platform. The end of each chapter lists a number of additional resources (both books and web sites) that provide additional information on the subject. In between those two feature is plenty of practical knowledge, along with actual code you can use to implement the type of application being discussed. If you already have the prerequisite background in J2ME development, you'll get a lot out of this book.
Summary
For those who are tasked with building J2ME software, this is a book you need to read. There is plenty of solid material, both concepts and actual code, to take you to the next level of mobile application development.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on October 24, 2004
Format: Paperback
I just feel compelled to respond to Mr. Faria's negative and factually inaccurate comments about the content of the book -- especially the database chapter.

First of all, the book has 4 chapters on mobile databases. There are 65 pages in them. Only 7 pages cover the JDBC introduction and they are focused on the J2ME version of JDBC. The rest 58 pages cover the data access and synchronization strategies and APIs for leading mobile databases. Those APIs are often NOT JDBC-compatible. There are also several example mobile database applications as well as system design suggestions.

Can you find most of the information by searching google and reading product manuals? Yes, you can, if you have a lot of time. The value of the book is to save the reader time.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 15, 2005
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This title is for the schooled j2me coder. The material is rather advanced, and the topics covered involve programming you will only really see on the corporate level. If you have just got that phone from xxxxx- service provider, don't start here if you want to write a quick app or game. Instead, go to J2ME The Complete Reference from Osborne/McGraw Hill- this will prove more beneficial. I was able to gain knowledge of what my future held with Java Micro if I chose the path, and this book put everything into perspective. Thanks IBM ;)

Hope this helps
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 2003
Format: Paperback
"Enterprise J2ME" is a toolbox for mobile Java developers involved in developing enterprise-scale applications. A lot of focus is given on available alternatives (both general approaches and product offerings, open source and commercial) for handling the problem of spotty and low-bandwidth connectivity, and on technologies for communicating between the mobile client and enterprise systems. Furthermore, plenty of sample code is available illustrating these techniques in the form of several full-blown sample applications downloadable from the companion website.
The book has packed a lot of coverage into less than 500 pages. This inevitably means that many subjects are bypassed rather quickly, referring to sample code for details. Fortunately, Yuan has found a reasonable balance and managed to include sufficient detail in those subjects that interest me the most (networking, on-device databases, XML and web services, and security). I would say that this book is best used as a reference for a mobile application architect wondering what her choices are. On the other hand, the focus on particular products -- proprietary APIs may render some sections of the book outdated once standardization becomes reality in those areas (which Yuan explicitly and repeatedly predicts).
All in all, "Enterprise J2ME" is a comprehensive resource for enterprise Java developers having to deal with the new world of smart clients and packs a whole bunch of valuable information and tips for actual implementation.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2003
Format: Paperback
I'm very glad to see this book released. This is the J2ME bible that covers a wide variety of topics for Java mobile applications development. The book focuses on J2ME technology as well as leading commercial products. The sample applications are very elaborate and nicely presented. This is definitely useful for the reader to understand and develop enterprise applications using J2ME. The comparision of the leading J2ME-based products in the market is well gathered and great input for developers, architects, development managers etc.
Page by page you find useful text and sample code. This book is a must for developers doing enterprise J2ME or Java wireless applications.
The author of the book has made several presentations at leading technical symposiums including JavaOne. The author also has written several technical ariticles including wireless technologies and J2ME in JavaWorld.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 8, 2003
Format: Paperback
Michael Yuan has done a great job on this must-have book if you are doing J2ME development and plan to do anything beyond gaming and ring tones. Make no mistake; this is a book for developers as well as development managers. He takes us through all of the major issues that those of us doing J2ME/J2EE development will be, or are, facing in the very near future. There are a number of end-to-end application samples that cover call and thread models, design patterns, managing smart clients, advanced HTTP techniques, and best practices. There also such topics with code on things like dealing with mobile messaging apps (email, PIM, WMA, & SMS) and JMS on the server. Database synchronization and backend access is also talked about. Other topics include dealing with XML, SOAP, and Web Services. Keep in mind; this book isn't for those that want to learn the basics of J2ME or J2EE. For that, there are lots of other good books out there. This book is for those that have a broad range of understanding of various technologies and want to build the applications that we'll be seeing in the future. If you put yourself in that category, then go buy this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 18, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is one of the few rare J2ME books that goes beyond the basics. Most J2ME books start and stop at being a tutorial for the various J2ME profiles. This book assumes you already are introduced to the basic J2ME APIs and are trying to actually use J2ME to develop enterprise applications.
I think the greatest value of this book is in clearly presenting how to architect complete J2ME applications, from the client to the back end server. However, it's not a pure architecture book. All the details are backed up by code. If you want to see how real world J2ME applications are designed and written, buy this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
I am an experienced Java programmer. This book together with the NetBeans IDE allowed me to come up with a J2ME application in less than a week. The examples in the book is a great resource for learning to write J2ME applications. I learn best when I'm coding. In my case, I used the source from the PeekAndPick RSS Reader to come up with my J2ME text reader. The program has been heavily modified since, but the book provided sample code that was a great starting point for my learning.
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