Codename One is targeting the mobile device application development market with an eye toward establishing technology versatile enough to accommodate the full range of mobile platforms currently delivered through the cloud, as opposed to having separate platforms for iPhones, Android devices and Windows devices. As more players enter the increasingly competitive mobility space, the complexity is expected to increase.
As Americans continue to acquire a wide array of mobile devices, platforms like Codename One will mean big things for startups and individual developers looking for an easy way to jump in on the trend.
There haven’t been many solutions for efficient cross-platform development—until now. An Israeli startup, Codename One, is offering the very first software development kit that allows Java developers to create mobile applications for multiple mobile operating systems, using just one code base.
Codename One, which has already attracted hundreds of clients including mobile giants like Vodafone, is a powerful tool for mobile developers worldwide and will play a central role in defragmenting the mobile apps space.
The company recently released version 1.1 and offers a robust client library for app development, a designer tool (complete with a Java5-based GUI interface, theme designer, editor, etc.), a simulation environment (extremely handy for testing apps in development), and cloud-based services to help get users' apps to the masses.
The software solves complex problems that usually face developers and entrepreneurs trying to hop on the mobile apps trend, helping developers to quickly create and distribute their apps with little headache. The best part? The platform is completely free.
That's why Codename One has developed open-source software to save developers the time and resources it takes to get their apps launched. The software allows developers to write code for a mobile application only once in Java and have it work across all platforms
Codename One is a Java-based platform which asks developers to write the code once in either Eclipse or NetBeans, and more importantly, developers need to build all of the different app components from scratch. This allows Codename One to avoid fragmentation issues with any mobile platforms. From there, Codename One translates the code into the native code of each platform, rather than HTML5 which is what other toolkits tend to do. So, on iOS the Java code will be translated into native C/Object C code and compiled using Xcode.
The platform's beta version, which released in July, reached 100,000 downloads this month. So far, it has been used to build more than 1,000 mobile apps in a variety of categories ranging from sports to business and everything in between.
A new, Java-based platform which allows mobile application developers to [create native] mobile apps across multiple platforms with a single code base has been launched, courtesy of two former Sun Microsystems engineers.
We say we've been working on it for a year, but really we've been working on it for about six years or so," Codename One co-founder Shai Almog told ADTmag.
Developers use Codename One to create all components from scratch, instead of using native widgets, which process aims to avoid fragmentation. The company argues that this approach also supports more accurate desktop simulation of mobile applications.
The tool is Java-based, open source and lightweight. It's designed to translate Java byte code to C/Objective-C code on the company's cloud servers, and then to compile the resulting source code to native applications using X-code on cloud-based Mac machines. The result, the company says, is iTunes-compliant applications.
The platform is currently in beta but InfoQ downloaded it and took it for a test drive. It seems pretty far along. To build your code, you point their cloud-based website to your codebase. The code is uploaded and compiled, producing a QR code that you can use to download and install the finished product on your device. Intrigued we interviewed Shai Almog, cofounder and CEO, about their recently announced Windows Phone support and to find out more about the company.
A result of development by Israel-based former Sun Microsystems employees Shai Almog and Chen Fishbein, Codename One is a lightweight tool capable of producing native interfaces and is described as "highly differentiated" from other cross-platform mobile development toolkits, which typically use HTML5 or heavyweight technology
Resources For Advocacy & Press
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