Visual Mobile Designer Custom Components: Creating a Personal Information Manager Application
The Visual Mobile Designer (VMD) is a graphical interface within NetBeans Mobility that enables you to design mobile applications using drag and drop components. The VMD allows you to define the application flow and design your GUI using the components supplied by the IDE or components you design yourself. The VMD contains many standard User Interface (UI) components that you can use to create applications such as Lists, Alerts, Forms and Images. It also includes custom components that simplify the creation of more complex features, such as Wait Screens, Splash Screens, Table Items and more.
The PIM Browser is a custom component that provides easy access to standard mobile devices functions
like calendar, address book or task list. You can use the PIM Browser component to enable mobile Java applications to access locally stored personal information databases. This component utilizes The PIM (Personal Information Management) API which is a part of the JSR-75 specification's PDA Optional Packages for the Java ME Platform. Because JSR-75 is not a part of the MIDP 2.0 specification, it is by definition a custom
component and can only be used with JSR-75 enabled devices.
This tutorial shows you how to use the PIM Browser component in a mobile application for JSR-75 capable devices. It demonstrates
the basic features of the the component such as browsing the content of a device's contact database, Calendar or To Do List. In addition
to the PIM Browser, we also need to use three other components: Splash Screen, TextBox and Alert.
To follow this tutorial, you need the software and resources listed below.
If you are new to NetBeans Mobility, you should start with the NetBeans Java ME MIDP Quick Start Guide before continuing.
Installing and Running the Sample Application
Before we begin, you might want to see final result of the tutorial.
Take the following steps to install the PIMBrowserExample application:
- Download PIMBrowserExample.zip
- Unzip the file.
- In the IDE, choose File > Open Project and browse to the folder that contains the unzipped files with the PIMBrowserExample project.
- Click Open Project.
The Projects window should look like the following:
- In the Projects window, right-click the project node and choose Run Project (or press F6). As the application runs, an emulator window opens and displays
the application running in the default device emulator.
- In the Emulator window, click the button underneath "Launch."
The emulator displays a Splash Screen component then PIM Browser, as shown:
- Click the right upper button of the emulator to display the menu items like shown below:
- With the Details item selected, click the central button on the emulator, to display the contact details:
- Move the cursor up and down to navigate through available positions.
- Click the button underneath "Back" to come back to the contact list.
- Click the button underneath "Exit" to close the application.
Creating an Application with the PIM Browser Custom Component
Now that you have seen the PIM Browser component in action, let's go back to the beginning and create this application. To create the application, do the following:
- Create the PIMBrowserExample Project
- Add packages and a visual MIDlet to the Project
- Add components to the Project
- Add Commands to the Project
- Connect Components to Create an Application Flow
- Add Contacts to the Wireless Toolkit Contact Database
- Run the Project
Creating the PIMBrowserExample Project
- Choose File > New Project (Ctrl-Shift-N). Under Categories, select Java ME. Under Projects, select Mobile Application and click Next.
PIMBrowserExample in the Project Name field. Change the Project Location to a directory on your system. From now on let's refer to this
directory as $PROJECTHOME.
- Uncheck the Create Hello MIDlet checkbox. Click Next.
- Leave the Java (TM) Platform Micro Edition SDK 3.0 as the selected Emulator Platform. Click Next.
- In the More Configurations Selection, click Finish.
Note: The project folder contains all of your sources and project metadata, such as the project Ant script.
Adding Packages and a Visual
MIDlet to the Project
- Choose the
project in the Project view, then choose File > New File
(Ctrl-N). Under Categories, select Java. Under File Types,
select Java Package. Click Next.
in the Package Name field. Click Finish.
- Choose the
package in the Project view, then choose File > New File
(Ctrl-N). Under Categories, select MIDP. Under File Types, select
Visual MIDlet. Click Next.
PIMBrowserExample into MIDlet Name and MIDP
Class Name fields. Click Finish.
The application displays in the Flow view of the Visual Mobile Designer.
Adding Components to
- In the Flow Designer,
drag and drop the following components from the Component Palette:
Click on splashScreen and, in the Properties Window, change
the Text value from null to PIM
Click on alert and, in the Properties Window, change the String property value to Contact selected.
- Splash Screen
- PIM Browser
Adding Commands to the
- In the Flow Designer, choose Exit Command from the Commands section of the
- Drag and drop it into the pimBrowser component.
Connecting Components to Create an Application Flow
In the Flow Designer, click on the Started on the
Mobile Device and drag it to the splashScreen component. In the same
manner, connect the components together as shown in the following
Adding Contacts to the
Wireless Toolkit Contact Database
Copy the sample contact
to the javame-sdk folder in your user directory $JAVAME-SDKHOME/3.0/work/0/appdb/PIM/contacts/Contacts/. 1.vcf
This folder contains the following three files by default:
Running the Project
Press F6 to run the main project or select Run > Run Main Project.
Javadoc for the PIM Browser Component
The NetBeans IDE provides API Javadocs for the PIMBrowser
component, as well as other components you can use in the VMD. To
read the Javadocs for the PIMBrowser component do the following:
- Place the cursor on the PIMBrowser component in the source code and press Ctr-Shift-Space (or choose Source > Show Documentation).
The Javadoc for this element displays in a popup window.
- Click the Show documentation in external web browser icon () in the popup window to view the detailed information about the PIMBrowser component in your browser.