Mobile Information Device Profile (MIDP) Frequently Asked Questions


Frequently Asked Questions
MIDP Home | Expert Group | Specification | Reference Implementation | FAQ | Toolkit

Q. What is MIDP?
A. MIDP stands for Mobile Information Device Profile. MIDP, combined with the Connected Limited Device Configuration (CLDC), is the Java runtime environment for today's mobile information devices (MIDs) such as phones and entry level PDAs. What MIDP provides is the core application functionality required by mobile applications - including the user interface, network connectivity, local data storage, and application lifecycle management - packaged as a standardized Java runtime environment and set of Java technology APIs.

Q. On what platform will MIDP be available?
A. The MIDP 2.0 reference implementation (RI) is available on Windows 2000, with compliant implementations available on Linux/x86 and Solaris/SPARC.

Q. What is the footprint for a MIDP implementation?
A. The footprint of a typical MIDP 2.0 implementation (including a CLDC implementation) will require 0.8 Mb to 1.0 Mb.

Q. What are the target devices for MIDP?
A. MIDP is targeted at mobile phones and entry level PDAs (e.g. Palm OS handhelds, RIM Blackberry)

Q. When will the MIDP 2.0 (JSR 118) specification and reference implementation be available?
A. The MIDP 2.0 final specification and reference implementation (RI) are available for download today.

Q. When will the first devices supporting MIDP 2.0 be commercially available?
A. On mass market handsets, most software components, including the Java runtime environment, must be embedded in ROM at manufacturing time. Handset manufacturers also have to create an optimized implementation of CLDC and MIDP targeted at their specific chip set and operating system. Therefore, while the first MIDP 2.0 handsets might be available for testing as soon as the end of this year, MIDP 2.0 models are expected to be available in volume in mid 2003.

Q. Can you give examples of specific applications that can be created using MIDP?
A. Games (stand alone, networked, multi player), messaging (e-mail, instant messaging, chat), remote directory access, location-based services (maps, driving directions, yellow pages), financial applications (stock quotes, banking), field automation (customer relationship management, supply chain management, field force automation, telemetry), consumer applications (online auctions, news services with alerts, online reservation systems), etc.

Q. What tools and developer resources are available for application developers targeting MIDP?
A. A number of emulation environments are available from Sun (J2ME Wireless Toolkit) and handset vendors (e.g. Motorola, Nokia, RIM, Siemens). There are also a number of integrated development environments (IDEs) available from Sun (Sun ONE Studio), Borland (JBuilder), Metrowerks (CodeWarrior), Oracle (JDeveloper), and Zucotto (WHITEboard). Sun provides technical articles, code samples and tutorials on its Wireless Developer web site.

Q. What is the J2ME Wireless Toolkit?
A. The J2ME Wireless Toolkit is a set of tools that provides application developers with the emulation environment, documentation and examples needed to develop Java technology applications targeted at CLDC/MIDP compliant mobile phones and entry level PDAs. The J2ME Wireless Toolkit is integrated with leading IDEs. For more information, visit the J2ME Wireless Toolkit website. Two versions are available.

  • The J2ME Wireless Toolkit 2.0 Beta 1 is an early access release. This product supports the MIDP 2.0 specification.
  • The J2ME Wireless Toolkit version 1.0.4 is a production release. This product supports the MIDP 1.0.3 specification

Q. How is the MIDP specification being defined?
A. The MIDP 2.0 (JSR 118) specification has been defined through the Java Community Process. by an expert group composed of over 50 companies including leading device manufacturers, mobile operators, software vendors and ISVs. Motorola is the specification lead, and Sun is delivering the reference implementation and compatibility test suite.

Q. What is the MIDP licensing model?
A. The MIDP reference implementation source code is available free of charge for education and research purposes under the Sun Community Source License Agreement (SCSL). If you plan to ship a commercial product that leverages Sun's source code, or if you want to access the MIDP technology compatibility test suite, you will have to sign a commercial license agreement with Sun. Please send any additional questions to

Q. Where can I get more details about MIDP?
A. Information about MIDP can be found here. The MIDP 2.0 specification can be found at

Q. How does MIDP work with WAP?
A. MIDP leverages existing browser-based technologies such as WAP or i-mode, and adds support for local, networked applications to mobile devices. A browser interface is convenient to access static content (news, sports scores) or display a list of applications and services, though it requires a permanent network connection. Java technology is more compelling for interactive and transaction-oriented applications and services (games, location based services, etc.) MIDP applications provide rich graphics and navigation. They are installed and run locally, can operate in both networked and disconnected mode, and have the ability to securely store and manage data locally for use by all applications.

Q. How does J2ME compare to BREW?
A. BREW further validates the market for wireless applications. By simplifying how software can access the capabilities of Qualcomm's CDMA chip set, BREW provides another mechanism for integrating Java technologies into CDMA handsets. Qualcomm's selection of Sun servers for BREW back end infrastructure further demonstrates carrier-grade quality of Sun's products for the wireless market.