Debugging and Deploying Mobile Games (part 3) - Testing OTA Provisioning with KToolbar

10/23/2012 3:11:34 AM
Although testing OTA provisioning of your mobile game with a real web server and a real mobile phone is ultimately your goal before releasing the game to the general public, there is a way to simulate the provisioning process. The KToolbar application that ships with the J2ME Wireless Toolkit allows you to run a MIDlet in “OTA mode,” which simply means that the MIDlet is downloaded and installed from a local file as if it was being delivered remotely via OTA provisioning. This is an incredibly useful feature for testing mobile game installation without having to rely on a real web server and phone.

To run a MIDlet in OTA mode, follow these steps:

Copy the game folder (HighSeas, for example) to the apps folder within the J2ME Wireless Toolkit install folder.

From the KToolbar menu, click Project; then Run via OTA.

Follow the steps in the emulator to install and run the MIDlet.

The first step is necessary so that the game is accessible as a project from within KToolbar. The second step then launches the J2ME emulator in OTA mode, which simulates the game being delivered over a wireless network connection. The last step involves interacting with the emulator’s AMS, which is ultimately responsible for allowing you to carry out the installation of the game.

After an initial splash screen, the emulator displays an option enabling you to install a mobile application. Selecting this option results in the display of a text entry form where you can enter the URL of the MIDlet delivery web page, as shown in Figure 1. What’s nice in this case is that the delivery web page is generated for you automatically, as is the URL.

Figure 1. The J2ME emulator starts out in OTA mode by displaying the URL for the High Seas 2 MIDlet’s delivery web page.

Accepting the URL for the delivery web page results in the emulator downloading the page for the MIDlet and then searching it for links. Figure 2 shows the web page being downloaded into the emulator.

Figure 2. The J2ME emulator is busy downloading the delivery web page so that it can access the MIDlet’s JAD/JAR link(s).

After finding a JAD file for the High Seas 2 MIDlet, the J2ME emulator displays the file for you to select (see Figure 3).

Figure 3. The MIDlet’s JAD file is shown so that you can select it for viewing.

After you select the High Seas 2 JAD file and proceed onward, the emulator downloads the JAD file and retrieves MIDlet information from it. Figure 4 shows a Confirmation screen for the High Seas 2 installation that enables you to see information about the MIDlet before finalizing its installation. Notice that the JAR file size (95K), MIDlet version, and software vendor are all displayed on this screen.

Figure 4. The emulator’s Confirmation screen allows you to view information about the MIDlet prior to downloading and installing it.

If you select Install to move forward with the High Seas 2 installation, you will be presented with a download screen similar to the one shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5. The emulator’s download screen shows you the progress of the MIDlet download.

Upon successfully downloading the MIDlet to the emulator, you will finally see the MIDlet added to the list of installed applications, as shown in Figure 6.

Figure 6. The successfully installed MIDlet is shown in the emulator’s application list, ready to be run.

The figure reveals that you can now launch the MIDlet and play the game. You might also notice that an Update option is visible on the emulator menu. Updating a MIDlet is similar to installing a MIDlet, except that the update takes place only if there is a newer version of the MIDlet available. If you recall, the version number is listed right there in the JAD file, so it’s possible to look for a new version of a MIDlet simply by checking the JAD file quickly. This makes it easy for you to offer updated games that users can download easily.

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