Visual Mobile Designer Custom Components: SMS Composer

Contributed by Karol Harezlak

Content on this page applies to NetBeans IDE 6.0The Visual Mobile Designer (VMD) is a graphical interface within the NetBeans Mobility pack 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 Mobility pack, 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 SMS Composer is a custom component that provides a mechanism and user interface to send short message using Short Message Service (SMS). This component utilizes the JSR-120 Wireless Messaging API. This API is not a part of the MIDP 2.0 specification so this custom component can only be deployed to devices that have built-in support for JSR-120.

Application Overview

This example shows you how to use the SMS Composer component in a mobile application for Wireless Messaging API (WMA) enabled devices. You'll learn the basic features of this component, and how to send message using Short Message Service.

Besides the SMS Composer custom component we'll use two other MIDP components: Splash Screen and Alert.


Before you begin, you need to install the following software on your computer:

If you are new to the NetBeans Mobility Pack, you should start with the NetBeans 6.0 Mobility CLDC/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 SMSComposerExample application:

  1. Download
  2. Unzip the file.
  3. In the IDE, choose File > Open Project and browse to the folder that contains the unzipped file.
  4. Open the Project and Inspector windows. It should look like the following:
    Navigator and Project window with SMS Composer example opened
  5. In the Projects window, right-click the project node and choose Run Project (or press F6 key). As the application runs, an emulator window opens and displays the application running in the default device emulator.
  6. In the Emulator window, click the button underneath "Launch."
    The emulator displays a Splash Screen component then SMS Composer, as shown:

    WTK 2.5 emulator displaying the sampel SMS Composer application

Creating an application with the SMS Composer Custom Component

Now that you have seen the SMS Composer component in action, let's go back to the beginning and create this application. To create the application, do the following:

  1. Create the SMSComposerExample project
  2. Add packages and a visual MIDlet to the SMSComposerExample project
  3. Add components to the SMSComposerExample
  4. Add Commands to the SMS Composer
  5. Connect the Components to create an application flow
  6. Modify Task for Wait Screen
  7. Run the Project

Creating the SMSComposerExample Project

  1. Choose File > New Project (Ctrl-Shift-N). Under Categories, select Mobile. Under Projects, select MIDP Application and click Next.
  2. Enter SMSComposerExample 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.
  3. Uncheck the Create Hello MIDlet checkbox. Click Next.
  4. Leave the Java ME Wireless Toolkit as the selected Target Platform. Click Next.
  5. Click Finish.
    The project folder contains all of your sources and project metadata, such as the project Ant script. The application itself is displayed in the Flow Design window of the Visual Mobile Designer.

Adding Packages and a Visual MIDlet to the SMSComposerExample Project

  1. Choose the SMSComposerExample project in the Project Window, then choose File > New File (Ctrl-N) . Under Categories, select Java Classes. Under File Types, select Java Package. Click Next.
  2. Enter smscomposerexample in the Package Name field. Click Finish.
  3. Choose the smscomposerexample package in the Project window, then choose File > New File (Ctrl-N) . Under Categories, select MIDP. Under File Types, select Visual MIDlet. Click Next.
  4. Enter SMSComposerExample into MIDlet Name and MIDP Class Name fields. Click Finish.

Adding Components to the SMSComposerExample

  1. Switch your Visual MIDlet to the Flow Designer window. Drag the following components from the Component Palette and drop them in the Flow Designer:
  2. Click on splash Screen and, in the Properties Window, change value of property Text from "null" to the "SMS Composer Example"
  3. Click on alert1 and, in the Properties Window, change value of property Instance Name from "alert1" to the "alertSent", the same way change alert2 Instance Name property from "alert2" to the "alertError".
  4. Click on alertSent and, in the Properties Window, change value of property String to the "Message Sent", the same way change property String in the component alertError to the "Error"
  5. Click on smsComposer and, in the Properties Window, uncheck property Automatically Send (SMS Properties category).

Adding Commands to the SMSComposerExample

  1. Open the Flow Designer Window.
  2. Choose Exit Command from the Commands section of the Component Palette. Drag and drop it into Flow Designer Window (smsComposer component).

Connecting Components

  1. In the Flow design window, click on the Start Point on the Mobile Device and drag it to the spalshScreen component. In the same manner, connect the components together as shown in the following graphic.
  2. Shows the Flow Designer with components connected by command lines

Modify Task for Wait Screen

  1. In the Navigator Window find task component (Resources category), right-click on task component in the Navigator Window and chose Go To Source option. In the Source Window find section // write task-execution user code here" and replace it with smsComposer.sendSMS();

Running the Project

  1. Press <F6> to Run the main project. Alternatively you could select Run > Run Main Project.

To Learn More about the SMS Composer Component

The NetBeans IDE provides API Javadocs for the File Browser component, as well as other components you can use in the VMD. To read the Javadocs for the File Browser component:

  1. Choose Help Javadoc References org.netbeans.microediton.lcdui.wma
  2. Click org.netbeans.microedition.lcdui.wma to see the links for the component information.

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