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Save Time, Waste Time

Posted by billday on July 30, 2003 at 6:33 PM PDT

In spite of all of the abstract tech talk and demo code and articles I've been involved with over the years while advocating Java technology, at the end of the day any technology, Java included, is only useful when somebody finds something interesting to do with it. To that end, I enjoyed Jack Shirazi's recent blog entry on Java Case Studies and the J2ME stats URLs posted in response by kalim1998. I hope to see more of these in the future on

Jack's case study blog started me thinking about a frequently asked question I seem to receive at least once a week:

Just what is J2ME technology good for in the real world anyway?

My answer: The J2ME Platform is fantastic for building and deploying mobile applications that allow people to do one of two things:

  1. Save time
  2. Waste time

Classic examples of time saving applications include stock trading and financial apps that free the user to analyze and modify portfolios anywhere, enterprise apps that allow sales and support teams to access critical information at customer sites and elsewhere in the field, medical informatics apps that give nurses and doctors access to patient records, drug formularies, and more on the spot throughout their clinic or hospital, etc. Time wasting apps include a variety of offline and networked games, ring tone (and real soon now, ring *tune*) editors, and other entertainment apps.

The key issue to the success of both: Wireless devices are personal and with us everywhere we go. That fact gives mobile applications an edge over PC or even standard Web applications in the time-to-solution arena, whether the problem being solved is a sales and support issue or how to get past level three of a favorite game while at the beach with your friends.

Take it as a top priority to empower users to save time or waste time better than anybody else if you want to maximize your chances for mobile development success.

P.S. Click here to search Sun's Java site for wireless related case studies. Nokia also has a nice Success Stories site. Once you have a great time saving or time wasting idea, you can learn more about bringing it to fruition from the Sun Developer Network Mobility Program and Market Guides pages.

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