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Whizlabs SCMAD Certification Primer: All about the new SCMAD Certification Exam
By: Developer Shed
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    Whizlabs SCMAD Certification Primer: All about the new SCMAD Certification Exam
    by Whizlabs Software


    The mobile market is envisioned as the next technologicalwave by leading industry experts. But due to the fragmented nature of themobile market, with various manufacturers competing to get their share of thepie, Java is once again poised to be the best programming language for themobile market with its Write Once, Run Anywhere technology. This article willhelp you understand the objectives, preparation requirements, and resourcesavailable for this prestigious certification by Sun Microsystems.





    The mobile market is envisioned as the next technologicalwave by leading industry experts. With approximately 150 million mobile phones– roughly 3 times the user base as that of desktop computers – itmight well be the case. Due to the fragmented natureof the mobile market, with various manufacturers competing to get their shareof the pie, Java is once again poised to be the best programming language forthe mobile market with its Write Once, Run Anywhere technology.


    The specifications around the Java for Wireless Technologyinitiative have been proposed and backed by most of the leading mobile phonemanufacturers (Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Siemens, T-Mobile, to name a few) andhence, one can expect device support and continued innovation.


    The Java 2 Platform, Micro Edition (J2ME) offers a highlyoptimized virtual machine which can be used to run Java applications on devicesranging from resource constrained devices like smart cards, pagers, and mobilephones to high end devices like handheld computers and set-top boxes.


    Keeping the limitations of the mobile devices – bothin size and in memory – in mind, the Java Community Process has developeda series of standards constructed in a modular fashion to ensure that variousfeatures are standardized while keeping the architecture at an abstract level.


    While the J2ME itself includes a lot of other features andis also not limited to mobile phones, the certification concentrates on thedeveloper’s ability to create and install programs for mobile devices,such as cell phones and Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs).


    You might want to consider taking this exam


    ·        If you are already into writing J2ME applicationsfor mobile devices and want to be recognized for your skills.

    ·        If you are a developer who has already written afew programs for wireless devices, the preparation will give you in-depthknowledge of various concepts.

    ·        If you are a seasoned J2SE/J2EE developer and wantto start writing highly optimized Java applications for mobile devices, thiscertification is a jump-start for achieving the same.

    ·        If you do not have too much of an idea abouttechnologies like Wireless Programming or Game Programming, preparing for thiscertification will be a great incentive to get a foothold in this technology.

    ·        If you want to learn and master the cutting-edgetechnologies that are round the corner.


    This article will provide a basic understanding of thescope of the certification and will also give details about the certificationalong with the useful resources to get started.


    Whatyou need to know?


    The Sun Certified Mobile Application Developer (SCMAD)tests the developer’s knowledge in the following five specifications.


    Java Technology for the Wireless Industry (JTWI 1.0)


    Connected, Limited, Device Configuration  (CLDC 1.0/1.1)


    Mobile Information Device Profile (MIDP 2.0)


    Wireless Messaging API (WMA 1.1)


    Mobile Media API (MMAPI 1.1)




    Exam Information




    You should have passed the Sun Certified Java Programmer(SCJP) – any version – to appear for this exam.




    Details of the certification objectives can be found atthe Sunwebsite. The major objectives are


    1.      JTWI(JSR 185) and Overview / JTWI-compliant Wireless Applications

    2.      CLDC1.0/1.1

    3.      Security(both CLDC and MIDP)

    4.      Networking

    5.      ApplicationModel/ Delivery/Lifecycle/Provisioning

    6.      MIDPPersistent Storage

    7.      PushRegistry

    8.      MIDP UIAPI

    9.      MIDPGame API

    10.  Mediausing MIDP 2.0 and the Mobile Media API 1.1 (MMAPI)

    11.  WirelessMessaging API 1.1 (WMA)


    Passing Score & Time


    The exam consists of 68 questions, and the pass percentageis 55%. The time allotted for the exam is 150 minutes. The fee for the exam is$150 for U.S.candidates and might vary for other countries. Please visit the Suncertification website for more details.


    What you need to do?

    This exam might be slightly tougher than the other examssince the technology is fairly new and the community support is limited.


    Since the API set is relatively small, you can cover thetopics quickly. On an average, it should take you around a week to cover eachtopic if you are familiar with Java and have written or attempted to write afew programs using J2ME. If you are new to wireless programming, you might wantto allocate around 2-3 months (2 hours a day at least) for preparation.


    To prepare for the exam, it we recommend that you do the following:


    1.      Downloadthe Java Wireless Toolkit (2.0 or above).

    2.      If youhave a J2ME enabled cell phone, download the toolkit from that vendor. Forexample, Nokia and Sony provide free toolkits and emulators that will help youprogram in those devices.

    3.      Downloadthe PDF versions of the specifications mentioned above.


    The best way to get an idea about wireless programming isto actually write some programs and deploy them to a cell phone. This will go along way in your preparation, since the creation and delivery of wirelessapplications is quite different from that of the standard or enterpriseapplications. You should develop at least one program for each specification toget a feel of the API. Some of the programs you might want to develop are


    1.      Aprogram that takes a name and prints out “Hello <name>”(tests the UI API)

    2.      A simplegame or a drawing, like the traditional Paddleball game or various geometricshapes moving in the screen (tests the Game API)

    3.      Aprogram to read an image off a website and display it on the phone (testsnetworking)

    4.      A‘signed’ Hello World! Application (tests security)

    5.      Aprogram that plays a simple tune (tests MMAPI)

    6.      Aprogram that displays a text message (tests WMA)

    7.      Aprogram that calculates tip for various pre-defined scenarios (tests RMS)


    To understand the concepts of J2ME programming, you canread the official J2ME tutorial, which is very comprehensive. Some useful booksare also listed in the resources section.


    Most of the questions will be code-based and hence, it isvery important that you understand how the code is structured for variousspecifications.


    You might want to consider purchasing the SCMAD examsimulator by Whizlabs, which contains numerous questions of varying difficultylevels spread across five mock exams and a quiz and also lots of useful tipsfor the exam.


    Assuming that you have WhizlabsSCMAD Exam Simulator, you can use the table below as a starting point fordeveloping your preparation timeline.






    Diagnostic Exam

    Gives you a feel of what to expect


    CLDC 1.0/1.1

    Basics of the VM and its requirements


    Application Lifecycle/Provisioning

    Basics of MIPD and its requirements



    Develop and deploy Program 1 after this



    Develop and deploy Program 3 after this


    MIDP Persistent Storage

    Develop and deploy Program 7 after this


    MIDP Game API

    Develop and deploy Program 2 after this



    Develop and deploy Program 5 after this



    Develop and deploy Program 6 after this


    Push Registry

    Small, but complicated, and is related to WMA



    Helps in packaging applications securely



    Gives an understanding of how the technologies are tied together


    Mock Exams

    Test your preparation. Revise weaker sections.


    Finally, you can take some mock exams to prepare yourselffrom a certification standpoint.


    Tipsand pitfalls


    • Understand the conceptual difference between a J2ME configuration (like CLDC) and a J2ME profile (like MIDP).
    • Memorize the software and hardware requirements of the various specifications.
    • Memorize the class hierarchies of important APIs like Generic Connection Framework, High level and low level UI API, Media classes of MIDP 2.0 and MMAPI 1.1.
    • The exam tests the understanding of the features and differences between low level and high-level API for UI programming. So, learn them well.
    • Understand that differences between the media support of MIDP 2.0 and the MMAPI 1.1.
    • Apart from the knowledge of writing proper J2ME code, the exam also tests the ability to write valid Java Application Descriptor (JAD) and manifest files that are used to markup the deployment details of an application. So, practice writing the descriptors well and deploy the application in the toolkit to understand the behavior of various deployment tags.
    • Remember that the exam is a vendor neutral exam. So, you can safely ignore learning the vendor APIs (like the APIs provided by Nokia, Sony Ericsson, and so on).
    • The best reading material for this exam is the specification document. So, allot enough time to go through these documents and learn the concepts and API well.
    • Make sure what you read is relevant to the exam objectives. A common pitfall is reading and spending time on things that you may not require for the exam.
    • As mentioned earlier, try to develop a practical example for each concept as this will help in a better understanding of the concepts.




    With a huge customer base and vast popularity, wirelessdevices are here to stay. As the wireless technology improves and as the nextgeneration devices come into the market with increased bandwidth, the demandfor interactive and feature-rich wireless applications will greatly increase.Having a know-how of wireless programming will give you a competitive edge andwill prepare you for the future.




    ·        J2ME tutorialby Sun Microsystems, Inc.

    ·        SCMAD.comprovides a comprehensive list of preparatory resources for the certificationexam.

    ·        Exam notesby Sathya Srinivasan, to get you started on the certification




    ·        WhizlabsSCMAD Certification Forum

    ·        SCMADtrail at JavaRanch (You might also want to visit the J2MEtrail)




    ·        WirelessJava: Developing with J2ME by Jonathan Knudsen

    ·        WirelessJ2ME Platform Programming by Vartan Piroumian

    ·        J2ME:The Complete Reference by James Keogh

    ·        Enterprise J2ME: Developing Mobile JavaApplications by Michael Juntao Yuan


    Exam Simulators
    There are many ways to prepare forcertification exams, one of them being through the use of exam simulators. Withthese you cannot just identify your weak areas, but also get a feel of the testenvironment.


    Whizlabs has launchedworlds’ first-ever SCMAD(J2ME Certification) exam simulator that ensures your success in theexam with its high-quality mock tests and quick revision tips for the exam.



    About the Author


    Whizlabs (, an ISO Certifiedcompany, is a leading provider of IT skill assessment and certification exampreparation tools. Whizlabs' suite of offerings include "IT CertificationExam simulators and Instructor-led, Online Trainings" for various exams bySun, IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, BEA, Cisco, and other leading IT vendors and"IT skill Assessment Management Solution" for Corporations, TrainingInstitutes, and Universities.

    In its first 3 years ofinception Whizlabs has helped 300,000 software professionals in realizing theirdream of acquiring IT Certifications of their interest.


    Whizlabs offerings havefuelled the career growth of IT professionals working in 321 Fortune 500companies spread in 118 countries across the globe.  


    The author can be contacted at


    *First Published at Whizlabs’ site.

    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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