Comparing and contrasting WAP/WML and J2ME architectures

Comparing and contrasting WAP/WML and J2ME architectures

Both the WAP and the J2ME architectures share a broad overview of similarities and differences - Comparing and contrasting WAP/WML and J2ME architectures introduction. The emergence of J2ME came perhaps as a refuge from the cost and the system requirements that are needed for WAP architectures. By and large, many organisations are currently using J2ME to address its concern for stronger and more powerful state of its devices as well as address the issue of the expensive costs of the bandwidth provided by WAP. They are both competing tightly to win the very competitive technological market by addressing pertinent issues of concern provided by either of them.  Conceptually, Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) refers to that set of an open protocol specification which will address the characteristics of wireless network through an adoption of several approaches of data handling that are already used by the various Web Protocols. It also involves the introduction of yet some new approaches when needed to address the special requirements as envisaged by devices that are handheld. The conceptual development of the WAP technology has basically been eased by the process of reusing such existing Web technologies (Mahmoud, 2002). It thus helps in similar manner as in the case of developing the applications of any HTML-based Web, because it is founded on been a browser-based.

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                The Java 2 Micro Edition (J2ME) is yet another approach that is been used to develop wireless network application. This however, involves the use of the Mobile Information Device Profile (MIDP). The concept of MIDP is based on open specifications which basically adapts to the existing set of communication technologies which may include Web and the Java. To this far, we come to a realisation that both the WAP and the J2ME architectures are wireless network addressing protocols.  In both cases, Java in ideally an important concept as it applies equally to both cases. Its role in the two architectures is precisely implicit. For example, in the case of the WAP, JavaServer Pages (JSPs) and Java Servlets may be applied in generating contents of dynamic WAP (Gavalas, Economou, 2006). Information Technology administrators have argued that both the J2ME and the WAP technologies are basically non-competing. They have been described as chiefly complimenting one another. Just like the other existing models of programming, both the J2ME and the WAP depict a broad outlay of programming models which may include the use of Java or the Web.

                For instance, the model for WAP programming is largely similar to the programming model of the Web, which has matching extensions that are specifically made to accommodate all the general characteristics of a general wireless network environment. Indeed, the programming model for WAP has its basis on heavy usage of the programming model for the Web. It is to be noted here that though the original designation of the WAP was for it not to use any HTML component, it has in various cases had its content and data services located within the Web server in form of HTML. In this case, certain WAP gateways can easily convert HTML pages in terms of specific formats which can easily be given a display in devices which are wireless.

                Unlike the WAP, J2ME programming model basically combines both the Web programming model and the Java programming model. In this case, MIDlets will be developed by the use of Java after which they shall be combined together just in the same way as Java application can be compiled. Where a page is described in HTML format, then MIDlets will be described in terms of Java Descriptor file (JAD). In such a case, these MIDlets will essentially run through its own management software, which in this case shall provide a good operating environment to these MIDlets with which they can run through (Mahmoud, 2002). Such MIDlets will however remain undestroyed after they are run through but shall remain installed within the same device for such a time until they can be removed way.

                In yet another general overview, there is a perpetual difference in the way in which both the J2ME and the WAP architectures can be described. Notably, WAP protocol has its fashion based in form of layers which creates flexibility, scalability and extensibility in its creation and performance. Such layers are the application layer, the transaction layer, session layer, transport layer and the security layer. There is an interface established between each layer creating a workable programming interface. However, the J2ME lacks such a layered context (Galavas, Economou, 2006). On the other hand however, MIDlets in the J2ME architecture is the central component that is used in managing the application life cycle of this type of architecture.

Despite therefore the applicability of the two architectures sharing common composites of wireless technology, we can appreciate their differing sediment of applicability. From one level, it can be argued that both were developed to address important parameters within the programming framework and not to create a diverse imagery of a competing prologue. They can rather be viewed as compliments of one another. The only existing difference is within their scope of the programming models.


Gavalas, C. and Economou, D. (2006). “The Technology Landscape of Wireless Web”. Retrieved on 25th August 2010 from,

Mahmoud, Q. (2002). J2ME MIDP and WAP Complementary Technologies. Retrieved on 25th Agust 2010 from,


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