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Tira Wireless shares device database

Comprehensive, but expensive

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

Want to develop a mobile app, but unsure which devices support the APIs you want to use?

Tira Wireless has the answer, with Tira Modd its database of detailed device specifications that show which Java API is available on which device, and on what network.

Tira is asking for $10,000 for the desktop (Standard) version of its database, which includes a comprehensive list of every JSR (Java Specification Request, the Java APIs) on more than 1,000 different handsets, in more than 17,000 combinations with operators around the world.

The firm also has an Enterprise version, which is individually priced, allowing anyone signed up to its (free) developers programme to access individual device details through its website.

Keeping track of the capabilities of different devices is a permanent nightmare for anyone involved in mobile development - even network operators struggle to keep track of detailed device specifications and manufacturers aren't always as forthcoming as they should be.

The WURFL is a collaborative effort to compile a database of such features, and has been taken on by dotMobi as one of the data sources for its Device Atlas. But neither of these provides detailed information about Java support or capabilities.

There are 83 separate JSRs that a mobile device might implement, some of which can have partial, or even just flaky, support. Details of the latter are particularly important to developers, and hard to get from manufacturers.

Tira certainly has experience porting Java applications between devices. The company reckons it's ported more than 500 over the last six years, resulting in more than 30,000 unique builds created by its Tira Jump tool that creates versions for each device and operator. To do that it obviously had to create the database, and is now looking to make a little more money from it.

Mobile development company mBricks is working to try to expand the WURFL to include more Java information but until (and if) that happens, Tira Modd is probably the best way to find out how many devices, in which markets, support the APIs you want to use for your latest mobile application. ®

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