|This article may rely excessively on sources too closely associated with the subject, preventing the article from being verifiable and neutral. (June 2013)|
Codename One was created by the co-founders of the LWUIT project (Chen Fishbein and Shai Almog) and first announced January 13, 2012. It was described at the time by the authors as: "Codename One is a cross device platform allowing you to write your code once in Java and have it work on all devices specifically: iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone 7 & J2ME devices. The biggest goals for the project are ease of use/RAD (rapid application development), deep integration with the native platform & native speed."
Recently the company behind Codename One introduced a mobile app creator called Maker, that uses the Codename One SaaS architecture to build native apps.
Developers using Codename One build their app using Eclipse or NetBeans, they need the Codename One plugin to be installed on either IDE. Applications can be created either via the GUI builder tool or via code using standard Java 5, running/debugging the application is possible via the standard IDE tools and the Codename One simulator.
To build a native application developers sign in/register to the Codename One build server and send a build to the cloud based build server. Then they can download the native app from the build server to run on the device/submit to the store. Since the build server performs static translation of the code into a native application, it is no longer required after the application has been compiled.
In May 22, 2013 Codename One introduced Maker which is a mobile app that allows non-developers to build applications using their Phones/Tablets and generate the actual native app using the cloud based build servers.
The developers of Codename One define it as a native platform but clarify that native widgets are usually not used to render the user interfaces of Codename One applications, this allows for great portability but has also come under fire by some critics of the lightweight approach.
The Codename One project is a combination of Open Source and SaaS. Most of the client side code is open source including the iOS, Android, Windows, RIM & J2ME ports. The server build code and the Codename One LIVE! tool are proprietary.
Codename One claimed 200,000 downloads of its SDK as of release 1.1 in May 20, 2013.