BlackBerry Programming 101 – How to Get Started With BlackBerry Software Development

The success of newer BlackBerry fashions just like the Pearl, Curve, Daring and Storm have allowed RIM (Analysis in Movement) to penetrate the buyer smartphone market and go head-to-head with the Apple iPhone as an utility platform. In the event you've been ignoring the BlackBerry platform as a result of it was too Enterprise-focused to your purposes, it may be time to particularly goal the BlackBerry. Right here's the way you get began.

It's Java Time

BlackBerry growth for all current fashions is completed solely in Java. So in case you're not a powerful Java programmer, now's the time to brush up in your Java programming abilities. (C # programmers will discover the transition to Java pretty easy, the languages ​​are very shut in most respects.) The Java platform is constructed on Java, , which is itself a by-product of Java model 1.three. So neglect all the flowery (however helpful) language options launched in Java 1.5 – generics, enumerations, and so forth – you can’t use these in BlackBerry programming. You can’t use many of the library lessons you're conversant in – they're simply not there. A small subset of the Java Normal Version (Java SE) lessons are supported, in addition to a lot of BlackBerry-specific lessons.

Java Micro Version?

When you've brushed up your Java, you want to spend a little bit of time understanding the Java ME platform, which was previously generally known as Java 2 Micro Version, or J2ME for brief. It’s good to perceive the ideas of configurations and profiles , and particularly the CLDC and MIDP requirements. You'll discover a lot of details about these in varied books and on Solar's Java growth web site.

The BlackBerry Platform

After studying about Java ME, it's time to discover the BlackBerry platform. The BlackBerry platform relies on the CLDC and contains help for MIDP 2.zero. Nonetheless, a lot of BlackBerry-specific lessons are additionally supplied. Which brings you to the primary query you'll face: are you going to jot down a BlackBerry utility or a MIDP utility? In a MIDP utility you're constrained to solely use the APIs uncovered by the CLDC and MIDP requirements. Your utility will run on the BlackBerry and on most cellphones, but it surely won’t be able to make use of any of the BlackBerry's particular options. You should utilize any MIDP-compatible growth instrument, such because the Solar Java Wi-fi Toolkit for CLDC (previously generally known as the J2ME Wi-fi Toolkit ), to create your purposes.

Most utility builders choose to construct BlackBerry-specific purposes. This implies studying the BlackBerry-specific APIs – together with new person interface lessons – and utilizing the BlackBerry Java Improvement Surroundings (JDE) to develop your purposes. The JDE, which is free to obtain, works with the usual Java Software program Improvement Package and offers you with all of the instruments essential to create, package deal, take a look at, and debug BlackBerry purposes. You don’t even want a BlackBerry handheld, as a result of the JDE features a full-featured BlackBerry gadget simulator. A whole set of JavaDocs is supplied that describes all of the lessons and interfaces accessible to programmers.

After downloading and putting in the JDE, you'll wish to learn the developer's guides that include the JDE and have a look at the pattern purposes which might be shipped with it. Then begin your growth by writing a number of easy purposes to get a really feel for the BlackBerry APIs and the instruments.

Get A BlackBerry Handheld

Though you possibly can develop and take a look at your purposes free of charge, in some unspecified time in the future you'll must run the appliance on an precise BlackBerry handheld. This may price you cash, after all, and so it's not one thing you'll wish to do till you're severe about writing BlackBerry purposes. On-device testing is essential to making sure that the appliance works accurately, as a result of the simulator shouldn’t be an ideal emulation system.

In the event you're actually severe about BlackBerry utility growth, contemplate additionally becoming a member of one of many BlackBerry developer packages for added help and early entry to new units and APIs. You must also discover RIM's different BlackBerry developer assets. There are additionally third-party boards and books accessible that can assist you be taught the BlackBerry platform.


BlackBerry programming shouldn’t be exhausting if you understand some Java and also you perceive the constraints and limitations of the underlying Java ME platform. It’s a must to be taught a brand new set of APIs and use new growth instruments, however ultimately it's simply one other sort of Java programming.

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