The good results of more recent BlackBerry types like the Pearl, Curve, Bold and Storm have authorized RIM (Study in Motion) to penetrate the consumer smartphone sector and go head-to-head with the Apple Iphone as an software system. If you’ve been ignoring the BlackBerry system mainly because it was also Enterprise-focused for your applications, it could be time to precisely goal the BlackBerry. This is how you get started off.

It’s Java Time

BlackBerry progress for all new versions is done completely in Java. So if you happen to be not a strong Java programmer, now’s the time to brush up on your Java programming abilities. (C# programmers will locate the transition to Java quite very simple, the languages are extremely shut in most respects.) Don’t discover about the latest Java characteristics, having said that, simply because the BlackBerry system is created on top of Java Micro Version (Java ME), which is by itself a derivative of Java edition 1.3. So overlook all the fancy (but valuable) language options launched in Java 1.5 — generics, enumerations, and so on — you are not able to use these in BlackBerry programming. You are unable to also use most of the library lessons you happen to be familiar with — they are just not there. A little subset of the Java Common Version (Java SE) courses are supported, as effectively as a amount of BlackBerry-unique lessons.

Java Micro Edition?

After you’ve got brushed up on your Java, you have to have to expend a little bit of time knowledge the Java ME platform, which was previously regarded as Java 2 Micro Version, or J2ME for short. You want to fully grasp the principles of configurations and profiles, and in distinct the CLDC and MIDP criteria. You are going to locate heaps of facts about these in various textbooks and on Sun’s Java growth internet site.

The BlackBerry System

After mastering about Java ME, it is time to investigate the BlackBerry system. The BlackBerry system is based mostly on the CLDC and features assist for MIDP 2.. On the other hand, a substantial quantity of BlackBerry-specific courses are also delivered. Which delivers you to the initial question you’ll deal with: are you going to compose a BlackBerry software or a MIDP application? In a MIDP software you’re constrained to only use the APIs exposed by the CLDC and MIDP criteria. Your software will run on the BlackBerry and on most cellphones, but it will never be in a position to use any of the BlackBerry’s particular capabilities. You can use any MIDP-appropriate advancement device, these types of as the Solar Java Wireless Toolkit for CLDC (formerly recognised as the J2ME Wireless Toolkit), to make your purposes.

Most application builders choose to establish BlackBerry-certain applications. This indicates finding out the BlackBerry-certain APIs — which includes new user interface classes — and using the BlackBerry Java Improvement Atmosphere (JDE) to build your apps. The JDE, which is free of charge to down load, is effective with the regular Java Computer software Development Kit and provides you with all the tools necessary to create, bundle, test and debug BlackBerry purposes. You never even will need a BlackBerry handheld, because the JDE involves a entire-highlighted BlackBerry unit simulator. A finish established of JavaDocs is provided that describes all the classes and interfaces out there to programmers.

Just after downloading and installing the JDE, you are going to want to read the developer’s guides that arrive with the JDE and glimpse at the sample apps that are transported with it. Then get started your improvement by composing a couple straightforward applications to get a experience for the BlackBerry APIs and the tools.

Get A BlackBerry Handheld

Whilst you can create and exam your applications for free, at some position you’ll need to have to run the application on an actual BlackBerry handheld. This will charge you money, of class, and so it is not anything you can want to do right up until you are major about writing BlackBerry programs. On-gadget tests is vital to making certain that the software performs accurately, simply because the simulator is not a best emulation technique.

If you happen to be really severe about BlackBerry software advancement, take into account also signing up for a person of the BlackBerry developer packages for further help and early accessibility to new gadgets and APIs. You should really also explore RIM’s other BlackBerry developer means. There are also third-social gathering forums and guides available to support you understand the BlackBerry system.

Conclusion

BlackBerry programming is not difficult if you know some Java and you understand the constraints and limitations of the underlying Java ME platform. You have to learn a new set of APIs and use new enhancement tools, but in the end it really is just yet another sort of Java programming.