BlackBerry Programming 101 – How to start developing BlackBerry software

The success of newer BlackBerry models such as Pearl, Curve, Bold and Storm has allowed RIM (Research in Motion) to penetrate the consumer smartphone market and interact directly with the Apple iPhone as an application platform. If you are ignoring the BlackBerry platform because it was overly focused on your apps, it may be time to specifically target BlackBerry. Here's how to get started.

It is Java time

BlackBerry All modern models are developed exclusively in Java. So, if you are not a powerful Java programmer, now is the time to activate your Java programming skills. (Programmers # C will find the transition to Java somewhat simple, and the languages ​​are very close in most respects.) You don't know the latest Java features, however, because the BlackBerry platform is built on top of the Java Micro version (Java ME), which is itself It is derived from Java version 1.3. So, you can forget about all the cool (but useful) language features that were introduced in Java 1.5 – generic drugs, counts, etc. – you cannot use these features in BlackBerry programming. You also can't use most library classes you know – they are not. A small subset of the Java Standard Edition (Java SE) categories are supported, as well as a number of special BlackBerry categories.

The mini version of Java?

Once you get to know Java, you will need to spend some time understanding the Java ME platform, formerly known as Java 2 Micro Edition, or J2ME for a short time. You need to understand concepts Configurations And appearance , In particular the CLDC and MIDP standards. You will find a lot of information about this in many books and on Sun's Java development site.

BlackBerry platform

After getting to know Java ME, it's time to explore the BlackBerry platform. BlackBerry system is based on CLDC and includes support for MIDP 2.0. However, a large number of special BlackBerry categories are provided. What brings you to the first question you will face: Will you write the BlackBerry app or the MIDP app? In a MIDP app, you are restricted to using APIs that are only subject to the CLDC and MIDP standards. The application will run on BlackBerry and on most mobile phones, but it will not be able to use any of the special BlackBerry features. You can use any MIDP compatible development tool, such as the Sun Java Wireless Toolkit for CLDC (formerly known as J2ME Wireless Toolkit ), To create your own apps.

Most application developers choose to create BlackBerry apps. This means learning BlackBerry APIs – including new UI classes – and using the BlackBerry Java Development Environment (JDE) to develop your applications. JDE, which is free to download, works with the standard Java Software Development Kit and provides you with all the tools needed to create, install, test and debug BlackBerry applications. You don't even need a BlackBerry mobile device, because JDE includes a full-featured BlackBerry device emulator. A full suite of JavaDocs is provided that describe all the classes and interfaces available to programmers.

After downloading and installing JDE, you will need to read the developer guides that come with JDE and look at the application samples shipped with it. Then start development by writing a few simple apps to learn about BlackBerry APIs and tools.

Get blackberry portable

Although you can develop and test your apps for free, at some point you will need to run the application on a BlackBerry handheld device. This will cost you money, of course, and therefore it is not something you want to do until you are serious about writing BlackBerry requests. On-device testing is necessary to ensure the app is working properly, since the simulator is not an ideal emulation system.

If you're serious about developing a BlackBerry app, you should also join a BlackBerry developer program for additional support and early access to new hardware and APIs. You should also explore other BlackBerry developer resources from RIM. There are also third-party forums and books to help you learn the BlackBerry platform.

conclusion

It is not difficult to program BlackBerry if you know some Java and understand the limitations and limitations of the Java ME platform. You should learn a new set of APIs and use new development tools, but in the end this is another type of Java programming.

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