BlackBerry Programming 101 – How to Get Started out With BlackBerry Software package Advancement

Bridget J. Sims

The results of more recent BlackBerry models like the Pearl, Curve, Bold and Storm have allowed RIM (Exploration in Motion) to penetrate the shopper smartphone industry and go head-to-head with the Apple Iphone as an application platform. If you’ve got been ignoring the BlackBerry system due to the fact it was far too Organization-focused for your purposes, it could possibly be time to especially target the BlackBerry. Here is how you get begun.

It’s Java Time

BlackBerry growth for all new models is completed exclusively in Java. So if you might be not a powerful Java programmer, now’s the time to brush up on your Java programming skills. (C# programmers will find the transition to Java quite easy, the languages are pretty near in most respects.) Really don’t learn about the latest Java features, having said that, due to the fact the BlackBerry platform is designed on prime of Java Micro Edition (Java ME), which is by itself a derivative of Java model 1.3. So overlook all the fancy (but valuable) language characteristics launched in Java 1.5 — generics, enumerations, and so on — you can’t use these in BlackBerry programming. You are unable to also use most of the library lessons you’re common with — they are just not there. A compact subset of the Java Conventional Edition (Java SE) lessons are supported, as properly as a quantity of BlackBerry-unique classes.

Java Micro Version?

When you’ve brushed up on your Java, you require to commit a little bit of time comprehending the Java ME system, which was formerly recognised as Java 2 Micro Version, or J2ME for quick. You need to have to have an understanding of the ideas of configurations and profiles, and in individual the CLDC and MIDP expectations. You can expect to uncover loads of information about these in a variety of guides and on Sun’s Java enhancement web page.

The BlackBerry Platform

After finding out about Java ME, it’s time to discover the BlackBerry system. The BlackBerry platform is based on the CLDC and features assist for MIDP 2.. Even so, a huge quantity of BlackBerry-distinct classes are also presented. Which provides you to the very first issue you are going to facial area: are you going to write a BlackBerry application or a MIDP software? In a MIDP software you happen to be constrained to only use the APIs uncovered by the CLDC and MIDP benchmarks. Your application will run on the BlackBerry and on most cellphones, but it will never be in a position to use any of the BlackBerry’s exclusive attributes. You can use any MIDP-compatible development instrument, these kinds of as the Sun Java Wireless Toolkit for CLDC (formerly regarded as the J2ME Wireless Toolkit), to produce your purposes.

Most software developers decide to create BlackBerry-particular apps. This implies finding out the BlackBerry-specific APIs — such as new consumer interface lessons — and employing the BlackBerry Java Development Environment (JDE) to create your applications. The JDE, which is totally free to obtain, operates with the regular Java Application Enhancement Kit and supplies you with all the applications essential to produce, bundle, test and debug BlackBerry purposes. You you should not even will need a BlackBerry handheld, for the reason that the JDE consists of a whole-highlighted BlackBerry unit simulator. A total established of JavaDocs is supplied that describes all the lessons and interfaces obtainable to programmers.

Immediately after downloading and installing the JDE, you may want to go through the developer’s guides that appear with the JDE and look at the sample programs that are delivered with it. Then begin your advancement by creating a several very simple apps to get a feel for the BlackBerry APIs and the instruments.

Get A BlackBerry Handheld

Whilst you can create and exam your apps for free of charge, at some issue you are going to want to operate the application on an actual BlackBerry handheld. This will charge you cash, of system, and so it can be not some thing you can expect to want to do until you are serious about crafting BlackBerry programs. On-product tests is critical to guaranteeing that the software will work accurately, due to the fact the simulator is not a great emulation method.

If you are truly major about BlackBerry software growth, contemplate also signing up for one particular of the BlackBerry developer courses for additional guidance and early entry to new gadgets and APIs. You should also examine RIM’s other BlackBerry developer methods. There are also 3rd-occasion boards and publications readily available to assistance you study the BlackBerry system.

Conclusion

BlackBerry programming is not challenging if you know some Java and you fully grasp the constraints and restrictions of the underlying Java ME system. You have to study a new set of APIs and use new improvement tools, but in the end it really is just yet another variety of Java programming.

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