The success of newer BlackBerry fashions just like the Pearl, Curve, Daring and Storm have allowed RIM (Analysis in Movement) to penetrate the patron 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 functions, it may be time to particularly goal the BlackBerry. This is the way you get began.
It is Java Time
BlackBerry growth for all current fashions is completed completely in Java. So if you happen to’re not a robust Java programmer, now’s the time to brush up in your Java programming expertise. (C# programmers will discover the transition to Java pretty easy, the languages are very shut in most respects.) Do not be taught concerning the latest Java options, nevertheless, as a result of the BlackBerry platform is constructed on prime of Java Micro Version (Java ME), which is itself a spinoff of Java model 1.3. So neglect all the flowery (however helpful) language options launched in Java 1.5 — generics, enumerations, and so forth — you’ll be able to’t use these in BlackBerry programming. You may’t additionally use a lot of the library lessons you are acquainted with — they’re simply not there. A small subset of the Java Customary Version (Java SE) lessons are supported, in addition to plenty of BlackBerry-specific lessons.
Java Micro Version?
As soon as you’ve got brushed up in your Java, it’s good to spend a little bit of time understanding the Java ME platform, which was previously referred to as Java 2 Micro Version, or J2ME for brief. It is advisable perceive the ideas of configurations and profiles, and specifically the CLDC and MIDP requirements. You will discover a number of details about these in varied books and on Solar’s Java growth web site.
The BlackBerry Platform
After studying about Java ME, it is time to discover the BlackBerry platform. The BlackBerry platform is predicated on the CLDC and consists of help for MIDP 2.0. Nevertheless, numerous BlackBerry-specific lessons are additionally supplied. Which brings you to the primary query you may face: are you going to put in writing a BlackBerry utility or a MIDP utility? In a MIDP utility you are constrained to solely use the APIs uncovered by the CLDC and MIDP requirements. Your utility will run on the BlackBerry and on most cellphones, however it will not be capable of use any of the BlackBerry’s particular options. You need to use any MIDP-compatible growth software, such because the Solar Java Wi-fi Toolkit for CLDC (previously referred to as the J2ME Wi-fi Toolkit), to create your functions.
Most utility builders choose to construct BlackBerry-specific functions. This implies studying the BlackBerry-specific APIs — together with new consumer interface lessons — and utilizing the BlackBerry Java Development Environment (JDE) to develop your functions. The JDE, which is free to obtain, works with the usual Java Software program Improvement Equipment and gives you with all of the instruments essential to create, bundle, check and debug BlackBerry functions. You do not even want a BlackBerry handheld, as a result of the JDE features a full-featured BlackBerry system simulator. A whole set of JavaDocs is supplied that describes all of the lessons and interfaces out there to programmers.
After downloading and putting in the JDE, you may wish to learn the developer’s guides that include the JDE and take a look at the pattern functions which are shipped with it. Then begin your growth by writing a number of easy functions to get a really feel for the BlackBerry APIs and the instruments.
Get A BlackBerry Handheld
Though you’ll be able to develop and check your functions at no cost, in some unspecified time in the future you may have to run the applying on an precise BlackBerry handheld. This may price you cash, after all, and so it is not one thing you may wish to do till you are critical about writing BlackBerry functions. On-device testing is essential to making sure that the applying works accurately, as a result of the simulator isn’t an ideal emulation system.
In the event you’re actually critical about BlackBerry utility growth, contemplate additionally becoming a member of one of many BlackBerry developer applications for added help and early entry to new gadgets and APIs. You must also discover RIM’s different BlackBerry developer sources. There are additionally third-party boards and books out there that will help you be taught the BlackBerry platform.
BlackBerry programming isn’t laborious if you already know some Java and also you perceive the constraints and limitations of the underlying Java ME platform. You need to be taught a brand new set of APIs and use new growth instruments, however ultimately it is simply one other form of Java programming.