BlackBerry Developer Community website open for business

The BlackBerry Developer Community website has just opened.An independent resource the Community has tutorials, forums and message boards of interest to third-party software BlackBerry developers as well as BlackBerry-using code jocks.

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The BlackBerry Developer Community website has just opened.

An independent resource the Community has tutorials, forums and message boards of interest to third-party software BlackBerry developers as well as BlackBerry-using code jocks.

A quick tour of the BlackBerry Developer Community website shows some initial content areas. These include: Standalone Java Applications- BlackBerry applications can be written using Java, specifically the Java Micro Edition (also known as Java ME). For those who are hard-core JME developers, BlackBerry is MIDP 2.0 and CLDC 1.2 compliant. If you're not a hard-core JME developer you probably don't care about that.

Within the standalone Java world there are two sub-paths that you can take: Generic applications (called Midlets) that will run on most JME-compliant devices, or native BlackBerry applications. The choice depends on a few factors, such as whether or not you need to call any of the native BlackBerry APIs (such as accessing the camera or GPS) or if you wanted to use the BlackBerry UI system. If you're planning on creating an application that you want to run on any JME-compliant device you might want to stick to the standard JME APIs.

There are sections devoted to theseveral development options available for creating Java applications:

  • The BlackBerry Java Development Environment
  • Eclipse or EclipseME
  • NetBeans
  • Other Java IDEs

MDS Studio Applications- If you are planning to integrate your BlackBerry application with enterprise back-end systems, you might want to consider the BlackBerry MDS Studio. It's a rapid application development (RAD) tool designed specifically for connecting to Web Services. It features a very easy-to-use drag and drop interface and uses Javascript for advanced control. RIM recently announced a Visual Studio plugin that offers the same functionality but in a more familiar enviroment.

Browser Applications-The easiest to create type of application is simply browser-based. You can use any back-end technology (ASP, PHP, Python, etc) that is capable of spitting out HTML. By conforming to a few simple design guildelines you can easily and quickly connect to web-based applications. The tradeoff for this power is the lack of flexibility that comes with a limited web-based application (such as lack of persistent storage on the client, requirement for connectedness, etc).

There's also Forums, Sample Code, and Tips and Tricks areas.