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RIM apologises for BlackBerry app-coding downtime

Research In Motion has apologised to BlackBerry app developers for the intermittent downtime of the company's code-signing servers, a problem that made development almost impossible for several days last week.The servers were intermittently down for much of the period between Monday and Wednesday.
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

Research In Motion has apologised to BlackBerry app developers for the intermittent downtime of the company's code-signing servers, a problem that made development almost impossible for several days last week.

The servers were intermittently down for much of the period between Monday and Wednesday. During that downtime, developers could not sign — and therefore could not test — their code. In a blogpost on Friday, RIM developer relations chief Tyler Lessard said the issues had been resolved.

"I'd like to apologise to the community for this situation," Lessard wrote. "We realise this can be a disruption to your business and we take issues like this very seriously."

Lesard explained that a diagnostic activity had been acting abnormally during the signing process, and fixing that process had restored operations "to a level of service that we would expect".

The outage was not the first. In a flurry of outrage on the BlackBerry developer support forum, developer 'dnepr' noted on Wednesday that "every time this happens RIM says measures are taken and the servers crash the next hour/day/week".

Contributor 'calebhamilton' added that the intermittent downtime was "worse than having the signing servers down completely", as developers did not know for sure that the system would not work. "Instead, our apps are signing sometimes, failing others, and failing on phones even when they sign 'successfully'," he wrote.

Many contributors to the forum pointed out that such outages would not do RIM any good at a time when the BlackBerry platform is already in trouble, experiencing product timescale delays and strong competition from Android and iOS.

"I'm really tired of trying to find a reason to support or root for RIM anymore," developer 'jtp5120' wrote. "We're going to probably just release one version and a follow-up bug fix release and call it quits. Even with the hope of QNX in the future, the process to develop apps has to change dramatically for us to consider going forward [with RIM]."

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