RIM extends BlackBerry app development to Web developers

BlackBerry capabilities no longer limited to Java developers as the new Widget SDK backs technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript

Research In Motion (RIM) will preview on Tuesday  technologies enabling application builders to use Web development skills to build programs for the company's BlackBerry smartphone.

Previously, Java development skills have been required to build applications leveraging BlackBerry capabilities, RIM said. Technologies set for release in a beta format include: the BlackBerry Widget SDK (Software Development Kit), for building integrated applications using common Web technologies including HTML, CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), and JavaScript; a command line tool to convert the Web application into a Java application and a simulator to test applications. General release of the three technologies is planned for later this year. The beta technologies can be accessed at this Web page.

[ Earlier this year, RIM officials earlier this year marked the tenth anniversary of the BlackBerry, emphasizing the device as a business applications platform. | Smartphones present a veritable Tower of Babel for developers. See InfoWorld's recent report. | Get InfoWorld's 20-page hands-on look at the new generation of mobile devices and see how the BlackBerry, iPhone, Windows Mobile, and more stack up agaist business needs, all from InfoWorld's editors and contributors. ]

RIM's move greatly expands the base of developers who can build for its popular device, with more developers capable of building Web applications than Java applications, said Mike Kirkup, RIM director of developer relations. Developers can take Web content and essentially turn it into a widget on the BlackBerry platform, he said.

"What this is, it would give people the ability to have the same look and feel as Java applications on the BlackBerry by using Web development and Web technologies," Kirkup said. Widgets still enjoy benefits of Java applications, such as native integration with other applications, local storage, location-based services, and sandbox security.

"The idea here is a new development methodology," said Kirkup.

Developers render an application interface using Web technologies; Web applications can be extended using BlackBerry Widget APIs. For example, developers can provide for interaction between a widget and the BlackBerry e-mail and calendar applications.

Or, widgets could be developed to view or edit files and documents stored on the BlackBerry. Developers can use RIM push technology enabling dynamic widgets that run in the background and provide alerts to users.

All three technologies will be available free of charge. Developers will need version 5.0 of the BlackBerry OS. BlackBerry Widgets can be distributed through the BlackBerry App World online application store or, in corporate environments, through BlackBerry Enterprise Server.

While RIM now is offering its own technologies for Web development, third party Rhomobile previously has offered its Rhodes framework enabling use of HTML to build for smartphones including the BlackBerry.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags appssmartphonesRIMmobile appsRIM BlackBerry

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Paul Krill

InfoWorld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?