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Making the Most of the Platform - Smartphone Development

As a BlackBerry developer, it makes sense that a majority -- if not all -- of the apps you create are business applications. That's not likely to change in the near future. Fortunately, though, there are some great tools available to make your job easier.

  1. Building Business Apps with the BlackBerry Browser
  2. Making the Most of the Platform
  3. New BlackBerry Browser Enhancements with Eclipse
By: Joe eitel
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August 18, 2009

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In order to make the most of BlackBerry’s platform, developers can leverage existing wireless connectivity and take advantage of more familiar web-based user interfaces. The fact that BlackBerry’s application data can pull the same wireless compression, encryption, connection, and infrastructure as its e-mail might be of extra interest to BlackBerry business app developers because it means that it’s no longer necessary to build extra networking functions. Now usually, browser-based apps act as traditional client/server deployments, but when using the BlackBerry browser to develop your apps, clients will already be familiar with the web-based interface because nothing is being deployed.

As already mentioned, version v4.6 of BlackBerry’s browser supports a wide array of markups and web 2.0 features, and these developments will prove to be particularly helpful to those wanting to create business applications with the browser. Business application developers for BlackBerry can count on the browser to support HTML, X-HTML-MP, and WML 1.3. It also supports the following image files: JPEG, GIF, PNG, and WBMP and complex presentation formats, such as Frames, RSS, and ATOM. The following scripting languages are also now supported: JavaScript (which includes Ajax support), ECMAScript, and WML Script 1.2.1.

Developing Business Apps using Eclipse

Developing business apps for the BlackBerry browser was already simple enough because it enabled developers to use standard web authoring tools with which they were probably already familiar. Things have gotten even easier, especially for developers familiar with Eclipse. A new BlackBerry web development plug-in for Eclipse was released earlier this month, and it’s seamlessly integrated with Eclipse 3.4. This new addition to the BlackBerry browser set of tools will enable developers to debug their browser-based business applications and content for BlackBerry handheld devices.

It also enables the ability to profile the code, and some could argue that it greatly increases efficiency because it allows developers to use Eclipse in a way that’s familiar to them. After all, utilizing the BlackBerry Browser’s Eclipse plug-in to develop your business applications doesn’t require learning any new programs or software. The Eclipse plug-in also assists with remote web development, debugging and profiling. The new Eclipse plug-in also comes with a BlackBerry smartphone simulator once it is downloaded. This, of course, will enable developers to immediately test their business applications and get them out to their users as quickly as possible.

>>> More Smartphone Development Articles          >>> More By Joe eitel

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