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Wednesday, April 07, 2010
RIM Releases Java and Web Development Tools

Research In Motion (RIM) on Tuesday released updated Java and Web-based development tools for the BlackBerry platform.

The BlackBerry Java Plug-In for Eclipse v1.1 and the BlackBerry Web Plug-in v2.0 offer new capabilities that make it even easier to create feature-rich applications. The BlackBerry Widget SDK (Software Development Kit) v1.0 and the BlackBerry Java SDK v5.0, which includes more than 20,000 APIs, provide access to BlackBerry smartphone hardware features, native BlackBerry software applications and other unique system capabilities of the BlackBerry Application Platform.

Using the new tools developers can quickly build web-based BlackBerry Widgets or Java applications that leverage the benefits of the BlackBerry Application Platform to share information across and interact with core BlackBerry applications or other third party applications. These are personalized and contextualized applications that can integrate with a BlackBerry smartphone's inbox, calendar, address book and other native BlackBerry applications.

BlackBerry Java Plug-In for Eclipse v1.1

* Enables Java developers to leverage a familiar open source development environment (Eclipse 3.5) to create, debug, profile and simulate their applications using a wide selection of BlackBerry smartphone simulators, actual devices and multiple versions of the BlackBerry OS
* Improved productivity features include the ability to instantly load and immediately run a modified application being debugged without having to reset the simulator or device, providing tremendous time savings

For more information on the Java Plug-in v1.1, visit

BlackBerry Web Plug-In v2.0

* BlackBerry Web Plug-ins are now available for both Eclipse and Microsoft Visual Studio
* Enables developers to easily create web applications (includes BlackBerry Widgets) and web content using standard web technology and programming languages (e.g., HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and AJAX)
* Enables JavaScript access to core BlackBerry Java API?s.
* New features in the latest 2.0 release include BlackBerry Widget debugging and profiling, support for Eclipse 3.5, and simulator "hot swap" to greatly reduce the time required to test and debug between iterations

For more information on the BlackBerry Web Plug-In v 2.0, visit

BlackBerry Java SDK v5.0

* OpenGL ES support for 3D graphics, touch-screen, and accelerometer enables visually stunning interactive 3D games
* Rich multimedia audio and video support, Media Play features, camera zoom and focus, and embedded video capture and audio/video streaming support
* New pre-built UI components (e.g., spin-box fields, file pickers, and screen transitions) enable advanced graphics and built-in animation and increased developer productivity.
* SQLite support for data sharing across different applications, as well as Gears JavaScript API for persistent database storage.
* Location Based Services APIs enable cell-site geolocation, GPS, geocoding and reverse geocoding to obtain address and location information

For more information on the Java SDK v5.0, visit

BlackBerry Widget SDK v1.0

* Allows third-party applications to access the calendar, contacts, camera, maps, messaging, browser, files, location via cell-tower or GPS, and receive BlackBerry push content via BlackBerry Widget APIs
* Includes navigation support for touch-screen handsets and screen transition and image transition support for BlackBerry Widgets startup and shutdown
* Location-Based Services and SQLite / Google Gears enabled persistent data storage is also available for BlackBerry Widgets.
* The widget architecture allows for extensibility by letting a third party developer develop their own JavaScript extensions, for use and distribution within a BlackBerry Widget.

For more information about the BlackBerry Widget SDK, visit

Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM launched its online apps store last April, following on the success of Apple's much larger offering.

Apple, RIM and Google have been vying to attract top developers to their platforms as apps become more of a factor in the decisions of consumers when buying smartphones.

Verizon, the biggest U.S. mobile operator, opened its own apps store in late March.

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