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How to Develop Applications for the BlackBerry

written by: Ange P.•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 9/20/2011

There’s an app for everything, or is there? If you have a cohesive concept and the patience for programming, creating your own BB application from scratch may be as simple as 1-2-3 JDE. Learn the basics as well as how to use BlackBerry’s signature development platform to produce and sell apps.

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    Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons/ Evan-Amos Entering the smartphone market may be easier than you think. With the right software, code structure, and a little know-how a great idea can turn into the next profitable mobile sensation. The company Research In Motion also known as RIM has an exceptional BlackBerry Developer Zone which enables users to create and distribute original apps and themes. These applications can vary from data storage to games.

    Whether you’re a business seeking a higher level of service exposure or just a consumer with an innovative concept that others will find useful, venturing into this arena may be as equally fun as it is rewarding. Inventors can simply flaunt their downloadable app to their friends or take a more serious route by entering into the yearly Developer Challenge hosted by BlackBerry’s Partner Fund. Held in multiple categories winners receive elite membership status, special App World placement, the latest smartphones and devices from RIM, a gift certificate bundle, and tickets to the DevCon Conference to meet renowned figures in the industry. Regardless of the intention application development is a skill that can not only be mastered, but used to open doors financially.

    In this in-depth guide you’ll find a list of informative articles and step by step tutorials on developing BlackBerry applications. Whether you’re new or experienced and in need of a quick refresher course, these guides will steer you in the right direction.

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    How to Develop BlackBerry Apps

    In this introduction to app development learn how to pull together a cohesive application concept and the important aspects of Java. Find out how to simplify your programming needs with downloadable IDE software like Eclipse. Turn a brilliant idea into a fully functioning app that can be profitable.

    Using the BlackBerry Developer Zone

    Everything you need to know about Research In Motion’s programming center is in this article. Set up your developer account to begin the application creation process. Discover the most commonly used software tools and resources available. Acquire valuable tips for beginners working with wireless applications and more.

    Installing JDE

    Learn how to install the BlackBerry JDE on your PC directly from your developer account or designated download links. Browse an overview of the component versions and technical requirements necessary. Pick up first-hand knowledge by following along running a sample application in this detailed tutorial.

    How to Start Developing Java Applications for BlackBerry Devices: Setting Up the Environment

    There are two primary options programmers can use when developing BB apps. Learn the distinction from a specific Integrated Development Environment often referred to as JDE and an Eclipse IDE plug-in to choose the process that is best suited for your application needs. Software download links are listed for either method.

    How to Start Developing Java Applications for BlackBerry Devices: Working with the Simulator

    In the second instalment in this series on Java discover how to alternate between different simulator models and the appropriate method for checking code. Deploy a BlackBerry Java application example with Eclipse in a simulator. Master the art of selecting new simulator models.

    How to Start Developing Java Applications for BlackBerry Devices: Working with Devices

    Learn the process for implementing an application created with Eclipse into an actual BlackBerry device. Choose the best installation method while continuing the tutorial using the Helloworld demo app created earlier in the series. Follow step-by-step instructions on creating .alx files and get helpful server configuration tips as well.

    How to Start Developing Java Applications for BlackBerry Devices: Signing Keys

    In this detailed explanation on configuring Eclipse IDE with signing keys learn what they do and how to register them. Along with a brief introduction to APIs discover various verification types and aspects of the signing procedure. Find out which forms to fill out and the exact fees required to develop your app.

    BlackBerry Location APIs – Part 1

    Grasp a deeper understanding on how the application creation progression handles location APIs. Learn the role embedded GPS chips play in the building process. Decipher GPS modes, geolocation modes, and the set up criteria for BB smartphones.

    BlackBerry Location APIs – Part 2

    In the second part of this series the method for retrieving location fixes is discussed. Determine which fix is required and how to change default settings. Find out whether a single or multiple fix is the best alternative.

    BlackBerry 6.0 OS UI Components – Richlist

    What is a Richlist? Discover how this standard list of elements associated with an image approves the appearance of any application. Learn the code used to add a richlist to an application and the other components required.

    BlackBerry 6.0 OS UI Components – ToolBar

    Toolbars make navigating through an application more convenient. Astute BB users prefer using these icons instead of habitually clicking the menu button to browse available options. Learn how to integrate the toolbar feature into your app on Storm and BlackBerry 9800 Torch smartphones.

    BlackBerry 6.0 OS UI Components – Activity Indicator

    In this continued series covering the interface components in the 6.0 OS version find out why indicators are essential during coding. Discover which indicator does what and how to use them as a guide. Acquire tips on customizing animations and creating bitmaps with images.

    BlackBerry 6.0 OS UI Components – Progress Indicator

    Much like the Activity Indicator the Progress Indicator is recommended while coding. Learn how to use this component to experiment with different style options and fine-tune your app. These time-tested tips make application operations user-friendly.

    BlackBerry 6.0 OS UI Components – Table

    The Table Model component allows developers to create rows and columns to store information within their application. Review example code structures for adding borders, backgrounds, and images. Construct various DataTemplates to form eye-catching apps.

    HTTP Connections Using Code – Part 1

    In this two-part series learn how to make an HTTP connection through code on your BB smartphone. Discover the five distinct methods available. Get tips on how to conduct a Direct TCP using APN configuration to working with modules included in the BlackBerry Enterprise Server Infrastructure.

    HTTP Connections Using Code – Part 2

    Read an extensive how-to on making an HTTP connection using the BlackBerry Internet Service provided only to Alliance Program members. Learn the steps necessary to locate the Wap gateway provided by your carrier for a connection via Wap 2.0. Find expert tips and recommendations to follow when dealing with connections on the BB.

    Anyone can create their own BB application. Although the process may seem overwhelming at first, implementing the methods and tips used in these articles will make developing easy. With a little practice inputting the appropriate code, maneuvering in Java, and setting up shop in the BlackBerry App World will be effortless.

    Bookmark this guide as I will be updating it as new tutorials become available to aid you in your new app development endeavors.