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The BlackBerry handheld, developed by Research In Motion and sold by wireless carriers throughout the world, is an interesting platform to develop for. This section of my site deals with Java development issues specific to this platform.
I'm answering some BlackBerry development questions on my Q&A site CluelessAbout.com, including the following questions:
Check the BlackBerry and J2ME sections of the site for more. The concise BlackBerry information directory may also be of interest.
As far as I know, there is only one book on the market specifically about developing for the BlackBerry platform. This book is Professional BlackBerry, a Wrox/Wiley book. I've just received a copy and I'll be posting a review of it soon.
Note that books about Java 2 Micro Edition (J2ME) development can be used, but these will not cover the BlackBerry-specific features and APIs that you'll generally want to use. You'll have to rely on articles, websites, and the BlackBerry developer documentation for guidance.
Why so few BlackBerry books? Until lately, book publishers would have considered the market to be too small and too specialized. As the user base grows, though, that may change. Already, there are a number of BlackBerry user guides available, so hopefully there will be a market for programming guides as well.
To understand the BlackBerry platform and to gather the tools you'll need, start by reading these articles I wrote for MobilizedSoftware.com:
Make sure you understand the BlackBerry architecture, in particular the difference between C++-based handhelds and Java-based handhelds. This site only discusses Java-based development.
Now you're ready to start development. At a minimum, you'll need to download the BlackBerry Java Development Environment (JDE) and related documentation. The JDE requires the Java 2 Standard Edition software development kit (SDK), but is otherwise self-contained, and includes simulators for running and debugging your application on the desktop. Of course, you'll want to also acquire a real device for development purposes. See the articles above for more details.
Every year, RIM hosts a conference for BlackBerry users and developers called the Wireless Enterprise Symposium, or WES for short. Feel free to peruse the PowerPoint slides for the presentation I made on behalf of iAnywhere Solutions titled Developing and Deploying Java Applications for BlackBerry: Making Sense of it All.
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This page was last modified on March 30, 2006