Hot PDA Sales Translate into Hot Java Developer Opps

RIM’s ubiquitous BlackBerry has proven so popular that the company is now the top PDA vendor worldwide, according to market research Gartner. Sales of all PDAs worldwide topped 3.4 million units in the first quarter of 2005, a 25 percent increase from the same period last year, Gartner adds.

Hot PDA sales translate into hot opportunities for Java developers too, especially on the BlackBerry. RIM offers the BlackBerry Java Development Environment, a fully integrated development environment and simulation tool for building Java 2 Micro Edition applications for Java-based BlackBerry handhelds.

It is a Mobile Information Device Profile compliant J2ME environment for developers to maintain seamless portability in their wireless applications. Also, the BlackBerry JDE features a suite of interfaces and utilities to take advantage of some of the unique features of the BlackBerry handheld.

Among its features are an integrated development environment allowing for the building, testing and debugging of BlackBerry apps; a BlackBerry handheld simulator, featuring a full copy of the BlackBerry Java Virtual Machine; a wireless network simulator with HTTP and TCP connectivity for developing solutions in a simulated environment; BlackBerry class libraries; and reference documentation and sample apps.

Blackberry’s Java Development Environment also features:

  • An enhanced API set, documentation and samples that enable developers to tightly integrate their applications with BlackBerry e-mail, text messaging, Web browser and organizer applications. The API enhancements include support for Bluetooth and the BlackBerry push architecture.
  • Java Specification Request implementations, including JTWI, MIDP 2.0, CLDC 1.1 and PDAP PIM, that provide developers with a familiar development environment and greater flexibility with applications.
  • Synchronization tools that leverage BlackBerry Enterprise Server for managing data synchronization between back-end applications and handheld applications.
  • The XML Generator, which allows developers to perform XML-related tasks without having to write additional code.
  • Support for WAP’s Push Access Protocol, providing developers with protocol choice for pushing data with their apps.

Here’s where you can find the download: BlackBerry Java Development Environment v4.0. The JDE does not include a build environment. To compile BlackBerry apps, you’ll need to install Sun’s Java 2 SDK, Standard Edition v1.4.