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Build Your First BlackBerry Java App

Learn how to use the freely available BlackBerry JDE to develop, debug, and test BlackBerry applications. Follow this demonstration to create a simple HelloWorld application that exploits some of BlackBerry's own APIs.


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he BlackBerry wireless handheld device by Research In Motion (RIM) has quickly gained popularity among mobile professionals. With its "Always On, Always Connected" approach, it enables corporate users to connect to their e-mail systems, including Lotus Domino and Microsoft Exchange, and other mission-critical systems (e.g., instant messaging) using a General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)-based wireless connection.

BlackBerry supports Java 2 Platform, Micro Edition (J2ME) and ships with a complete Connected Limited Device Configuration/Mobile Information Device Profile (CLDC/MIDP) implementation. Although Blackberry devices run applications that use only the standard MIDP APIs (commonly referred to as MIDlets), developers can also tap into BlackBerry-specific APIs to take advantage features such as sophisticated user interfaces.

This article introduces the freely available BlackBerry Java Development Environment (JDE), which allows you to develop, debug, and test BlackBerry applications. It goes on to demonstrate how to create a simple HelloWorld application that exploits some of BlackBerry's own APIs.



The BlackBerry JDE
The BlackBerry JDE includes an integrated development environment (IDE) for BlackBerry applications and Blackberry simulation tools that you can use to see exactly how the applications will act on a real BlackBerry device. The BlackBerry JDE also contains a number of working sample applications.

Before moving on, download the BlackBerry JDE. At the time of this article's writing, it was in version 4.0.1.

Installation of the JDE requires that you have the Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition (J2SE) v1.4 running. InstallShield walks you through the JDE installation. When you choose a complete installation type, it should create a Research in Motion program group in your Start menu.



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