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Developing Touch-Enabled Applications with the Blackberry Touch API

Learn all the major touch programming features supported through the BlackBerry JDE API. Along the way, you will see Java code snippets that demonstrate how to program these features.


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ollowing the introduction of its BlackBerry Storm touch phone, Research in Motion (RIM) released the BlackBerry Java Development Environment (JDE) API 4.7.0 (with version 5 in beta). This latest version of the JDE supports development of custom applications for touch-based user interfaces.

RIM is keeping up with the latest Java ME standards as well, so their latest development environments generally support all of the latest Java ME specs (e.g., MIDP 2.0/CLDC1.1). BlackBerry devices also run Java applications written using the proprietary BlackBerry SDK, which provides functions beyond those offered through Java ME. These functions are specifically optimized for BlackBerry devices and specific models (e.g., touch functions for the Storm).

This article surveys all the major touch programming features supported through the BlackBerry JDE API and provides Java code snippets to demonstrate how to program for these features.



BlackBerry JDE API

BlackBerry devices can run applications written in Java and in .NET. Within Java, developers can develop either pure Java ME applications or applications based on RIM's proprietary SDK (featured in this article). Support for Java ME depends on the type of device and on the version of the SDK deployed on the device.

Author's Note: For more information about the mapping between devices, the SDK, and Java ME compatibility, consult the Blackberry's very elaborate, albeit hard-to-navigate, web site for software developers, which hosts a multitude of very useful materials. To make the most of this resource, first spend some time reviewing the Blackberry software development videos and API documentation. After that, study the Javadoc for the Blackberry SDK. It provides the most detailed information for Blackberry programming.

For development, RIM favors Eclipse 3.4.0 or 3.4.1 as the default development platform. The company supplies a BlackBerry IDE (fully featured with a debugger and high-fidelity, multi-device simulator) as a free Eclipse plug-in (featured in this article).



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