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RIM Blackberry Java Development Environment

The Blackberry Java Development Environment (JDE) 3.2 from Research In Motion is interesting because it is a Java development tool offered directly by a device manufacturer. The JDE was released in conjunction with RIM's rollout of its GPRS- and J2ME-enabled 5810 and 5820 devices, hybrid handhelds that include voice and packet-data communications capabilities. While Sun's J2ME Wireless Toolkit includes a RIM device emulator, the JDE goes far beyond simple UI emulation capabilities to provide the following:

  • A capable Java IDE with graphical debugger

  • A collection of RIM Java APIs (in the net.rim.device.api package)

  • A highly configurable "Device Simulator" that offers voice, UI, and communications simulation for a range of RIM devices

  • Support for internationalization through localized text strings stored in resource files

  • A gateway simulator application that allows an application to accurately simulate networking capabilities of a deployed Blackberry device

  • Online documentation for JDE and JavaDocs for APIs

RIM has made a clear commitment to Java, specifically J2ME on the client; if you are considering RIM devices as a target platform, the RIM JDE provides a host of Blackberry-specific features that won't be found in simpler emulators. These features include the capability to fine-tune memory management, communications, and battery power scenarios for the simulation. As mentioned earlier, RIM also includes powerful Java APIs that will be of interest to developers building networked apps for RIM devices. The net.rim.device.api package offered includes data compression, internationalization, and Blackberry system and user interface APIs that will be useful to any developer building a production Blackberry application.

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