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RIM releases Blackberry Widget API and SDK v1.0 Beta!

Application Development RIM just made it much easier to develop feature-rich and hardware-integrated applications for their Blackberry devices by releasing the BlackBerry Widget SDK 1.0 Beta 1.

With the advent of Blackberry Widgets, web developers can leverage local hardware and device software functionality - such as accessing messaging, calendaring and other PIM capabilities as well as phone, GPS, and extended storage card space. To ensure that web developers can hit the ground running, the official SDK page comes complete with sample code and development tutorials.

From the Widget SDK 1.0 page:

The BlackBerry Widget Packager 1.0 Beta 1 is a new tool that allows web developers to package up their web assets into BlackBerry Widgets (small, discrete, standalone web applications that use HTML, CSS and JavaScript). A BlackBerry Widget looks, behaves and has the same security mechanisms as a native BlackBerry application. BlackBerry Widgets can be installed on a BlackBerry smartphone like any native application and can be extended to use device-specific information and data using the BlackBerry Widget APIs.

This is a great opportunity for RIM and the Blackberry itself; I see it bringing not only new developers to the platform, but changing the way we develop "fat clients" for the platform. One of the included examples even showcases the use of Gears/SQLite for offline/local storage of - what could be - Cloud/SaaS content!

And now I know how I'm spending my weekend! I'll be downloading the new Blackberry Widget SDK, configuring Eclipse, and building out some Widgets! Of course, post-Hello World, I plan on ripping into integration with IBM Lotus Domino and Widget-enabling some of the standard template Lotus Notes/Domino applications like Discussion Databases, Document Libraries, Domino Blog, etc.

Of course, if my last weekend exchange with setting up an SDK in Eclipse was any indication, I doubt I'll hit the end of Hello World before Monday morning!

About the author: Chris Toohey

Thought Leadership, Web & Mobile Application Development, Solutions Integration, Technical Writing & Mentoring

A published developer and webmaster of, Chris Toohey specializes in platform application development, solutions integration, and evangelism of platform capabilities and best practices.

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