Setting up Blackberry Development Environment

Posted on July 24, 2009. Filed under: software development |

 

“The best defense is a good offense.”

I have decided to leave out the rant (well, perhaps some will slip in) and just stick to the facts.  As mentioned earlier, I have spent the better part of a week trying to get my development environment setup and running.  I have been frustrated by the inaccurate information, moved information and knowledge assumptions that have been made on various sites and discussion boards.  I am trying to lay out the base steps so that even a trained monkey can get things working.

The original set of tutorials that I tried to follow can be found here.

Set-up Java

The first part is to install the necessary java files on your computer.  These files install the virtual machine, libraries and associated files that everything else depends on. 

There are many different options to download; skip over the ‘bundles’ and look at the second section.  You only need to download the ‘Java SE Development Kit (JDK)

  1. Download the Java SE Development Kit (JDK).  The most recent version is fine (I installed JDK6u14).
    1. The direct link is here
  2. Once the download has completed, install the package.  I took the default options.

Set-up Development IDE

You have two choices when it comes down to development IDE: the blackberry IDE and eclipse.  I understand that there are some advanced features that will be unavailable in eclipse that are available in the blackberry IDE.  However, eclipse is much more friendly and usable and so you have a classic trade-off.  The good news is that the two are compatible (or so everyone claims).

Since I’m new to this whole endeavour and I favour having a modern IDE with built-in help and context sensitive menus, I chose to go with eclipse.  The caveat with eclipse is that you must go with an OLDER version of eclipse.  The newest version DOES NOT WORK with the blackberry software.

The supported version of eclipse is 3.4.1 (also known as Ganymede SR1).  Thou shalt not use 3.3, 3.4.2 (Ganymede SR2) nor 3.5 Galileo, and Pulsar (mobile eclipse) is right out.  Thou shalt use version 3.4.1 and thou shall only use version 3.4.1.

I only belabour this point as I learned this the hard way over the course of a long, frustrating day.  Oh, as usual, there are many different versions and options: Eclipse Classic 3.4.1

  1. Download Eclipse Classic 3.4.1 from here.
  2. The download should be a zip file that you can extract to its final resting place.
  3. I must say that eclipse is nice in that once you have unzipped it, it should just work.  If it doesn’t then I think you are up the creek without a paddle.

Once eclipse has been unzipped and you’ve started it, you are almost there.  Just need to download the eclipse plugin that will allow you to develop for the Blackberry.

  1. Download the BlackBerry JDE Plug-in for Eclipse here.  You can install the ‘Full Installer’ or scroll down to ‘Download the BlackBerry JDE Plug-in for Eclipse v1.0 with the BlackBerry® Java® Development Environment (BlackBerry JDE) v4.5 Component Pack
  2. Once the download completes, run the executable and follow the instructions.

Congratulations.  You have now installed your environment for developing for version 4.5 of the Blackberry.

Next: Installing other versions of the JDE.

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2 Responses to “Setting up Blackberry Development Environment”

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Well, that’s all well and good…but how do you test to see if you installed it correctly? I can’t even find reference on how to run Blackberry Java files. (The closest I’ve found mentioned “.jdw” workspace files)

Thanks much, great notes … I was going down the same extremely frustrating path with Galileo, then Ganymede 3.4.2 so this helped tremendously. Beginning BlackBerry Development by Anthony Rizk is a good source for a HelloWorld app too.


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