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Java development tools

The BlackBerry Java Plug-in for Eclipse includes the BlackBerry Java SDK. The plug-in also includes functionality to simplify your development efforts, such as tools to compile your code into the files you need for BlackBerry deployment.

This section describes the development tools you can use for BlackBerry smartphone application development.

About the BlackBerry Java plug-in for Eclipse

Eclipse is a free, open source development tool. To extend Eclipse for BlackBerry development, RIM provides the BlackBerry Java Plug-in for Eclipse, also free of charge. The plug-in simplifies Java application development for BlackBerry smartphones while giving you access to standard Eclipse tools, such as code assist.

The BlackBerry Java Plug-in for Eclipse is the preferred development tool to develop BlackBerry Java apps. However, you can alternatively use Visual Studio or NetBeans as your development environment.

The plug-in includes the BlackBerry Java SDK, the BlackBerry Smartphone Simulator, and many sample applications. The plug-in also includes the following development tools:

  • RAPC: You can use this command prompt compiler to compile .java and .jar files into .cod files. Applications on a smartphone must be .cod files.
  • JavaLoader: You can use this tool to add or update an application on a smartphone for testing, and to view information about application .cod files.
  • BlackBerry Signature Tool: You can use this tool to send code signature requests to the BlackBerry Signing Authority Tool.
  • Preverify Tool: You can use this tool to partially verify your classes before you load your application onto a smartphone.
  • JDWP: You can use this tool to debug applications using third-party IDEs.

There are versions of the BlackBerry Java Plug-in for Eclipse for Windows and Macintosh operating systems.

If you previously developed BlackBerry Java applications with the BlackBerry JDE, you can import your project into Eclipse with the BlackBerry Java Plug-in for Eclipse. After version 1.1, the BlackBerry Java Plug-in for Eclipse no longer supports project files (.jdp) and workspace files (.jdw) and is not backward compatible with the BlackBerry JDE.

Installing the BlackBerry Java Plug-in and the Eclipse IDE

To install the Eclipse IDE or the BlackBerry Java Plug-in, you must have an account on the BlackBerry Developer Zone. Registration is free.

You can download the Eclipse IDE and plug-in together. If you already have Eclipse installed, you can choose to install the Eclipse IDE with the BlackBerry Java Plug-in in a different directory, or you can overwrite your existing installation. Here is the download site for Eclipse with the plug-in:

If you already have Eclipse Classic 3.6.x installed, you can install the plug-in and SDK without reinstalling Eclipse. You can do this in Eclipse, either through Help > Install New Software (you must specify a BlackBerry update site to do this) or Window > Preferences (expand the Java item and select Installed JREs).

Once you have the plug-in installed, you can update the version of the Java SDK or remove the Java SDK.

More information about Eclipse and the Java plug-in

Simulators

When you install the BlackBerry Java Plug-in for Eclipse, a simulator is included in the download. However, it is good practice to test your app on simulators for several smartphone models. You can download other BlackBerry simulators free of charge.

For more information about simulators and how to download them, see: