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System requirements

Requirements for developers

Because BlackBerry Messenger connected applications are supported only on BlackBerry smartphones running BlackBerry Device Software 5.0 or later, it is recommended that you use the BlackBerry Messenger SDK in conjunction with the BlackBerry Java SDK 5.0 or later. To download the BlackBerry Java SDK or the associated development tools, visit developer.blackberry.com/java/download/.

All applications built upon the BBM platform must be distributed to BlackBerry users through the BlackBerry World storefront, although an application can be loaded directly on a BlackBerry device for testing purposes. Applications loaded directly onto the device are considered by the BBM platform as temporary, and are restricted to a maximum of 100 users. Once an application is made available in BlackBerry World, there is no limit on the number of users.

To distribute an application through BlackBerry World, developers must create a membership account to request access to the vendor portal. For information about becoming a member, visit http://na.blackberry.com/eng/developers/appworld/.

All applications that use the BBM platform are subject to code of conduct restrictions to prevent misuse of the platform and to protect user privacy. Research In Motion reserves the right to remove applications that are potentially malicious, or misuse or place an unnecessary burden on the platform. Applications are required to allow users to notify the BBM platform if the application performs any user-initiated action without the user's consent.

System requirements for users

To install an application that uses the BlackBerry Messenger SDK, a BlackBerry smartphone user must have a wireless service data plan and the following software installed on the BlackBerry smartphone:

  • BlackBerry Device Software 5.0 or later
  • BlackBerry Messenger 6.0
  • BlackBerry World storefront 1.0 or later

The BBM pre-production environment

The BlackBerry Messenger pre-production environment is a dedicated cluster of BBM services that provides all of the functionality of the BBM Social Platform. The pre-production environment is ideal for building internal, alpha, and beta versions of your BBM connected app. It provides you with an opportunity to test your app's features and functionality on activated BlackBerry smartphones with a small beta community before you release it through the BlackBerry World storefront.

If your app, or app version, does not already exist in BlackBerry World, it is automatically placed in the pre-production environment. The UUID that you provide acts as a unique identifier for your app that facilitates monitoring for any adverse or unintended events (such as burstiness) in the traffic that is associated with your app. Since the pre-production environment is intended for testing, while restricting traffic from your app in the production environment, the following limitations apply:

  • Each app is limited to 100 active instances.
  • An app expires after 180 days. Once expired, your app no longer has access to the BBM platform services in the pre-production environment.
  • An app in pre-production can communicate (for example, share content or send join invitations) only with other users who are running the same app or app version. This means that users who are testing the app cannot communicate with users who are running any version of that app if it has been submitted to or is available in BlackBerry World.

Communication limitations

To prevent an application from using too much of the available bandwidth, the BlackBerry Messenger platform limits the total volume of data that is transferred by a BBM connected application as follows:

  • All messages and application data transferred over channel and session connections for all BBM connected applications that are running on a BlackBerry device are collectively limited to a maximum data transfer rate that is configured by the BBM server. If the total volume of data attributed to an application threatens to exceed the maximum transfer rate, the BBM platform throttles data traffic for that application to reduce the transfer rate to an acceptable level. File transfers sent from a BBM connected application are not considered to be application data, and are therefore exempt from this limitation on the data transfer rate.
  • Data sent from a BBM connected application over a channel/session connection is limited to a maximum of 60 KB per transfer.
  • File transfers from a BBM connected application are limited to a maximum of 6 MB per file.
  • The maximum number of users in a connection is limited to 24.