Porting to the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet from other platforms

There are millions of lines of C and C++ code out there waiting to be ported to the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, and with the BlackBerry Native SDK for Tablet OS you can leverage that code and bring it to many eager users. The Native SDK provides useful tools and commonly used libraries that can help to get your existing application running quickly and reliably on the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.

It's important to keep in mind that the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet is a feature-rich and powerful device, with capabilities that you may not have even considered for your application. For example, a desktop game written in C++ is not likely to include code that handles touch screen gestures, or logic to accommodate a virtual keyboard. You should also be aware that platform differences can impact the libraries your application uses, so it's ideal to choose libraries that are open-source or that you have the source code rights for. Luckily, the Native SDK provides plenty of open-source libraries that have been tested on the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet to hopefully make your life easier. Your application should be programmed in C or C++, otherwise you'll need to convert languages as well.

Device image showing the gameplay longboard sample.

A big advantage with the Native SDK is that you can still work in your favorite environment because the Native SDK works on Windows, Macintosh, and Linux platforms. Ideally, you should pick the platform that the software you want to port compiles on. For example, if your application is available for Linux, go ahead and use Linux as your development machine. Then, you are basically dealing with the differences between two POSIX compliant operating systems (Linux and the BlackBerry Tablet OS), along with some additional hardware differences such as touch screens, lack of a physical keyboard, etc.

After you select an appropriate application to port, it's a good idea to try to compile it on your development machine. If you can’t build the project in an environment that supports it, you are unlikely to be successful in porting it to the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. Keep in mind that when you eventually compile for the BlackBerry Tablet OS, you are in fact cross-compiling, meaning you are working on a development machine with a certain architecture and runtime environment that is different from the environment that you're building for.