Using Microsoft Visual Studio

You can develop C and C++ apps for BlackBerry PlayBook using the BlackBerry Native Plug-in for Microsoft Visual Studio in your Microsoft Visual Studio development environment.

Key features of the Visual Studio plug-in

The BlackBerry Native Plug-in for Microsoft Visual Studio adds the following features to your Microsoft Visual Studio installation.

BlackBerry Solution Configuration

You can create a new solution configuration that is specific to the BlackBerry PlayBook OS. With this solution configuration, you can adjust the settings for your project to associate it with the correct libraries and resources that you need to compile against the Native SDK. When you use this configuration, Microsoft Visual Studio uses the Native SDK compiler to build your app.

BlackBerry build and deployment scenarios

You can use the Build Solution menu and the Run button for both Debug and Release work on BlackBerry projects.

Code signing keys

You can manage the code signing keys that you obtained from the BlackBerry Signing website. You can register, unregister, back up, and restore your signing keys.

Application properties

You can edit application properties using the bar-descriptor.xml file, which is added when a new BlackBerry Solution Target is created. This file is required to create a BlackBerry 10 application.

Importing apps

You can import apps that you have developed and exported as Win32, or you can import apps that you have developed in the Native SDK.


You can use the integrated debugging functions of Microsoft Visual Studio to perform basic debugging techniques. You can count breakpoint hits, step through code using step into/over/out, debug threads and processes, evaluate expressions, view call stacks, break at functions, and hit breakpoints.