- Leveraged BlackBerry® Native SDK for Tablet OS to port C++ apps to BlackBerry PlayBook tablet
- Used QNX® Momentics® IDE to cross-compile and debug applications
- Considers OpenGL and OpenAL library support to be key feature
- Ported Smiley’s Pop application to BlackBerry PlayBook tablet in one day
BlackBerry Developer Success Story — Ovogame
As someone who has been coding for more than two decades, French developer Jean-Claude Cottier is always on the lookout for opportunities for his company, Ovogame, to reach new audiences with its casual games. After meeting with a Research In Motion® (RIM®) representative and hearing how easy it was, Cottier decided to try porting his C++ games to the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet that RIM had sent to him. Cottier was pleasantly surprised that he was able to port an application to the PlayBook tablet on the same day that he received it. On November 16, 2012 at a RIM Portathon event, Cottier ported the entire Ovogame portfolio of 10 games to the BlackBerry 10 platform and even helped other developers with the porting process.
Jean-Claude talked to us about the straightforward nature of porting his C++ applications to the BlackBerry PlayBook, how he leveraged the BlackBerry Native SDK for Tablet OS, and how his overall experience has differed from working with other platforms.
Q: How straightforward has it been for you to port your C++ applications to the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet?
Jean-Claude: I didn’t believe the RIM representative I spoke to when he told me how easy it could be to port my C++ applications to the Playbook tablet. I was able to install the tools, register with RIM and run the testing application without any major difficulty. After only a couple of hours I had my game running on the PlayBook and everything worked the way I expected it to, which was a nice change. Having the ability to use a common, multi-platform source code that can be recompiled so quickly and easily was a huge benefit. Plus, now that I have everything set up, it only takes me a couple minute to port a game to the PlayBook.
Q: Describe your experience working with the BlackBerry Native SDK for Tablet OS?
Jean-Claude: There were a couple major benefits of working with the BlackBerry Native SDK for Tablet OS. Not only did it allow me to leverage my C++ apps, but it also meant that I could do the bulk of the development work in the Windows environment, where I’m most comfortable. Although I had never used the QNX® Momentics® Integrated Development Environment (IDE), it was a very straightforward process to cross-compile to the PlayBook tablet. And, despite the fact that I had experienced some issues working with Eclipse on another platform, RIM did a great job making sure everything ran smoothly and there was easy access to the key functions.
Q: How important is it that BlackBerry Native SDK supports standard libraries like OpenGL?
Jean-Claude: I use OpenGL to render images and OpenAL for sound, so it is really important that the BlackBerry Native SDK supports both libraries. I could leverage both of them with no real changes to the code, which was a key factor in my decision to continue porting to the PlayBook. The process was easier than the work that I’ve had to do with other platforms and I see this as another example of how RIM has done a lot of work to make developers’ lives easier.
Q: How has the overall porting process differed from your experience working with other platforms?
Jean-Claude: It’s taken me mere days to achieve a level of functionality on the BlackBerry PlayBook that took weeks or months of work on some other platforms. Whereas RIM has gone out of its way to create flexibility in terms of development languages that people can choose to work with, other platforms often insist that developers use their chosen languages. This often means taking the time to re-code everything for one platform with a number of different devices, and I don’t think developers are looking for that added time commitment. RIM has provided developers with strong tools for BlackBerry PlayBook development as well as BlackBerry 10 and as a result, the porting process is very straightforward. To me, the Portathon event was further proof of RIM’s commitment to the development community and the ease of converting existing apps to the BlackBerry 10 platform.
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