Quick Facts

  • Successfully created an Enterprise application for the BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet
  • Enjoys flexibility offered by the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet OS
  • Uses BlackBerry® WebWorks™ SDK to take advantage of JavaScript® and HTML5 experience
  • Terrific support and documentation from Research In Motion® (RIM®)

BlackBerry Developer Success Story - Digiflare

When a large food service company asked Digiflare® to develop an integrated business enterprise app on a tight deadline, the agency knew it needed to work with development tools that were simple enough to master quickly, yet robust enough to satisfy its client's needs. Working with the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet OS and the BlackBerry WebWorks SDK, Digiflare did just that.

Mukul Seth, an Interactive Developer at Digiflare, talked to us about the flexibility of the BlackBerry PlayBook OS, the ease of working with the BlackBerry WebWorks SDK, and the quick development time of the app.

Q: Why did you enjoy working with the BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet OS?

Mukul: The biggest strength of the BlackBerry Tablet OS is the flexibility it offers developers. You can draw on a variety of previous development experiences because there are four SDKs available for use. For example, in my opinion, if you have previous skillsets in Adobe® Flash® or Adobe® AIR®, you can leverage the BlackBerry® PlayBook tablet OS SDK for Adobe AIR, but if you have web experience working with JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS, then you'd be happy working with the BlackBerry WebWorks SDK. The other options include a native SDK in C++ and the Android Runtime.

There are so many options, which means you may not have to retrain developers in order to get them upskilled on the BlackBerry PlayBook OS.

Q: How easy did you find working with the BlackBerry WebWorks SDK?

Mukul: We chose to work with the BlackBerry WebWorks SDK because we had previous HTML5 experience and we wanted a flexible and transferable code base. BlackBerry WebWorks affords you with the opportunity to use any HTML5 application framework and then basically package your app as a native BlackBerry application BAR file.

We used Sencha Touch©, an open source application framework for HTML5 and JavaScript. It gave us access to prepackaged, frequently used controls, and was flexible enough to allow us to extend it to our needs, brand it, and build a compelling user experience on the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet using the BlackBerry WebWorks SDK with relative ease.

Q: How long did it take you to develop the Enterprise application?

Mukul: Overall development time for the project was approximately 2.5 months, and considering the scope of that project it was exceptionally good. The primary reason for this was the fact that with the BlackBerry WebWorks SDK we were able to execute a workflow that our HTML/JS developers were used to and everything seemed to work on the device 95% of the time. There were some tweaks required here or there, but they were minimal. Overall we were all very pleasantly surprised by the overall simplicity.

Another tool that was hugely helpful during the development phase was the WebKit Inspector which allowed us to debug apps running on the device right from our development machines.

Q: How does the support you've received from the development team at RIM compare to other platforms?

Mukul: The support from RIM has been twofold. We've had close communication with a few key people from the RIM Developer Relations team, which has been great for troubleshooting issues and overcoming technical hurdles related to our projects. We don't frequently get this level of support on some of the other platforms. The documentation has also been really helpful in getting up and running in very a short amount of time. The BlackBerry WebWorks API documentation has an intuitive layout, and presents the important and relevant information in a concise manner.

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