A header image for the Visual Studio plug-in article.

3.0 Gold plug-in for Visual Studio

Published: March 3rd, 2015

Read the documentation

Check out the new 3.0 Gold version of the plug-in

The BlackBerry Native Plug-in for Microsoft Visual Studio (version 3.0 Gold) includes a new UI for configuring your environment, project templates for developing BlackBerry apps, and lots of other new features. In this article, we take a look at what's new in this release.

Special thanks to open-source contributor Pawel Hofman for his valuable contributions to this release.


There are a few features of the plug-in that are particularly important:

Support for Microsoft Visual Studio 2013

The 3.0 Gold release of the BlackBerry Native Plug-in for Microsoft Visual Studio now supports only Microsoft Visual Studio Professional 2013 running in Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 and 2012 are no longer supported. You can continue to develop your C and C++ apps for BlackBerry 10 using the latest version of Microsoft Visual Studio. You can download the 3.0 Gold version of the plug-in and read the documentation. You can also use the BlackBerry 10 Device Simulator to test your apps.

Redesigned UI for configuring your environment

There's a new way to access all of the setup options that you need. The new menu is found under Tools > Options > BlackBerry. You can also access the BlackBerry dialog box from the BlackBerry tab by clicking Options. Here you can find all of the tools that you need to register, choose an API level, and set up your device. There are also other useful tools to help you develop your app.

In the API Levels window, you can:
  • See the currently installed API level
  • Change to a previously installed API level
  • Use the Install button to install other API levels, simulators, and runtime libraries
  • Use the Status button to check the progress of an installation, if there is one underway
In the Logs window, you can:
  • Set a folder to store logging information from the plug-in
  • Control how logging works
In the Signing window, you can:
  • Register with BlackBerry
  • Create your BlackBerry ID token and developer certificate
In the Targets window, you can:
  • Create and manage device and simulator targets
  • Create and manage debug tokens

Create or import a project

The BlackBerry Native Plug-in for Microsoft Visual Studio now offers several project templates. These templates give you a quick start for developing several BlackBerry app types, such as Cascades, Native Core, and OpenGL ES versions 1.1 and 2.0. You can also import a project from the Momentics IDE for BlackBerry and add the necessary platform and bar-descriptor.xml files on the BlackBerry tab.

Target navigator

The target navigator shows the command line and environment variables for processes that are running on the device. You can connect to a device or simulator using USB or Wi-Fi and view the processes, sandboxes, shared files, and developer and system files that are related to the device.

Access to help

You can access a variety of help options quickly from the BlackBerry tab. From here, you can jump to the Support Forum, BlackBerry 10 Native SDK docs, Sample apps, and open-source project on GitHub.

Code signing with BlackBerry ID

You can use your BlackBerry ID to create a token to sign your apps and then distribute them to users. If you don't already have a BlackBerry ID, you can create one. You don’t have to worry about which computer you’re using to work on your app; you can access your debug token from anywhere.

Open source

Since the BlackBerry Native Plug-in for Microsoft Visual Studio became an open-source plug-in, we've had considerable input from the open-source community. If you want to work with the very latest version of the plug-in or contribute your own code, you can download the source code.

There are a few rules that you need to remember:

  • You must be signed up as an official contributor.
  • All functions should be prefaced by a standard Microsoft Visual Studio comment block describing what the function does and including definitions of the parameters.
  • Code lines should be indented four spaces per editor tab.
  • Variable names should be in camel case format (for example, backColor).