LoyaltyMatch Inc.

Quick Facts

  • Leveraged BlackBerry® 10 WebWorks™ SDK to build application with HTML5
  • Benefited from testing the application with the Ripple™ emulator tool
  • Considers flexibility in development languages to be a huge positive
  • Impressed by the speed and performance of the BlackBerry® 10 Dev Alpha device

BlackBerry Developer Success Story - LoyaltyMatch Inc.

Although Jeremy Hutchings is a fairly recent college graduate, he has been developing applications as a hobby for ten years. As a web and mobile developer at LoyaltyMatch Inc., Hutchings has been able to apply his past Java® web development experience to his more recent work with the BlackBerry 10 platform. Hutchings built the ‘RewardingYourself’ application using the BlackBerry WebWorks 10 SDK, which creates BlackBerry apps using familiar web technologies such as HTML5 and extends the apps with deep integration into the full device platform. The ‘RewardingYourself’ app incorporates in-store product scanning that lets users compare prices with those found online and in other local stores. Users can then compare the cash value of the product locally and online to the program point cost.

Hutchings spoke to us about his experience working with the BlackBerry 10 WebWorks SDK, the value of the Ripple emulator tool and why he is excited to continue developing for the BlackBerry 10 platform in the future.

View details in BlackBerry World

Q: Describe your experience using the BlackBerry 10 WebWorks SDK to develop your application.

Jeremy: Developing with the BlackBerry WebWorks SDK was an easy choice, since we had existing JavaScript® code for the ‘RewardingYourself’ application. It was straightforward to take the HTML and JavaScript assets we had, repurpose them and wrap them up in BlackBerry 10. I had worked with the BlackBerry WebWorks SDK when developing the app for the BlackBerry® 7 platform, and I was delighted to see that the underlying code would not need to be changed. After redoing the user-facing view layers to match the BlackBerry 10 user interface, it took no time at all to complete ‘RewardingYourself’ as an HTML5 application.

Since BlackBerry WebWorks is also open sourced on GitHub®, there is a strong community, a lot of projects hosted and great samples that help you complete the back-end work that will help BlackBerry WebWorks shine on the surface. I think it’s an invaluable source of information and being able to access this information and ask questions is great. For example, GitHub’s samples help me to integrate the BBM API into the app, adding the invaluable option for users to share amongst friends. The barcode scanning feature was also written by community members. The actual build tools provided with the BlackBerry WebWorks package are also excellent. Some of the available tools allow you to package up your app for the BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet and BlackBerry 10 smartphones in one touch. These tools really streamline the development process and mean you don’t have to spend all day looking at a console and typing in command prompts.

Q: How did you leverage the Ripple emulator tool?

Jeremy: The Ripple emulator tool became one of my favorite tools. I initially tested the app in the browser itself, but being able to put in my preferences and build right from the Ripple environment was great. I could check right away to make sure that my Config.xml file and other features were represented and set up properly. It’s great to have a tool like that, particularly if you’re not familiar with or don’t like to use command-line tools. I think the Ripple emulator tool gives you the feeling that you’re working with an integrated development environment even if you’re actually using HTML5, since it makes you feel more connected to your development environment. Rather than have to switch between different browsers when testing the application for device screen layouts, you can use the Ripple emulator tool as a hub to do your development. It really cut down on my development time.

Q: How important is the level of flexibility Research In Motion® (RIM®) offers in terms of choosing development languages?

Jeremy: It’s really important for a platform to offer flexibility in development languages. It allows you to look at your existing assets and code and move it onto the BlackBerry platform. But, if you choose to learn a new development language to work with the BlackBerry platform, there are a lot of options, and that’s comforting, particularly when you compare it to other platforms where you sometimes have no choice but to learn one language. It all comes down to ease of development, where I can either leverage my existing skill set or work with any of the other various languages. There’s a flavor for everyone, and that’s a hugely important point to me.

Q: What excites you most about developing for the BlackBerry 10 platform?

Jeremy: I’m excited for a couple main reasons. In addition to the ease of development, I think there’s a huge difference between working with RIM and some of the other platforms in terms of building a relationship with their developer relations team. Whenever I have had a question the RIM team has answered it quickly.

I’m also really excited about the BlackBerry 10 device itself. The minute I started working with the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha device, I was inspired to do new things and provide feedback to other BlackBerry 10 developers. I think we have an opportunity to build something unique in a market that isn’t cluttered. I find the user experience very natural on the BlackBerry 10 devices, the color scheme is very modern and I think the performance, particularly in web browsing, is just astounding.

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