Developing for the Blackberry

An upcoming project involves developing a site for the usual A-grade browsers, as well as for the Blackberry.

Yesterday I managed to find, download, install and play with a Blackberry emulator, as seen here (click for full screen). Obviously the first thing I looked at was this site, which works but doesn't look too hot. Most importantly I have an emulator to use.

You can get the emulator from Blackberry themselves. Setup is fairly painless:

  1. Make sure you have an up-to-date Java SDK. I was installing on a clean XP install in Parallels so I installed Java SE 6.
  2. Make sure the simulator is allowed through any firewalls (I disabled mine) and that the machine has the right Path environment settings.
  3. Install the Email and MDS Simulator package from the download page.
  4. Install one of the Device Simulators from the download page.
  5. Launch the MDS simulator followed by the device you chose. Launch the browser and surf away.

Hopefully I'll get to learn more about developing for handhelds, as this is an area I know little about and bound to become more important in the future. Whatever I learn I'll pass one, as ever.


  1. Will you be developing browser-only (i.e. HTTP/HTML) or will you be pushing data via the MDS onto the devices?

    If the latter, you might be interested in {Link}

    • avatar
    • Michael
    • Wed 17 Jan 2007 06:27 AM


    Did you d/l the Domino samples too? {Link}

    • avatar
    • Jake Howlett
    • Wed 17 Jan 2007 06:28 AM

    Browser only AFAIK. Until said client sees your link ;o) Nice article. Very thorough!

    • avatar
    • Jake Howlett
    • Wed 17 Jan 2007 06:37 AM

    Hi Michael. That's interesting. I'm confused though. Are they normal Domino NSFs that sit on a Domino server? Does the MDS then act as a go between for Domino/Blackberry? Does the Blackberry access them through browser/http?

  2. Wish I more info for you, but I only found the page yesterday, but I wasn't able to pull down the examples. The one that interests me is the MDS with the web services.

    Up until now, I've limited BB screens to a sparse amount of text which shows some summarys stats for the application.

    I'm trying to stay away from the java if possible.

  3. The MDS Toolkit is a doddle. You just basically web service a domino application - you can do this in LotusScript on an nd7 server - and then the MDS toolkit "sniffs" the WSDL and builds you an app.

    My presentation shows you how to install and get your first app up and running.



    No java required.

    ---* Bill

  4. @Bill, very interesting; thanks for the presentation.

    • avatar
    • Lake
    • Wed 17 Jan 2007 10:15 PM

    Have you seen the Lotusphere Sessions app on Blackberry here: ?


    • avatar
    • Scott
    • Mon 19 Mar 2007 07:35 PM

    Tried Bills presentation a while ago .. and hes not wrong - had an app running (very basic mind you) within an hour or so on the emulator.

    And it seems like the best option to provide blackberry users with a easy to use interface that isn't a thick install, can be server managed and provides a better experience than a web page.

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Written by Jake Howlett on Wed 17 Jan 2007

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