RIM's WebWorks Promises Web Apps For BlackBerries - InformationWeek
Mobile // Mobile Devices
03:52 PM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman

RIM's WebWorks Promises Web Apps For BlackBerries

Research In Motion on Monday announced WebWorks, a new set of developer tools to create HTML5 and other standards-based Web applications for BlackBerry devices.

WebWorks is what RIM calls its next-generation Web development platform. WebWorks and its associated tools will allow developers to make use of HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript and other technologies to create rich, Web-based applications.

This new set of tools is a big step forward for RIM, which needs to get into the game with Apple and Google. Getting developers excited to build for BlackBerry has proven difficult, as exhibited by the slow growth of BlackBerry Apps World (which only recently surpassed 10,000 apps). Giving developers better and Web-specific tools is going to help make it more attractive to those who like to get their code on.

WebWorks offers a number of new tools, including the Web Application Packager 1.5. This tool helps developers package their Web apps in the same way that they would package Java-based applications. It includes the same file formats and the ability to publish them over the Web, via BlackBerry App World, via over-the-air updates and even through BlackBerry Enterprise Server.

New BlackBerry Web APIs will give developers the access then need to core BlackBerry functions and integrate their own apps across key BlackBerry features, such as the contacts list, phone dialer and more. RIM says, for example, that developers will be able to create apps that allow end users to send a text message without leaving the third-party application.

Last, WebWorks includes Web Plug-Ins 2.5. The plug-ins will help developers merge Web-based content with that stored on the handset itself. For example, they will allow Web-based data to be downloaded and cached locally on a BlackBerry handset in the background.

"BlackBerry developers have discovered the value of building web applications that can leverage the unique characteristics of the BlackBerry Platform, such as running in always-on mode and integrating with native BlackBerry applications," said David Yach, CTO for Software at Research In Motion in a prepared statement.

"The new BlackBerry WebWorks platform takes the power of existing web tools and enhances and adds to them in order to allow developers to build sophisticated applications using their existing HTML5 skill sets with no compromise in functionality or performance."

RIM has also made a new commitment to open source. It is working with the open source community to make sure developers have access to and can contribute to the WebWorks Web application platform and tool sets.

The bottom line here is that these new tools give developers far more control over essential BlackBerry features, which will allow them to more fully integrate their own applications with the BlackBerry operating system. This will result in apps that are easier for BlackBerry customers to use


RIM Intros 'PlayBook' Enterprise Tablet

RIM's BlackBerry Messenger Develops Social Powers

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Digital Transformation Myths & Truths
Transformation is on every IT organization's to-do list, but effectively transforming IT means a major shift in technology as well as business models and culture. In this IT Trend Report, we examine some of the misconceptions of digital transformation and look at steps you can take to succeed technically and culturally.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll