RIM Launches Webworks Development Kit, BBM Social Platform, Ad and Payment Services

Written By Sam on 28 September 2010
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Research In Motion (RIM) has announced its next-generation web-based development platform, BlackBerry WebWorks, aimed at enabling web developers to build full-featured applications for BlackBerry smartphones entirely in HTML-5, CSS and JavaScript. With the new web application platform, developers can leverage their HTML skills to create integrated web applications for BlackBerry smartphones that take advantage of advanced features through APIs and services, just as BlackBerry Java applications can do. Alongside this, the company made a few more developer-oriented announcements launching a BlackBerry Messenger Social Platform, a BlackBerry Advertising Service, and a BlackBerry Payment Service SDK. RIM also announced the BlackBerry PlayBook along with all these services.

RIM New Tools and Services

WebWorks development platform: The BlackBerry WebWorks platform brings together existing BlackBerry web development tools as well as new tools and platform services. It seeks to provide developers with a toolset for creating applications that offer customers the benefits of integration with core BlackBerry feature. BlackBerry WebWorks also includes updates to the web application packager, new web APIs and the BlackBerry Web Plug-Ins 2.5.

BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) Social Platform: The BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) Social Platform is aimed at giving developers the tools to build applications that leverage the power of the BBM service; and help drive loyalty to their applications through social and community interactions. Several BlackBerry Alliance members are already testing the BBM Social Platform as part of an early access program.

BlackBerry Advertising Service: The service gives developers the ability to add advertisements from a number of advertising networks in their applications, with only a few lines of code. The service includes three key components – a ‘simple-to-integrate’ SDK, a mediation platform and a slate of advertising networks. The SDK allows developers to support both standardized MMA advertisements and HTML-5 Rich Media, as well as ads that have one-click in-application access to core BlackBerry applications, such as Contacts, Calendar, the Media Player and BlackBerry App World. It’ll be a 60 / 40 revenue split between devs and RIM. The mediation platform is a single console for developers to manage their ad allocations and access analytics, tracking and reporting features, which provide immediate feedback on ad metrics including fill rates, ad performance and earnings.

BlackBerry Payment Service SDK: This service will bring third-party in-app payments over credit card, PayPal, and carrier billing (available on AT&T right now, more carriers by the end of the year). The service is presently being run as a beta but reports claim it will shed its beta tag by the end of the year.

In related news, RIM and Webtrends are working together to deliver free enterprise-class analytics to the BlackBerry developer community. The BlackBerry Analytics Service, powered by Webtrends, will allow developers to add measurement into their applications.

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