RIM BlackBerry Messenger Social Platform SDKs Launch

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2011-06-29 Print this article Print

Research In Motion announces new BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) Social Platform SDK 1.0 for Java and BBM Social SDK 1.0 for WebWorks beta.

Research In Motion has announced the availability of the BlackBerry Messenger Social Platform SDK 1.0 for BlackBerry Java final version and the BlackBerry Messenger Social Platform SDK 1.0 for BlackBerry WebWorks first public beta.

The BBM Social Platform SDK is a toolset that enables developers to build a new class of apps that leverage the power of the BBM social interactions. BBM has more than 45 million active users throughout the world and is growing at more than two million active users per month, RIM officials said.

The new SDKs give Java and Web developers access to new APIs that enable them to integrate BBM social interactions in their apps, providing better differentiation. They also get a jump on app monetization through the viral distribution channel represented by the conversations of 45 million BBM users. They can build socially engaging apps including multimedia, gaming, location-based services (LBS), VOIP, video and commerce. And within those apps, not only can users connect and chat with BBM contacts but they can also share application achievements and content in real time.

RIM officials said the final version of the BBM Social Platform SDK 1.0 for BlackBerry Java adds a few changes and refinements to the platform since the last beta refresh in the spring of 2011.

Several new APIs in this release enable developers to deliver engaging and interactive social experiences, including the ability for an application to receive invitations from other users who are not on their contact list. There are also changes to the contact picker UI to improve the selection of multiple contacts and for initiating a multi-user chat. This release also features the ability to send a join invitation to a user who does not have the app installed. And there is a new API to determine whether the app is running on the test platform or production platform.

Developers can get started and download the final version of the BBM Social Platform  SDK 1.0 for BlackBerry Java now available from BlackBerry Developer Zone  at http://us.blackberry.com/developers/blackberrymessenger/ to create the new build for their apps. BBM 6 will support apps using the BBM Social Platform.

Meanwhile, the first public beta of the BBM Social Platform SDK 1.0 for BlackBerry WebWorks adds full support to the BlackBerry WebWorks platform and brings the features of the BBM Social Platform to web developers. Developers can add social features to their web application through new APIs to: access and update fields in the user's BBM profile such as status, avatar and personal message, create their own custom areas within the user's BBM profile for promoting recent application activity or storing trophies and achievements, initiate BBM chats with friends, initiate BBM file transfers, and share applications virally with friends in their contact list. There also is an API to initiate application-to-application background communication through BBM for sending and receiving application data, such as game moves, or alternatively, leverage this communication channel for enabling in-app chat, RIM said.

The beta version for BlackBerry WebWorks can be downloaded from the BlackBerry Developer Zone at http://us.blackberry.com/developers/blackberrymessenger/

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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