Feeds

BlackBerry MDS Studio

Plugging a BlackBerry into the world of web services

The essential guide to IT transformation

The recent 4.1 release of BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) from Research in Motion (RIM) opens the door to a new set of mobile development tools and technologies.

BlackBerries aren't just for email – they're also a secure pipe to and from your network. With the latest build of RIM's MDS (Mobile Data Services) platform bundled with BES 4.1, BlackBerries are able to take advantage of any web services in your, and your partners', networks, and can quickly become a secure input device.

If you've got BES 4.1 running on your network, turning your Blackberry services on is nearly as easy as downloading RIM's MDS Studio application, although it's a hefty download at well over 230MB. You'll also need to pull down the documentation and sample applications at the same time. The Studio includes a BlackBerry simulator, so you can test applications as you build them.

Screenshot of Blackberry MDS Studio.

MDS Studio is a relatively simple development tool and is used to marshal and map web services as if they were application components. An MDS application will consist of a mix of screen elements along with data and message components. You don't need to write much (if any) code to build an application – and new applications can be deployed extremely quickly using the BES's built-in software deployment tools. An application can be built in a morning and delivered the same afternoon (once tested!).

While MDS Studio is focused on extremely rapid application development, with a Quick Start that will all but build your application for you, it also gives you the tools you need to customise your applications. You can let the Studio manage messages and client data, leaving you to build the UI you want, or you can create an application from scratch, developing your own data model and messages.

MDS Studio uses WSDL to show the methods and properties associated with a web service. Web services will need to be registered with the BES MDS server – as MDS handles application security and network connections. You'll find this keeps client-side code to a minimum, something that's all too important when developing for mobile devices. Wizards guide you through the various stages of application development, and the final application can be modified and tuned through the IDE's component property tools.

If you've designed an HTML form in Dreamweaver (or even in FrontPage), then you'll find the MDS Studio UI tools easy to use. There aren't many UI components – but BlackBerries aren't really renowned for their graphics performance. Components can be linked to service properties, and JavaScript adds business logic to your applications. For more complex applications a Workflow Wizard can help link various web services into a single application.

If you're starting to deploy a service-oriented architecture, then RIM's MDS and the MDS Studio are well worth considering. If you need to deploy simple service connected applications to users on the road, and need to do it quickly, MDS Studio can take a set of service interfaces and turn them into an application in minutes. However, for all its speed and simplicity MDS Studio isn't a panacea. It will work well with well-defined services – but if your SOA architecture is a maze of service components, success may not be so easy to find. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices
Screw copper phone lines, we're UNIQUE, bleats telco
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
UK mobile coverage is BETTER than EVER, networks tell Ofcom
Regulator swallows this line and parrots it back out at us. What are they playing at?
What's the nature of your emergency, Vodafone?
Oh, you've dialled the wrong number for ad fibs, rules ASA
EE network whacked by 'PDP authentication failure' blunder
Carrier is 'aware' of cockup, working on a fix NOW
ROAD TRIP! An FCC road trip – Leahy demands net neutrality debate across US
You crashed watchdog's site, now time to crash its ears
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?