BlackBerry is currently the most widely deployed smartphone in the enterprise. It is mostly used for real-time access to corporate email and company address book, instant messaging and calendaring. This powerful platform is, however, underutilized when it comes to enterprise apps. If you have already deployed BlackBerry in your enterprise, you should consider making best use of your existing investment by making corporate information and enterprise apps available to your BlackBerry user. This can be done in a secure way, given the platforms strong support for cryptographic functions and data security.
BlackBerry phones deployed in an enterprise are managed through BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES), which resides within the company firewall. The phones connect to enterprise email systems like Exchange and Lotus through the BES. The BES acts as a secure gateway through which phone client apps can access intranet applications.
BlackBerry client apps can either be Java apps or web apps accessed through BlackBerry browser. The Java apps can be written either using Java ME conforming to MIDP specifications or natively using BlackBerry APIs. The latter class of applications will not run in non-BlackBerry platforms, but can make full use of the device capabilities. The web apps are built using HTML / CSS / JavaScript apps and can also be packaged into widgets.

The most powerful kind of apps are the native Java apps that make use of BlackBerry APIs. Just like the famed BlackBerry push email, these apps can receive push notifications from server-side applications routed through BES. They can run in the background waiting for a notification. They don't need to keep polling the server, which is a battery draining process. Application can receive alerts through the push mechanism and proactively notify the user through vibrations or by turning on the LED light. Native apps can get contextual information like location through GPS or cell-tower triangulation (which again saves battery life), can integrate and share data with BlackBerry Browser, BlackBerry Maps and other applications. They can run background threads after the application closes and start automatically in the background when the device turns on. They can access touch screen, trackball and trackwheel events, use data from the accelerometer and store data locally in SQLite database. Code signing is required for accessing sensitive APIs.
Developers have a choice of multiple development environments to develop BlackBerry applications including BlackBerry Java Development Environment and BlackBerry plug-in for Eclipse. Smartphone simulators can be used to test in various devices.
With BlackBerry, you can create powerful mobile enterprise apps. Some possibilities are:

  • An app for the sales team to collect information from the field and update directly to the server
  • Workflow applications, task management
  • Surveys
  • Applications for customer support engineers on the move
  • CRM for staff on the move

Whatever your requirement, our BlackBerry engineers can help you realize it. The productivity and efficiency gains from your staff having the right information at right time at the right place will pay for the development costs. So don't just use your BlackBerry for emails and messaging, it can do much more.