Making the Most out of Eclipse


As part of the BlackBerry® Developer Relations team here at RIM, we are continually working with our development teams to design and deliver improvements to the developer tools available for building applications for BlackBerry smartphones.

In general, the most popular development tools in the market are Eclipse and Microsoft® Visual Studio®. Today I want to share some more with you on what Eclipse means for BlackBerry development, and what some of our philosophies and goals are moving forward for these tools.

We definitely understand the power and flexibility of Eclipse for many different types of development. This is the key reason why we have really been moving forward with a plug-in approach to Eclipse for both our Java and Web tooling and moving away from our traditional Java Development Environment.

We have been taking feedback and suggestions from the community and are now looking at our integration with Eclipse from a new angle. This new vision is apparent in our recently introduced Eclipse Web tooling for BlackBerry Widgets as well as combining that with major changes in the BlackBerry Java Plug-in for Eclipse version 1.1.

We really want to let Eclipse do what it does best, and add in BlackBerry tooling functionality where it is needed (BlackBerry Simulator support, Debugging, etc.). This allows you as a developer to use Eclipse for your development exactly as you would for any other project.

Some of the enhancements to v1.1 are:

  • Getting started page: Easy access to BlackBerry KB articles, videos and BlackBerry® Developer Zone content
  • Support for Eclipse project artifacts and folder structures: Compatibility with source code control systems and Eclipse methodologies
  • Leverage familiar Eclipse functionality for BlackBerry development: Enable use of Eclipse features such as multiple source folders in a project, Eclipse variables, file and folder linking in projects, refactoring, working sets and launch configurations, and inclusion/exclusion patterns in projects
  • Support for multiple BlackBerry OS versions within a workspace: Reduced development time, cleaner project organization
  • Define project properties in a BlackBerry Application Descriptor File: XML-based files enable easy maintenance and tracking of changes using a source control system
  • Wizard to import sample applications or BlackBerry® Java® Development Environment (BlackBerry JDE) based projects into a workspace: Reduced development lifecycle

If you have suggestions and/or feature requests for our Java tooling, please be sure to leave me some comments on this post, because it is your feedback that will continue to help us shape our tooling.

About Tim W.

Tim is an Open Source Technical Lead at BlackBerry, focusing on WebWorks, HTML5, and Open Source.

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  • ekke

    as first: compliments to the clear focus on eclipse development.
    my wishes: you’re using Eclipse and Java – please support BlackBerry Java development on
    * OSX
    * Linux
    * Windows 64
    Also: it should work not only with current version of Eclipse (3.5 Galileo) – it should be possible to work against the Helios (3.6) Milestones, too

  • jacul

    I like all the new features but I just can't get them because I can't package the project when I used localization. The console gives me such error message:

    Packaging project LocalizationDemo
    C:Eclipsepluginsnet.rim.ejde.componentpack5.0.0_5.0.0.25componentsbinrapc.exe -convertpng codename=deliverablesStandard5.0.0localizationdemo deliverablesStandard5.0.0localizationdemo.rapc -sourceroot=D:workspaceLocalizationDemo.locale_interfaces;D:workspaceLocalizationDemosrccomrimsamplesdevicelocalizationdemo;D:workspaceLocalizationDemosrc;D:workspaceLocalizationDemores -import=C:Eclipsepluginsnet.rim.ejde.componentpack5.0.0_5.0.0.25componentslibnet_rim_api.jar D:workspaceLocalizationDemobin
    Can't open dir D:workspaceLocalizationDemobin/com.rim.samples.device.localizationdemo.LocalizationDemo£.crb/
    Error!: Error: preverifier failed: C:Eclipsepluginsnet.rim.ejde.componentpack5.0.0_5.0.0.25componentsbinpreverify.exe -d C:Users …
    Packaging project LocalizationDemo failed (took 0.415 seconds)

    My computer's os is 32bit Windows7 ,and it would be great help if this problem can be solved.

  • Alex

    Nice job, i would like to ask the new plug-in will support projects created in the previous version of the eclipse plug-in ? Another question. The new plug-in will support OS versions 4.2.1, 4.3 ? (mean will have SDK, i tried to download SDK`s via the new update site, but i got only 4.5,4.6,4.6.1, 4.7

  • Jason Schroeder

    Any progress on releasing a BlackBerry Simulator for MacOS?

  • ekke

    was my comment lost ?

  • rA

    These new updates are great but i always have trouble downloading these files form RIM. Is't there any other repositories with resume support. Why are they so mean to distirbute the development tools for blackberry.

  • ekke

    my first comment seems to be lost – so again:
    at first: congratulations to your committment to eclipse – as an eclipse developer since years, this is great.
    I also like the new hot-swap-simulators – gives much more time to development instead of switching simulators.

    but hey – you're using java :) and you're using eclipse :) but it works only on windows 32 :(
    what I really need:
    – support of OSX cocoa 64
    – support of Ubuntu Linux 64
    – support of windows 7 64
    eclipse supports all these platforms very well

    the next one: as a developer I'm also an early-user of upcoming eclipse releases (Helios 3.6 in June, now Milestone M6)
    it should be possible to install BlackBerry plugin into Helios M6, but unfortunately RIM has dependencies to versions ranges niot supporting the use of eclipse 3.6.0.M6 or I-Builds. this shpuld be more open .

    my conclusion:
    you have done much work (better documentation, forums, issue tracker) to ease the startup for new developers, but the reduction to windows 32 as only environment running out-of-the box and also the only-to-use version 3.5.x of eclipse you close the door for many not trying out BlackBerry Java 5 – so all your improvements in UI etc won't be found from many

  • Tim Neil

    Hi jacul,

    Have you posted the issue in the Java Forums yet. We can have someone follow up with your scenario.

  • Tim Neil

    We are continuing to investigate running the BlackBerry Simulator and our tooling on Mac. We showed some previews of a J2SE version of the simulator last fall at the Developer Conference and we are continuing to look at Mac as a possible platform option for tooling.

    I don't really have any more concrete information for you at the moment.

  • Tim Neil

    Hi ekke,

    First off… Thanks for the compliments, they are much appreciated!! We are really trying to listen to what our community wants and then deliver on those asks.

    Our main challenges for bringing tooling to other platforms surrounds both the device and MDS simulators and other utilities. Both the device and MDS simulators have JNI hooks out onto Windows to perform various different tasks. There are also various other utilities that get used during development such as RAPC, Sigtool, preverify, javaloader that also require some TLC to run on another OS.

    The Eclipse tooling is actually one of the easier parts of bringing a tooling solution to something other than Windows.

    We are continuing to investigate tooling support on other platforms. The most interesting one at the moment is Mac.

    We are also looking to have an update for the Java tooling that would have 64 bit windows support. The main item that has an issue right now that we are looking to address is that Device Simulators have an issue when trying to close on a 64-bit operating system. We have already provided Win7 64bit support for our Web Tools, and we will be making the associated changes to the Java tooling as well.

  • ekke

    hi tim,

    thanks for your answer. sounds good to hear that OSX support is on the way.
    killing the simulators on w7-64 is something I can live with at the moment.

    I understand that its not easy to move the simulators to OSX – if I could work in OSX and connect to simulators running on another OS (per ex. in my parallels VM) – this would also be a great step.



  • Shawn

    I develop for iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Windows CE. By far, BB is the worst SDK. Soon, we will be dropping BB and simply use WAP. RIM needs to greatly improve the SDK if they want people to develop for the BB.

    • Terry

      I have done a few iPhone apps, several Windows CE apps, i’ve been playing with Android plugin on Eclipse and have to say i’m pleased… and am about to find out how good or bad BB development is. I already looked at the JDE and decided it is unacceptable. Any advice on going forward with BB dev? Eclipse with v1.1 plugin? but i need BB 4.5 support. Thanks. Terry

  • Allen

    Just curious – can you expand on this a bit?

  • Allen

    I'd like to second the request to support Linux (32/64). It's great that RIM is looking into OS/X support, but there are plenty of devs out there who have a Linux box and would like to make BB apps. It's frustrating to have to abandon an already-set-up development environment just to develop for the BB, and it increases the barrier to entry.

  • Omarberroteranlkf

    I love Eclipse.
    Excelent Descicion!
    Me and so much people waiting for linux native support.
    Long LIfe and Prosperity

  • Misha Tavkhelidze


    If I'm not mistaken, porting RAPC, Sigtool, preverify and javaloader to Linux shouldn't be a big deal. I could even help with those, if you need. :)

    As for the simulator, I personally can live with the one that runs under Windows in, say, VirtualBox.

  • Rbaezam

    Yeah, I’d love to see Linux support too so I can develop blackberry apps.

  • sid

    Thanks for moving on to Mac, I hate Windows for my personal reasons. Looking forward to The Mac Simulator.

  • Raubvogel

    How is the Linux support going? Any updates?

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