BlackBerry Java to BlackBerry 10 Cascades Porting Series – Part 1: Introduction

Cascades

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With all the excitement around BlackBerry 10 launch, one key request from our developer community is how to bring your existing BlackBerry Java applications to BlackBerry 10. As always, we at RIM developer relations constantly strive to break any barriers for developers.

Starting today, we will be publishing a series of blog posts specifically designed to help port your existing BlackBerry Java application to BlackBerry 10. As you may already be aware, BlackBerry Java is no longer supported on BlackBerry 10. Our goal here is to provide you all the info needed to quickly migrate your app functionality.

The BlackBerry 10 Native SDK enables you to develop applications in C/C++ and provides an open-source friendly environment for porting POSIX compliant code. It comes with the Cascades framework allowing you to build visually rich applications. The key focus of this development guide is specifically on BlackBerry 10 Cascades development. For more information on BlackBerry Native Development, please refer to http://developer.blackberry.com/native/

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What is Cascades?

BlackBerry Cascades is built using the Qt framework, which allows Cascades to leverage the Qt object model, event model and threading model. BlackBerry Cascades enables you to develop your UI in C++, Qt Modeling Language (QML), or both. Qt Modeling Language (QML) is a declarative language that’s based on JavaScript and is included as part of Qt. You can use QML to describe the structure and behavior of a set of UI controls. BlackBerry Cascades uses a modified version of QML to let you create UIs for your apps.

One fundamental importance when looking to develop your BlackBerry Cascades application is deciding when to use QML or C++. You can use both of these languages in your application, but as a general rule of thumb you should use QML for your UI development and C++ for your business logic. Please refer to the below link more information on BlackBerry Cascades development and to download Native SDK and BlackBerry 10 Simulator. https://developer.blackberry.com/cascades/

API Feature Parity

One of the main challenges while migrating app functionality from BlackBerry Java to Cascades is finding the correct mapping of APIs. To simplify this process, below is an API Feature Parity table that covers the most common BlackBerry Java APIs and their corresponding equivalent API in Cascades.

cascades-table

As you can see from the above table image, most of the common Java APIs have a direct mapping in Cascades making it easy for you to port your existing BlackBerry Java application to BlackBerry 10.

Please stay tuned for series Part 2 – Application Life Cycle.

About Gurtej S.

Gurtej is an Application Development Consultant with the Developer Relations at Research In Motion (RIM). His responsibilities include managing the technical relationships with System Integrators (SI) and Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) who specialize in integrating with the BlackBerry Enterprise Solution. Gurtej’s area of expertise includes BES and enterprise application development.

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