BlackBerry Java to BlackBerry 10 Cascades Porting Series – Part 13: Analytics

Cascades

This blog is going to take a slight side-step from the theme of the previous articles in the porting series. All previous articles were of a format “this is how it was done on BlackBerry OS 7 and here is how you can do it using BlackBerry 10”, which works great for core APIs and native services but not when those services don’t exist in the BlackBerry 10 SDK. Allow me to explain: in BlackBerry OS 7 there is an official Analytics Service which is documented and distributed from the BlackBerry site for both Java and WebWorks/HTML5 developers. The SDK and the portal are essentially white-labeled versions of the Webtrends Analytics service, which you may have noticed from the URL used to login to the dashboard:

http://blackberry.webtrends.com

This provides a great option for devs that need analytics for only BlackBerry applications (the dashboard was sandboxed to display only BlackBerry provided data) however with the mobile ecosystem bursting at the seams we want to ensure that when moving forward to BlackBerry 10 developers have as much flexibility as possible. “Flexibility” meaning choice of analytics providers as well as the ability to use one dashboard to display data from across multiple platforms; knowing that many BlackBerry 10 developers may also be developing for other platforms in tandem and may have strong preference to a specific provider makes flexibility all the more important. This shift in end goals of an Analytics service for developers also shifts the approach when presenting a solution to the community. The approach that was decided on fits in with the general model of BlackBerry 10 openness: rather than create an Analytics service specific to BlackBerry 10 we will focus on partnering with existing Analytics services to help them add support for BlackBerry 10 to their offerings.

The partnering approach offers tons of key benefits: Developers can continue using the analytics provider they choose. Any updates made to the SDK at the service level will be immediately available to all users. Analytics from multiple platforms can be visible under a single dashboard. Familiar API calls. There are many more benefits as well, and all while still keeping the application integration as smooth and easy as possible. At BlackBerry Jam I actually added Flurry Analytics to a Cascades application in well under 2 minutes.

As you can read from the above synopsis, moving from BlackBerry 7 to BlackBerry 10 there has been an entire shift in how Analytics will be provided. At present there are already options for Cascades, Native and WebWorks/HTML5 developers:

100% free industry leading service. Support for C/Native and Cascades application from one SDK.

Fully open sourced client and server offerings as well as a hosted solution. Support for Cascades and WebWorks/HTML5.

Localytics is the most recent service to join the list; now officially supporting for WebWorks/HTML5 and Cascades applications on BlackBerry 10. This service provides near real-time Analytics data.

And we are making it as easy as possible for Analytics providers to bring over their services for BlackBerry 10 by creating a porting guide for both Native and HTML5 solutions. The guide is set to cover all the common information typical analytics frameworks would need to know such as determine the Time Zone, unique identifiers and lifecycle of the BlackBerry 10 devices. This porting guide should be published in the near future will be available from the Analytics Services page:

https://developer.blackberry.com/develop/platform_services/platform_analytics.html

About garett

Garett is a member of the Developer Relations team and has been with BlackBerry since 2008. He specializes in app monetization (Payment, Advertising, Analytics SDKs) and Push development. He is one of the individuals involved with the forums (gbeukeboom), Issue Tracker and can be found tweeting from @BlackBerryDev with the ^GB signature.

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