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BlackBerry enterprise application middleware (BEAM) is an app development platform that will enable commercial enterprise and corporate developers to more easily build “super app” enterprise applications and services for BlackBerry. Developers can use their favorite development platforms like IBM WebSphere, Oracle Fusion Middleware and the mobility platform from SAP and Sybase to create their app.
Included is a set of APIs, libraries and server software that will make it simpler for developers to create “super apps”. The APIs can access instant data push and alerts, use file transfers with enterprise apps, make it simple to search for a user’s device through geo-location, current camera image, calendar availability, device type, and more.
Here are some details about the new APIs
Alerts/Notifications Push Library: Enables developers to build secure instant delivery of data between back-end enterprise systems and BlackBerry smartphones in under a hundred lines of code. Data can be pushed to an application on the device or directly to the BlackBerry inbox, calendar or tasks via personal identification number (PIN), email or phone number. This library is ideal for simplifying the delivery of enterprise work flow to BlackBerry smartphones for immediate response by mobile workers rather than waiting for them to get back to their desk to respond. Use cases include a travel request sent to a manager’s BlackBerry smartphone for approval; a patient status update sent to a doctor or nurse; product price change requests sent in by a salesperson; an alert to an executive about a decrease in revenues/margins as the information becomes available; or a system alert sent to an IT manager. It can also be used to add new service features to business-to-consumer applications, such as mobile banking applications. Data input to the application on a BlackBerry smartphone is securely transferred or reconciled with back-end systems.
File Transfer Library: Enables developers to build applications with fast and efficient large file transfers between back-end systems and BlackBerry smartphones, and all in under a hundred lines of code. Data can be programmed to be viewed only, downloaded, uploaded or saved to device memory or a media card on a BlackBerry smartphone. The complexities of efficient wireless data transmission are automated and kept transparent to developers so that they can focus on application logic. For example, a medical records application can attach image files to a patient’s medical record, with the option to open or preview the record, or view the list of available images before it is downloaded to the BlackBerry smartphone.
Device Information to Server App Library: Enables querying of a device by back-end enterprise systems that can be built into a mobile application in under a hundred lines of code. Examples of data that can be queried include geo-location, presence, current camera image, calendar availability, device type, and much more. For example, an enterprise system can scan the status of a technician’s BlackBerry smartphone to find the technician closest to respond to a customer’s urgent request. This is an ideal function to build into applications that involve time-sensitive workflows requiring rapid response, including logistics and dispatch systems.
RIM will be previewing the first BlackBerry Enterprise Application Middleware libraries this week at DEVCON so stay tuned.