BlackBerry PlayBook Developer Webcasts Recapped

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Back in late October, we told you that RIM would be holding 5 weeks of BlackBerry PlayBook developer webcasts to answer some critical questions about PlayBook development. The official BlackBerry dev blog put up a recap of the webcasts, as well as answered some common questions that were asked in the Q&A portion of the webcasts. Those questions included:

Q: What are the SDKs that will be available and when will they be released?

A: The BlackBerry PlayBook OS will support application development in Adobe® AIR®, HTML5 and BlackBerry® WebWorks™, Native C/C++ with support for OpenGL and Java. The Adobe AIR SDK for BlackBerry PlayBook is available today. More details on the availability of SDKs for developing in HTML5, BlackBerry WebWorks, Native and Java will be coming soon.

Q: Is Flash Builder 4 required to build apps?

A: No – in fact, anything that can generate a SWF file can be used to build BlackBerry PlayBook tablet apps. Webcast #2 went through how to use Adobe® Flash® Professional CS5 and we are planning on building a Flash Pro plugin to help developers build apps. The webcast also showed how to use the command line to package an application for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. We also recently released a new version of the SDK which works seamlessly with the preview version of Adobe Flash Builder 4.5 (Burrito) as well.

Q. What types of persistent storage are available on the BlackBerry PlayBook?

A. There are 3 different types of persistent storage on the data:

1. SharedObject – This is the standard AIR SharedObject API used to store limited amounts of data in very quick access memory. Typically, you’ll store variables or other information that you need to access very quickly or frequently in the SharedObject store.
2. SQLite – The standard AIR SQLite API’s can be used to leverage the SQLite database on the device. Generally, you’ll be storing any medium to large sized data in the SQLite database. Since SQLite is in memory, this is typically the best combination between speed and size for data storage.
3. FileIO – The standard AIR File I/O API’s can be used to store data or files in the device memory. Any types of multimedia or images will typically be stored using File I/O. The tradeoff for being able to store essentially any file size is that this is typically the slower of the mechanisms for retrieving stored information from the persistent store, however for any type of media files, this is the recommended approach for storing them on the device.

What’s really awesome about these answers is the fact that the PlayBook will officially support the following SDKs: Adobe® AIR®, HTML5 and BlackBerry® WebWorks™, Native C/C++ with support for OpenGL and Java. With this many programming languages that developers can write apps in, you can be sure that we’ll be seeing some awesome ports as well as unique content for the PlayBook.

To read the entire recap and get links to the webcast recordings, head over to the BlackBerry Developer’s Blog.