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Implementing Basic Java Application Classes for a BlackBerry App

Part of the BlackBerry Application Development For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Your BlackBerry application starts off from a blank slate. The Java Development Environment (JDE) creates an empty workspace, and you will add a project and Java source files. You need to implement subclasses of some basic BlackBerry library classes to create a full-fledged application:

  • net.rim.device.api.ui.UiApplication: This is your application class, which is the overseer of your BlackBerry application's contents. You'll usually implement a main method within this class as well.

  • net.rim.device.api.ui.container.MainScreen: Your BlackBerry application shows several screens of information to users. You subclass MainScreen to provide a basic display for them to see.

  • net.rim.device.api.ui.MenuItem: Users expect to perform some navigation by using menus, and you support their expectations by creating subclasses of MenuItem to provide menu-selection functionality. Your BlackBerry application can do this inline by creating a new MenuItem object and adding specific methods to the object during its creation. Note that if you're making the same MenuItem over and over, you should seriously think about creating a real subclass for it.

  • net.rim.device.api.ui.Manager: This class is useful when you want to lay out the components of a MainScreen subclass in a specific, controlled formation. MainScreen comes with a particular Manager subclass — VerticalFieldManager — as default. But it's pretty vanilla-boring, so you might want to think about creating your own.

  • net.rim.device.api.system.Persistable: Your BlackBerry application will very likely be storing users' data, and this is the interface that you need to implement in your classes that store the data in a PersistentStore.

  • java.lang.Thread, Runnable: You have to subclass these in certain situations where your BlackBerry application performs some long-duration operation, such as trading information with a network service or communicating via a Bluetooth peripheral. In addition, certain classes you provide to the BlackBerry OS, such as MenuItem, incorporate threaded behavior as part of their operation. MenuItem requires you to implement a run() method, which is launched as a separate Thread when the user selects your MenuItem.

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