Changing of the Guard in Developer Relations for RIM
RIM kicked off DevCon Americas with a keynote. Mike opened the night touching on the service outage of last week and the deal with developers to give customers at least some reparations with the app giveaway.
The first big story was the official combination of BlackBerry OS with QNX to form BBX, the future of BlackBerry. Mike Lazaridis, President and CO-CEO of RIM, said “the whole company is aligning behind this single platform for developers.” BBX will incorporate enterprise, NOC, and cloud services.
The show quickly turned to developers (this is a developer conference of course). Their new VP of Developer Relations, Alec Saunders did a lot of talking about developer relations. He launched what BlackBerry is calling BlackBerry Jam
“Jamming is innovating together – Build and innovative on the BlackBerry® Application Platform in your development language of choice.
Jamming is collaborating together – Connect with experts, partners and the broader community to be more successful on the BlackBerry platform.
Jamming is creating success together – Get help to go to market, be more profitable and build your business.”
For more on BlackBerry Jam, check out THIS LINK.
App developers now have access to a PlayBook 2.0 beta (unfortunately without some new end-user features like native PIM, video chat, etc.) as well as a new native SDK today. The web portal also has the BlackBerry Packager for Android, allowing app developers to easily see if their Android apps are compatible, and submit them to App World if/when they are.
Back at BlackBerry World we saw a lot of work from TAT (The Astonishing Tribe) and built-in to BBX will be the Astonishing Cascades Native UI Framework. This will allow developer to add very nice 3D fluid UI to their apps will little effort.
BBX is going to be enterprise ready and BES support is coming to the PlayBook. Corporate apps will be separated into a secure folder on the PlayBook, and those apps will be held on the BES server so end users can’t delete necessary apps.
Alec Saunders says “We’re fixing the impediments (of developing for the BlackBerry platform) as fast as we can.”
Alec is a former developer with a start-up prior to his time with RIM. He knows what developers go through. On top of all the developer efforts that RIM brought forth today, he gave out his email address, showing that he is dedicated to making BBX as developer friendly a platform that could be. RIM is a company in transition, and these are some positive steps for the company. I really like what Alec Saunders is bringing to the developer relations table. He is the man who, in my opinion, has the opportunity to get RIM back into the fight. Without developers for this new BBX platform next year, there is no doubt it will not end well. I for one look forward to more from RIM, but their future actions need to exceed their current words.