Desktop Installation BLACKBERRY

BlackBerry applications can be installed from a computer to a device using a USB cable and the BlackBerry Desktop Manager. For large applications, desktop installation may save wireless data costs, and downloading an application is a lot faster over a broadband Internet connection than a 2.5G network connection.There may also be cases where wireless data access is not available on a BlackBerry device—if a user hasn’t subscribed to a data plan or an IT policy forbids certain types of network access from the BlackBerry device. Generally, though, desktop installation is more complex and involves more steps than OTA installation, making it more difficult for users. Unlike OTA installation, you don’t have to worry about sibling CODs with desktop installation.

The ALX File

Desktop installation requires a different type of descriptor file than OTA installation. For desktop installation, the file is XML based and has the extension .alx. Here’s an example ALX file for UiFun:

<loader version="1.0">
<application id="UiFun">
<name >
UI Fun Application
</name>
<description >
The Beginning BlackBerry UI Fun Application
</description>
<version >
1.0.1
</version>
<vendor >
Anthony Rizk
</vendor>
<copyright >
Copyright (c) 2009 Anthony Rizk
</copyright>
<fileset Java="1.39">
<directory >
</directory>
<files >
UiFun.cod
</files>
</fileset>
</application>
</loader>

The ALX file format allows you to support more complex installation scenarios, such as different COD files for different devices. This is outside the scope of this book, but documentation is available on the BlackBerry Developer Zone. To generate an ALX file using Eclipse or the JDE, right-click the BlackBerry project and select Generate ALX file (Figures). The file will have the same base name as your project.

To generate an ALX file from Eclipse, right-click the project and select Generate ALX file.

To generate an ALX file from Eclipse, right-click the project and select Generate ALX file.

To generate an ALX file from the JDE, right-click the project and select Generate ALX file.

o generate an ALX file from the JDE, right-click the project and select Generate ALX file.

Distributing an application for desktop installation is easy—just give the ALX and COD files to the user.The process of installing is a bit more complex:

  1. Connect the device to the computer using a USB cable.
  2. If it’s not already running, start the BlackBerry Desktop Manager.
  3. Select the Application Loader.
  4. Click Add/Remove Applications.
  5. Click Browse, and find the ALX file for your application.
  6. Make sure the check box next to your application is checked,and click Next and complete the wizard.

Loading UiFun onto a device using the Application Loader from the Desktop Manager

Loading UiFun onto a device using the Application Loader from the Desktop Manager



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