Research In Motion (RIM) announced plans to introduce a new wireless application development framework for BlackBerry(R) customers and developers. BlackBerry Mobile Data System(TM) (MDS) v4.1 is the next generation of RIM's MDS technology that will leverage and build upon the existing features of BlackBerry Enterprise Server(TM) and provide a powerful, easy-to-use and integrated system for mobilizing enterprise data and optimizing wireless applications. BlackBerry MDS v4.1 will utilize standards-based integration methods to mobilize enterprise applications and back-end systems, including XML Web Services.
BlackBerry MDS v4.1 is expected to be commercially available later this year. A preview of BlackBerry MDS v4.1 will be provided at the Wireless Enterprise Symposium 2005 in Orlando, Florida on April 19-21. RIM is also offering a training day and lab for BlackBerry MDS v4.1 at the symposium.
"Progressive enterprises are finding true value by wirelessly extending their collaborative systems, thus boosting productivity and increasing their bottom line", said Jack Gold, Vice President at META Group. "We expect 75% of enterprises to have deployed wireless within two to three years, often starting with email, but soon progressing to back office application extensions as well. Systems built upon industry standards like BlackBerry will allow deployment in the shortest time and with the least cost."
BlackBerry MDS v4.1 will make it easier for developers to create and deploy business applications for mobile employees, providing a comprehensive framework for building wireless applications and reducing the amount of time and resources spent on in-house development. BlackBerry MDS v4.1 will also feature centralized deployment and management of applications to help minimize the total cost of ownership of wireless applications. Through the use of Web Services, BlackBerry MDS v4.1 will allow BlackBerry customers to mobilize applications in a variety of environments, including Microsoft .NET and J2EE.
BlackBerry MDS v4.1 will provide full support for automatic integration with enterprise applications in a service-oriented architecture, based on standard Web Services. BlackBerry MDS v4.1 consists of three major components:
1) BlackBerry MDS Studio(TM) - a powerful visual application design and assembly tool that allows developers to quickly assemble wireless applications using drag and drop functionality.
2) BlackBerry MDS Runtime(TM) - device software that provides runtime services for applications developed with BlackBerry MDS Studio.
3) BlackBerry MDS Services(TM) - a set of services that reside on BlackBerry Enterprise Server to handle requests from BlackBerry MDS applications and manage interactions with enterprise applications and systems.
"BlackBerry MDS is already widely deployed and proven successful with corporate developers and ISV partners that embraced the security, robustness and manageability of the BlackBerry wireless architecture to expand beyond email with a broad range of enterprise applications. The introduction of BlackBerry Mobile Data System v4.1 will take us to a whole new level as we provide an integrated system with added services and tools that dramatically simplify wireless application development by leveraging Web Services, industry standards and the proven BlackBerry platform," said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO at Research In Motion. "BlackBerry MDS v4.1 will enable customers to strengthen the ROI of BlackBerry and employ a new and powerful application development option that is fully backward compatible with existing BlackBerry MDS applications."
Leading software infrastructure and application providers have already begun to embrace BlackBerry MDS v4.1.
"Sun Microsystems and RIM have been working together to build solutions for mobile Web Services. BlackBerry MDS v4.1 is an important next step in bringing a joint solution to our customers," said David Bryant, Senior Director Application Platform Marketing. "At Wireless Enterprise Symposium 2005, Sun will be demonstrating BlackBerry MDS v4.1 with the Sun Java Enterprise System, previewing the rapid creation of rich mobile Web Services applications. BlackBerry MDS v4.1 has been tested and verified to work with Web Services running on Sun's Java Enterprise System Application Server and created with Sun Java Studio."
"Our customers need to use their Salesforce.com application anywhere, anytime, so integration with Web Services is essential to their success. BlackBerry Mobile Data System v4.1 will provide additional choice and new capabilities for partners and customers wishing to access Salesforce functionality and data via BlackBerry while on the road," said Pat Sueltz, President, Global Operations for salesforce.com.
Key Features of BlackBerry MDS v4.1:
- Allows fast and simple assembly of wireless applications using a visual design tool that minimizes requirements for specialized skills and widens the pool of wireless application developers.
- Supports Web Services for greater interoperability between mobile applications and existing enterprise systems and reduced applications development and lifecycle costs.
- Designed specifically for wireless applications to reduce wireless transmission costs and optimize performance within wireless bandwidth and power constraints.
- Built on industry standard technologies and the proven BlackBerry platform to offer backward compatibility and ongoing investment protection.
- Enables centralized deployment and management of applications to reduce administrative overhead and total cost of ownership.
Technical Overview of BlackBerry MDS v4.1 components:
BlackBerry MDS Studio
A powerful visual application design and assembly tool that allows developers to quickly create applications using a drag and drop methodology:
- Automatically interrogates existing enterprise applications and back-end systems to determine what services are exposed for developers to include in their applications.
- Automatically creates prototype applications that developers can easily build on by editing and revising what is automatically generated.
- Provides a rich set of predefined user interface, message and data components that developers can drag and drop to use or customize.
BlackBerry MDS Runtime
BlackBerry device software that provides runtime services for applications developed with the BlackBerry MDS Studio and manages the application lifecycle on BlackBerry devices, including deployment, execution and upgrade:
- Allows users to query BlackBerry MDS Services to discover what applications are available to a particular user.
- Allows users to request and provision applications.
BlackBerry MDS Services
The component of BlackBerry MDS v4.1 that resides on BlackBerry Enterprise Server to handle requests from BlackBerry devices and manage interactions with enterprise applications and systems. BlackBerry MDS Services include:
- Connection Service - provides TCP/IP and HTTP-based connectivity between mobile applications on BlackBerry devices and enterprise applications and backend systems residing behind the firewall.
- Application Integration Service - supports Web Services and other standard mechanisms for integrating mobile applications with existing enterprise applications and systems; Handles the transmission of application data messages between BlackBerry MDS Applications and back-end systems.
- Provisioning Service - controls which applications users can download to BlackBerry devices and manages OTA installation of applications on devices.
- Data Optimization Service - transforms existing server side content and data for efficient wireless transmission and use on mobile devices.
- Administrative and Management Service - deals with policies, such as those specifying allowed applications for users, services available to applications, etc.; centralizes the overall application lifecycle management.