Enterprise Headless Applications in BlackBerry 10

Enterprise

Headless application support is a reality for enterprise applications as of BlackBerry 10 version 10.2.0

Some enterprise developers have been under the impression that headless application support is not yet a reality for them in BlackBerry 10 because the headless permissions are not going to be opened up for BlackBerry World until the release of the 10.2.1. This is NOT the case for enterprise developers building applications for the work partition – headless application support is in 10.2.0 and the application signing permissions needed are available for enterprise application developers NOW.

The 10.2.0 developer documentation http://developer.blackberry.com has all the details on headless applications here.

In order to get the additional permissions added to your signing keys, head on over here and submit your request. Using this wizard you can request headless app (trigger and long running) as well as hub integration permissions. Please ensure that you call out in the reason section of the form that this request is for enterprise application development for internal use. This wizard is the same one used for BlackBerry World applications which need to have a request for each application being submitted but for internal enterprise application development you should only need to request these permissions once.

There have been a couple of great blog posts on headless applications already on the Inside Blackberry Developer Blog which I recommend you check out…
Headless Apps Explained
Headless Apps 101

So if you are ready to get started with your first headless application, you can take the step by step guide to creating a headless app which starts with the empty project template for Cascades.
Creating a Headless App

If you want to get a jump start, you can also make sure your Momentics IDE is up to date and use the new headless app template in the new 10.2.0 tooling. The template can be found when you create a new project under BlackBerry Project with a project type Application targeting Cascades.

If you have an existing BBOS application that leveraged headless application capabilities or have an application in mind, you are already on your way. If you don’t already have an application in mind, you might wonder what sort of enterprise applications would want to leverage a headless application. Here are just a few examples…

  • Applications that regularly need to interact with enterprise backend systems. This sort of application turns your mobile devices into an extension of your enterprise with the potential for regular two way communication and data exchange with your backend systems.
  • Enterprise listener applications which monitor some aspect of the device, or data traveling in/out of the device, listening for any number of events to perform specific actions. A common use of listeners is audit and compliance applications which are often mandated by regulators in certain industries.
  • Data management portions of applications which wait for data to arrive asynchronously via enterprise push, corporate email, work SMS utilizing certain BES10 options, etc. or need to regularly check with enterprise systems to fetch new data. These application functions are most useful when they are actively aware of the current state of the device and can seamlessly handle going in and out of coverage.

Headless diagram

Above diagram provides an overview of the headless app process

These are just some standard types of enterprise use cases but with the power of QNX behind BlackBerry 10, the capability is all there to build that next big mobile application which will transform your company or potentially your industry.

With BlackBerry 10 and BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 in your environment, you can leave the security, connectivity, and management capabilities to us, while you focus on your users and their enterprise mobile application needs.

We’d love to hear from you – share your comments below or tweet them on @BlackBerry4Biz.

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