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BlackBerry MDS

The BlackBerry® Mobile Data System is a flexible framework for application development that you can use to add and manage applications in your organization's environment. As a component of the BlackBerry® Enterprise Server, the BlackBerry MDS offers security, wireless connectivity, and manageability options. It also supports several preferred development methods that you can use to create wireless applications and deliver them to BlackBerry devices. To simplify the integration of wireless applications with existing applications and systems, the BlackBerry MDS uses standards-based methods and protocols.

Component

Description

BlackBerry MDS Services

You can use the BlackBerry MDS Services to send wireless applications to BlackBerry devices, and to maintain and manage wireless applications on BlackBerry devices. The BlackBerry MDS Services are designed to provide wireless connectivity between applications on BlackBerry devices and your organization's existing applications. The BlackBerry MDS Services include the following components:

  • BlackBerry MDS Integration Service: The BlackBerry MDS Integration Service enables BlackBerry MDS Runtime Applications to interact with back-end systems using web services or direct database connections. You can install the BlackBerry MDS Integration Service when you install the BlackBerry Enterprise Server.
  • BlackBerry MDS Connection Service: The BlackBerry MDS Connection Service processes requests for web content from the BlackBerry® Browser or from BlackBerry Java® Applications. The BlackBerry MDS Connection Service also manages TCP/IP and HTTP connections between BlackBerry Applications and the applications that reside on your organization’s application servers, web servers, or databases that are located inside your organization's firewall.

BlackBerry MDS development tools

Developers in your organization can use development tools to create the following types of wireless applications for BlackBerry devices: BlackBerry Browser Applications, BlackBerry Java Applications, and BlackBerry MDS Runtime Applications.

For more information about BlackBerry MDS development tools, visit www.blackberry.com/developers.

BlackBerry MDS device software

BlackBerry devices use the following BlackBerry MDS device software to run BlackBerry Applications:

  • BlackBerry® MDS Runtime: runs BlackBerry MDS Runtime Applications
  • BlackBerry APIs and Java® ME: runs BlackBerry Java Applications; standard on BlackBerry devices
  • BlackBerry Browser: runs BlackBerry Browser Applications and is standard on BlackBerry devices

To download the BlackBerry MDS Runtime, visit www.blackberry.com.

For more information about the BlackBerry MDS and the types of BlackBerry Applications, visit www.blackberry.com/developers to see the BlackBerry Mobile Data System Technical Overview.

BlackBerry Applications

BlackBerry® devices support BlackBerry® Browser Applications, BlackBerry Java® Applications, and BlackBerry® MDS Runtime Applications. Application developers in your organization can create BlackBerry Applications using BlackBerry development tools or third-party development tools. You can install and manage BlackBerry Java Applications on BlackBerry devices using the BlackBerry Administration Service. You can install and manage BlackBerry MDS Runtime Applications and BlackBerry Browser Applications on BlackBerry devices using the BlackBerry MDS Application Console.

For more information about the options for developing BlackBerry Applications, visit www.blackberry.com/developers to see the BlackBerry Mobile Data System Technical Overview.

BlackBerry Java Applications

BlackBerry® Java® Applications can range from simple applications, such as a game on BlackBerry devices, to complex applications with advanced UIs and various options for data management, storage, and network communication. BlackBerry Java Applications can use a client-only architecture (that is, the applications do not send data to or receive data from a content server) or they can use a client/server application model (that is, the applications send data to and receive data from a content server). For example, a developer can create a BlackBerry Java Application so that users can send data to and receive data from a central sales database.

Developers can create BlackBerry Java Applications using the BlackBerry® Java® Development Environment, the BlackBerry® JDE Plug-in for Eclipse®, or other Java authoring tools. BlackBerry devices run BlackBerry Java Applications using BlackBerry APIs and Java ME, which are standard on BlackBerry devices.

For more information about developing and customizing BlackBerry Applications, visit www.blackberry.com/developers.

BlackBerry MDS Runtime Applications

BlackBerry® MDS Runtime Applications are lightweight, rich-client applications that are created using BlackBerry® MDS Studio or the BlackBerry® Plug-in for Microsoft® Visual Studio®. BlackBerry MDS Runtime Applications communicate with an organization's systems through the BlackBerry MDS Integration Service, a component of the BlackBerry® Enterprise Server. BlackBerry MDS Runtime Applications can range from simple to complex, but they are typically forms-based applications that users can use to access web services or databases that are located inside your organization's firewall. Web services or a database contain the data and operations that developers can use to create BlackBerry MDS Runtime Applications. Web services or a database also process the data that they receive from BlackBerry MDS Runtime Applications. For example, a developer can create a BlackBerry MDS Runtime Application so that users can look up data from a directory in your organization.

Using the latest versions of the BlackBerry MDS Studio Plug-in for Eclipse or the BlackBerry Plug-in for Microsoft Visual Studio, application developers in your organization can create BlackBerry MDS Runtime Applications that standard applications on BlackBerry devices (for example, the contact list) and custom BlackBerry Java® Applications can invoke. Developers can also create BlackBerry MDS Runtime Applications that can invoke standard applications on BlackBerry devices, custom BlackBerry Java Applications, or other BlackBerry MDS Runtime Applications.

You must install and activate the BlackBerry MDS Runtime on BlackBerry devices before you install BlackBerry MDS Runtime Applications on BlackBerry devices.

For more information about developing and customizing BlackBerry Applications, visit www.blackberry.com/developers.

BlackBerry Browser Applications

BlackBerry® Browser Applications are simplified, web-based applications that you can use to push web content to the BlackBerry Browser on BlackBerry devices. Developers can create BlackBerry Browser Applications using BlackBerry templates or standard web development tools.

The BlackBerry MDS Integration Service includes a Browser Push Engine that can poll specific web addresses for changes or updates, and push the web content to BlackBerry devices at an interval that developers specify. For example, a developer can create a BlackBerry Browser Application that pushes a web page about the local weather to BlackBerry devices every morning.

The BlackBerry® Enterprise Server supports the following types of BlackBerry Browser Applications.

Type

Description

browser channel push applications

An icon displays on the Home screens of users' BlackBerry devices to indicate whether users viewed the latest version of the web content that the Browser Push Engine has pushed to their BlackBerry devices.

browser cache push applications

The Browser Push Engine pushes web content to the cache of the BlackBerry Browser on users' BlackBerry devices. To view the web content, users browse to the appropriate web address using the BlackBerry Browser.

browser message push applications

A message appears in the message list on users' BlackBerry devices to provide a link to new or updated web content.

For more information about developing and customizing BlackBerry Applications, visit www.blackberry.com/developers.

BlackBerry MDS Connection Service

The BlackBerry® MDS Connection Service connects wireless applications on BlackBerry devices to the applications on an organization’s application servers or web servers. After a wireless application is installed on BlackBerry devices, the application can receive data from push applications that are located on application servers or web servers. The application can also receive data by sending pull requests from BlackBerry devices to applications that are located on application servers or web servers. The BlackBerry MDS Connection Service processes push and pull requests and delivers data and updates to BlackBerry Applications.

The BlackBerry MDS Connection Service also receives and responds to web requests from the BlackBerry® Browser and other BlackBerry Applications, so that users can view Internet and intranet content on their BlackBerry devices. The BlackBerry MDS Connection Service sends login requests and requests for instant messaging sessions from BlackBerry devices to the BlackBerry Collaboration Service. If you stop the BlackBerry MDS Connection Service, you also stop the BlackBerry Collaboration Service.

Feature

Description

protocol connections

You can define connections to the web servers on your organization’s intranet or the Internet using standard Internet protocols such as HTTP, HTTPS, and TCP/IP.

encrypted communications

The BlackBerry MDS Connection Service encrypts content using the same standard BlackBerry encryption that the BlackBerry Dispatcher uses to encrypt messages and other data.

data conversion

The BlackBerry MDS Connection Service converts data from application servers and web servers to a format that BlackBerry Applications can interpret and display.

data optimization

The BlackBerry MDS Connection Service processes content that users can view in the BlackBerry Browser. For example, the BlackBerry MDS Connection Service can change the data format or remove extraneous data to reduce network traffic.

authentication methods

You can configure authentication requirements that match your organization's sign-on scheme using standard methods such as NTLM, Kerberos™, and LTPA. You can also define a period of time after which the BlackBerry MDS Connection Service requests user information and caches cookies.

You can use two-factor authentication to create VPN connections between wireless applications on BlackBerry devices and your organization’s application servers and web servers.

integration with proxy servers

You can provide access to specific content through your organization's proxy servers using the following items:
  • proxy exclusion list, which defines the organization-specific URLs that the BlackBerry MDS Connection Service uses to connect directly to external web services instead of routing the connections through your organization's proxy server
  • proxy auto-configuration (.pac) file

access control

You can configure push initiators and push rules that define which server-side push applications can send application data and updates to BlackBerry devices, and which users can receive push requests. You can configure pull rules to specify which web servers users can access using the BlackBerry Browser and other applications on BlackBerry devices.

media content management

You can control which media files users can receive and access using the BlackBerry Browser and BlackBerry Applications. You can prevent users from receiving specific media types (for example, video files) or specific subtypes of media (for example, .mp3 files). You can also configure size limits for media files that users can receive on their BlackBerry devices.

BlackBerry MDS Integration Service

The BlackBerry® MDS Integration Service permits you to install, update, and manage BlackBerry MDS Runtime Applications on BlackBerry devices. The BlackBerry MDS Integration Service supports standard methods of integrating wireless applications and enterprise applications, for example, by permitting BlackBerry MDS Runtime Applications to access and use web services on an application server.

Your organization’s developers can create BlackBerry MDS Runtime Applications using the BlackBerry® MDS Studio or BlackBerry® Plug-in for Microsoft® Visual Studio®, and publish the applications to the BlackBerry MDS Application Repository. You can install, update, and remove BlackBerry MDS Runtime Applications on BlackBerry devices over the wireless network, and you can manage different versions of BlackBerry MDS Runtime Applications.

Feature

Description

installation options

You can prevent users from searching for BlackBerry MDS Runtime Applications. You can also require users to install, update, or remove specific BlackBerry MDS Runtime Applications from BlackBerry devices.

encrypted communication

The BlackBerry MDS Integration Service encrypts all data that it sends to and receives from BlackBerry devices.

troubleshooting tools

A series of error messages display when unexpected behavior occurs, such as if an application cannot connect to a content server.

message monitoring

BlackBerry MDS Runtime Applications can request data from application servers or web servers using a series of messages. Web servers return the requested data using the same message format.

You can monitor the messages that BlackBerry MDS Runtime Applications send to or from the application servers or web servers that host application content.

PKI-compliant application certificates

The BlackBerry MDS Studio creates certificates and uses them to sign applications that comply with the PKI X.509 standard.

You can use certificates to encrypt the connections that the BlackBerry MDS Integration Service establishes to sensitive content.

control user access and permissions

You can configure IT policy rules in the BlackBerry MDS Integration Service policy group to control how users can search for and access BlackBerry MDS Runtime Applications, and to define whether BlackBerry MDS Runtime Applications can access data from other applications on BlackBerry devices.

performance management

You can specify message queue limits for data that BlackBerry MDS Runtime Applications send and receive.


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