3 May 2011

One of the key productivity enhancements in Flash Builder 4.5 is support for packaging Flex and ActionScript applications for Google Android, as well support for packaging ActionScript applications for Apple iOS. An update to Flash Builder, scheduled for June 2011, will include built-in support for packaging both Flex and ActionScript applications for BlackBerry Tablet OS and provide additional options to package Flex applications for Apple iOS.

In the meantime, you can use Flash Builder 4.5 to package ActionScript applications for BlackBerry Tablet OS by installing a plug-in, available from RIM, into Flash Builder. This article details the steps you’ll need to follow to get your development environment setup to support BlackBerry Tablet OS.

Installing the BlackBerry Tablet OS SDK and Flash Builder plug-in

  1. In order to download software from RIM’s website, you’ll first need to register on the BlackBerry Developer Zone.
  2. Download and install the BlackBerry Tablet OS SDK.
    1. During installation be sure to select “Yes” when presented with the option to integrate with Adobe Flash Builder (see Figure 1).
    1. Select the folder where Flash Builder 4.5 is installed on your system.
    1. Continue with the installation process.
  1. Verify successful installation by creating a new ActionScript mobile project in Flash Builder – BlackBerry Tablet OS should be selectable as a target platform in the New Project wizard (see Figure 3).

Configure the build and packaging settings for an Adobe ActionScript mobile project

BlackBerry Tablet OS currently supports applications packaged for use with AIR 2.5, whereas Flash Builder is configured to package for AIR 2.6. BlackBerry Tablet OS support for AIR 2.6 or later is expected by Summer 2011 – in the meantime a number of additional configuration steps are required in Flash Builder; these steps are detailed below.

The following instructions assume knowledge of working with ActionScript mobile projects in Flash Builder 4.5 – for more information about developing mobile applications using Flash Builder please see the product documentation.

After you create an ActionScript mobile project using Flash Builder 4.5, you must configure the following build and packaging settings before you can debug or run your application.

  • In the Package Explorer view, right-click on the project and select “Properties”.
  • Expand ActionScript Build Packaging and select “BlackBerry Tablet OS”.
  • Click the Advanced tab and then in the Extra packaging options field, type -forceAirVersion 2.5 and click Apply
  • In the left pane, select ActionScript Compiler.
  • In the Additional compiler arguments section, type -swf-version 10 and then click OK.

Your project is now set up correctly to be deployed to a device running BlackBerry Tablet OS.

Packaging Flex 4.5 SDK applications for BlackBerry Tablet OS

AIR 2.6 or later is required to run Flex 4.5 SDK applications – as mentioned above, BlackBerry Tablet OS currently supports AIR 2.5.

Until AIR 2.6 or later is available for BlackBerry Tablet OS, there is an unsupported workaround that allows Flex 4.5 SDK applications to target AIR 2.5. Flex SDK engineer Jason San Jose has detailed the workaround on his blog – please note however that this is not an official workaround nor is it supported by Adobe at this time. Full support for Flex 4.5 applications will be provided in the update to Flex SDK and Flash Builder scheduled for June 2011 and when AIR 2.6 or later is available for BlackBerry Tablet OS (Summer 2011).

Additional resources

For more information, refer to the BlackBerry Tablet OS Application Development site.