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My company is looking to create an app that we'll use internally on several (about 20) BlackBerry Playbooks. We don't want it to be put up on App World because it's just an internal application. I'm wondering if there are any:

  • Costs involved with this outside of paying a programmer to develop it - i.e. Are there any license fees, deployment fees, etc.
  • License issues involved with deploying the app to multiple Playbooks without deploying it to App World
  • Limitations on functionality of the app
  • Other things we should be taking into consideration

If it matters, the app will be collecting information and downloading it to a computer via USB.

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Well, for BlackBerry phones, apps can be installed from locations other than App World, such as vendor websites or the CrackBerry store. I suspect, though don't know for certain, that the same would apply to the Playbook. Actually a timely question for me as I am contemplating building a Playbook app, possibly just for my own use. –  Grant Palin Jul 15 '11 at 16:58

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Unfortunately the PlayBook, unlike other BlackBerry devices, doesn't directly support applications that aren't released through the AppWorld.

There are a couple of ways around that.

You could put every device in developer mode and then connect via cable directly to the development machine and deploy the application. For a very small number of devices this is probably acceptably simple. For a larger number this isn't very practical.

You can sideload apps onto the playbook by connecting the device via USB cable and using a few simple tools. This blog post explains it: http://limetrip.blogspot.com/2011/09/how-to-install-angrybirdsbar-apps-to.html

The above method works but you still need to physically connect every device to a PC. There's an application that's been developed called LocalBar that allows you to sideload BAR file directly from the PlayBook. However, the LocalBar app itself requires sideloading first. There are instructions here as well as a download link: http://limetrip.blogspot.com/2011/11/download-local-bar-app-for-free-install.html

Costs: in either case (development mode or sideloading) none, except the manual labour involved for each of the devices.

License issues: developer mode is completely fair game and doesn't break any licenses. It's a pain though because you'll need to create a developer certificate for every device. That's not hard, but multiply any of this by 20 and it's a hassle. I'm not sure about the license issues related to sideloading. It should be fine, as long as it's your own app.

Limitations: none (as far as I know)

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Thanks. Sounds like those are just about the only options. –  Richard Marskell - Drackir Dec 13 '11 at 1:07

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