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New Developer
bureax
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎09-16-2008
My Device: Not Specified
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development cost

hello. I searched this forum and the net about this sibject, but found only a little clear information. As a company we want to develop BlackBerry software and market these software to others. What is the total cost of developing, testing and distributing our software? OK, it is possible to download and debug the applications freely, using BlackBerry JDE or Microsoft Visual Studio. What about for testing on a actual handset, and durin selling our software? Are there any fee for some special tools and/or licenses, other than the price for the hardware device, itself?
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Developer
simon_hain
Posts: 16,010
Registered: ‎07-29-2008
My Device: Z10 LE
My Carrier: O2 Germany

Re: development cost

you need a $20 signing key. other then this, nope. eventually your developers want to have some money though, be prepared.
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New Developer
bureax
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎09-16-2008
My Device: Not Specified

Re: development cost

 

thanks. what about testing on handset? As soon as the simulator test is finished, we have to test the software on actual handset. The hardware we need itself costs about 400 USD. What about the activation and service fee. And moreover will we need a BES in the future (to only test the developed software)?

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Developer
simon_hain
Posts: 16,010
Registered: ‎07-29-2008
My Device: Z10 LE
My Carrier: O2 Germany

Re: development cost

if you want to develop and/or test BES-related features you have to buy one, sure. but i think there are plenty of developers without one.
the devices are not cheap, that's for sure, you'll have to rely on simulators for many models.
from a certain size alliance membership may be a good idea as you can get devices for free, but i don't know any details, pretty sure RIM will happily provide them (the details :smileyvery-happy: ).
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feel free to press the like button on the right side to thank the user that helped you.
please mark posts as solved if you found a solution.
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Developer
peter_strange
Posts: 19,601
Registered: ‎07-14-2008
My Device: Not Specified

Re: development cost

[ Edited ]

I agree completely with Simon's comments, but just wanted to add that you should not underestimate the marketing costs that you will incur when trying to sell to Blackberry owners. 

 

Unless you can get corporate buy-in to the application you are developing, you will struggle to sell to the large companies, and corporate administrators typically have their user's BlackBerrys locked down so users can't add their own software (no matter how much they want that weather reporting app). 

 

This really leaves the consumer market, and for it, the trick seems to me to making your application visible.  Apple have, for me anyway, done a great thing in creating the App Store, which seems to me (and I'm not speaking from any experience, just observation) to make it easier for the smaller guys to get their apps to wider market.  There is nothing similar for BlackBerrys that I am aware off, though Handango is mentioned in most dispatches.

 

Good luck.

Message Edited by peter_strange on 09-16-2008 10:58 AM
Message Edited by peter_strange on 09-16-2008 10:59 AM
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Developer
simon_hain
Posts: 16,010
Registered: ‎07-29-2008
My Device: Z10 LE
My Carrier: O2 Germany

Re: development cost

for consumer products it is a good idea to present them on community pages like crackberry, blackberrycool etc. These pages are eager to review new software - but be prepared for honest critic.

to reach business customers the best way, in my experience, is to develop software in a partnership. not easy to get into as a newcomer i guess.
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please mark posts as solved if you found a solution.
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Developer
marchywka
Posts: 1,415
Registered: ‎07-30-2008
My Device: Not Specified

Re: development cost

I've used these guys before, provide remote access to real handsets and lets you check a lot

of phones pretty quickly,

 

http://www.deviceanywhere.com/

 

I've personally found that if you have a server available, the best thing to do for RIM or more generic apps is

to just write scripts to compile, package, sign, and upload your app and then mail a link to your phone

or those who are willing to help test. Cycle time for a 64k app is maybe a few minutes depending on how long it

takes for your phone to reboot and anyone who can get your link by sms or email can test. Of course, you need some

server infrastructure to dispatch requests to phone-specific targets etc.

 

Also, instrumenting an app for feedback reports is not hard at least for rim specific stuff but I haven't tried

it more generally.  So, the time from getting a bug report (" this option stopped working when I used some other option , what is wrong?") to

debugging can be short too.

 

 

 

 

 

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Developer
richard_puckett
Posts: 191
Registered: ‎04-03-2008
My Device: Bold 9700

Re: development cost

I've used deviceanywhere.com many times in the past and would recommend them.  My last recollection is that they are $200/month/carrier for access to quite a few devices/carrier.  One thing to beware of though is that you need to remove any intellectual property from the device when you're done with it otherwise it will be there for whoever gets the device after you.  Anyway, this isn't an ad for deviceanywhere; just reporting that they're a good service, especially for things like smoke testing against many devices.

 

To generally recap others' posts: Developing for RIM is among the cheapest alternatives out there.  The $20 for signing keys is the only upfront cost until you need to get on hardware.  Many moons ago I bought my own ARM compiler and Verisign certificate to get into BREW development which was around $2K total.  Bought an iMac and a Leopard upgrade to get into iPhone which, again, was around $2K.  So $20 ain't nothing for development. 

 

Distribution is another matter which only Apple has really addressed (or rather, nailed), but that's another topic.

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