So it's the middle of March 2010 and the OS 5.0 development tools provided by RIM are still in a public beta. To the average BlackBerry user this is not a problem, but to a developer like myself this is becoming quite disconcerting. Before we analyze what's wrong with this situation let's take a moment to review a few interesting release dates regarding OS 5.0.
- Late May 2009 - The first beta release for the Java Development Environment 5.0 (JDE for short) is made public.
- Late October 2009 - The first official OS 5.0 release is made public.
- November 2009 - The fifth beta release for JDE 5.0 is made public.
As of the writing of this article JDE 5.0 Beta 5 is the latest version.
Even before an official OS 5.0 release was out the door RIM was advertising the latest features to developers and encouraging us to start using the new features in our applications. The problem with this situation is how can RIM expect me as a developer and business owner to stake the credibility and reputation of my company's applications on a development tool that RIM has not even classified as an official release? After all, software in the beta stage of development means it works for the most part but it is not something you should be putting your full faith in.
Since the release of JDE 5.0 Beta 5 RIM has been silent on this matter. However, with the WES conference just 6 weeks away I would be willing to wager that RIM will be announcing the official release of JDE 5.0 at or around the time of the conference. But that aside, RIM should not leave developers hanging and wondering about this ongoing and seemingly endless beta process. RIM needs to be more up front and open about this situation.