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Old 10-29-2007, 11:31 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Webdeveloper seeking links & info on optimizing for the BlackBerry

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I have been tasked with optimizing our company website for BlackBerry users.

I have found a few whitepapers over at blackberry.com, but they seem more like executive summaries, and dont get into detail... (maybe I haven't found the right ones?)

One of the first things I have noticed in researching is that the default setting for the Blackberry is that CSS and JS are turned off.
(I wonder if this is the same for more experienced users as well?)

So, without the ability to detect and then handle optimization with CSS, I am trying to determine if there some other way to deliver the current content in an optimized way to BB users, or will I have to redirect them to new pages specially made for them?

I am sure this has been asked & answered many times, but I have been searching and so far I haven't found anything specific yet.

Maybe someone can point me to a thread or have mercy on me and repost? :D

Last edited by Rabidsquirrel : 10-29-2007 at 11:34 AM.
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Old 10-29-2007, 12:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If you are talking about optimizing an internal Intranet site, I'm pretty sure you can turn the CSS, JS and Table support on with a security policy.

For the general public, yeah these are turned off by default.. and it depends on who you are if you have them turned on. Sometimes turning them on for different sites actually makes the site not work in the browser.

If you are using ASP.NET 2.0 then you will want to make sure you have a mobile controls entry for the blackberry. There is some info on that and some other browser configuration settings here: Livelink - Redirection


Check out the knowledgebase on Rim's site for their BlackBerry content developers guides.. they are based each on the version of the browser you are looking to support: Livelink - Redirection

Think of formatting your screen in one thin column for best viewing.
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Old 10-29-2007, 01:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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This is for our external site, and alas, is not .net...

It looks as if I will be redesigning from scratch instead of serving our current content, but optimized on the fly via detection and stylesheets.

Probably better to start from scratch, anyway.

And thank you for the links! I had not seen the developers guides specific to the browser version, much more info that I can use.

Incidentally, one item I did find on the RIM knowledge base was a sort of flowchart showing the path from BB user to internet, to the actual content.

Along that path, (behind the firewall on the server side) was the "BlackBerry MDS" (Mobile Data System) and within that system, it shows a bunch of bundled features like Connection service, Provisioning service, Data Optimization service, etc. Apparently this is all through a BlackBerry enterprise server.

I wonder if the "Data Optimization service" in that bundle could be the workaround I'm looking for.. Has anyone ever heard of or used that service?
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Old 10-29-2007, 03:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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A little architecture insight for you.. basically all of your web requests from the browser are brokered by the MDS. This is if the user is using a corporate device going through a BlackBerry Enterprise Server. The data optimization service is part of that functionality that deals with data compression and image compression for the web content going down to the device to save on wirless traffic.

In the consumer world where someone is using BlackBerry Internet Service, they don't have a BES. But the wireless carrier has something that is equivalent to the MDS for web browsing that performs those same optimizations. It is brokering the web request on behalf of the device as well.
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