Well, I'm working on a Blackberry application that uses Web Services as the backend. This should be a relatively simple thing to implement since the Blackberry supports Jax on-client, right?

It would be, but the crowd at RIM agreed with me - some solutions are not suited to the XML-everywhere craze. And cell phone networks are, in their opinion, one of those solutions.

I've worked in Cell Phones (CDMA only), and can understand where they are coming from. XML is a bandwidth hog, and cell phone data packets aren't exactly the fastest solution on the Internet.

But from the developer perspective, what a PITA. Yeah, I said it. But my issues are with implementation, not their conclusions.

You see, the world is demanding that they support web services, because everything (and I do mean everything) has moved that direction, whether that was a wise choice or not. Seems simplification is more important than performance these days. Now if you're the owner of the BlackBerry, I would think that, facing the realization that something must be done, and owning a Java-based device with an XML parser already installed, you would just support web services directly.

They didn't. Instead, the team at RIM spent a bunch of time and money putting together the MDS - a web-server generating tool that communicates with Blackberries via IP on the front end and Web Services on the backend, translating web services responses into their own proprietary data format.

Unwise, IMO. But that's the path they've chosen to take. I've played with MDS before, and pitched it because I wanted a better way. This time I need a solution that is reliable and expandable, so I'm back to MDS.

I'm not a fan of "embedded Windows" - if you've ever taken an uncritical look at how that system is put together, the phrase is akin to saying "small skyscraper", or "miniature elephant". But if RIM wanted to hand a market segment over to MS, this is a good step in that direction.

I'm considering parsing the responses myself and bypassing the issue. No, it's not easy. That's okay, I'm a glutton for punishment, and at least we won't have to throw up another server. Too bad their push methodology is tied to http, I need https.

While I'm not down to using MDS yet, I have reinstalled it and started up a project, just in case.

You never know, I might end up having to use it.


Imbibing: Red Bull and Mt. Dew
Reading: Not much this week other than BlackBerry developer docs.