RIM has announced its latest set of developer tools, as it ramps up the process before the PlayBooks launch later this year.

Over in Bali, at the BlackBerry DEVCON, the Canadian mobile giant launched the beta version of the BlackBerry WebWork SDK for its Tablet OS and also new services and developer tools for BlackBerry smartphones.

The WebWorks platform allows developers to use the SDK along with their preferred web development tools, to come up with apps for the forthcoming PlayBook tablet that also support BlackBerry smartphones running the BlackBerry 6 operating system.

Features include:

- RIM's powerful WebKit web rendering engine (which is at the core of WebWorks) supporting the latest web technology standards including HTML5, CSS and JavaScript.

- Deep access to device capabilities and components such as native dialogs, application invocation and system information.

- A simple command-line tool that allows developers to use their favorite web development environment to develop WebWorks applications.   

- The capability to automatically transform a W3C widget archive file containing web assets into a BlackBerry WebWorks application package.

"RIM continues to invest in a global and diverse developer community and we are offering them a broad range of tools in support of the BlackBerry Application Platform", said David Yach, CTO for software at Research In Motion.

"With BlackBerry WebWorks, developers will be able to use standard web technologies to build powerful, integrated applications quickly and easily for both BlackBerry smartphones and the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, and the GitHub open source project around BlackBerry WebWorks means more support for developers, enabling them to fully participate in defining the future of this platform and tooling".

RIM also used the event to launch the BlackBerry Payment Service SDK in Beta, and an update of the BlackBerry Push Service SDK (v 1.0.1) as well as a new release of the BlackBerry Java Plug-in for Eclipse (version 1.3).

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