BlackBerry Plugins

This guide shows how to develop an Echo plugin on BlackBerry. The Plugin Development Guide provides a broad overview with which you should already be familiar, and this guide picks up where it leaves off. In addition, download the Cordova BlackBerry repository.

The Cordova-BlackBerry project allows you to deploy to BlackBerry devices such as the Torch, Bold, and Playbook. The Playbook uses a different code base than other BlackBerry handheld devices, for which you need to duplicate your development efforts. This guide focuses on the handheld devices rather than tablets. (In the future, this guide should cover both platforms.)

The Echo plugin essentially returns whatever message a user provides to the window.echo function:

window.echo = function(str, callback) {
    cordova.exec(callback, function(err) {
        callback('Nothing to echo.');
    }, "Echo", "echo", [str]);

Modifying plugins.xml

Your project's www/plugins.xml directory contains all of the necessary references to your Cordova project's plugins. Add an additional reference so that when cordova.exec is called, Cordova knows how to map the Echo argument of cordova.exec to the Echo class that we want to write natively:

<feature name="Echo">
    <param name="blackberry-package" value="org.apache.cordova.echo.Echo" />


If you notice the structure of the value attribute, you'll see a defined path that leads to the Echo plugin. In the root directory of the Cordova BlackBerry WebWorks repo, look for a directory called framework. This directory contains all of the source code that runs natively on the BlackBerry. Navigate to framework/ext/src/org/apache/cordova. At this point, you'll see all of the plugin directorys, inside of which is the source code. So add the directory echo to framework/ext/src/org/apache/cordova/echo and create a file called at framework/ext/src/org/apache/cordova/echo/


The basic idea behind writing a plugin is to create a class that extends the Plugin class and have a method called execute to return a PluginResult class. Any call to cordova.exec passes in the action to execute within the class, as well as the arguments. In this case, "echo" is the action we want to execute within the class "Echo" and [str] are the arguments we are passing in.

package org.apache.cordova.echo;

import org.apache.cordova.api.Plugin;
import org.apache.cordova.api.PluginResult;
import org.apache.cordova.json4j.JSONArray;
import org.apache.cordova.json4j.JSONException;
import org.apache.cordova.json4j.JSONObject;
 * A simple plugin to demonstrate how to build a plugin for BlackBerry
 * Basically echos back the msg that a user calls to this plugin
public final class Echo extends Plugin {

    public static final String echo = "echo";

    public PluginResult execute(String action, JSONArray args, String callbackId) {
        PluginResult result = new PluginResult(PluginResult.Status.INVALID_ACTION, "Echo: Invalid action:" + action);
            try {
                String theMsg = args.getString(0);
                if(theMsg!= null || theMsg.length()>0){
                    result = new PluginResult(PluginResult.Status.OK, theMsg);
                    result = new PluginResult(PluginResult.Status.ERROR, "Nothing to echo.");
            } catch (JSONException e) {
                result = new PluginResult(PluginResult.Status.JSON_EXCEPTION, e.getMessage());

        return result;


So if we look at the code above, we can see that within the execute method, we are first looking for what actions are coming in. The Echo plugin has only one action, echo, so we will be only checking for that. If our plugin had more actions, it's simply a matter of adding more conditional tests to check for those actions.

We are then going to grab the message coming in from the arguments which is supplied by the args parameter. We can grab the first argument by simply doing String theMsg = args.getString(0);.

We will do some error checking and if the message looks okay, we will instantiate a new PluginResult with an ok status: PluginResult.Status.OK and return the message: theMsg. After this, we return the result which to be passed back to JavaScript to be fired in the success callback. If something fails, we can return various status exceptions like PluginResult.Status.ERROR, PluginResult.Status.JSON_EXCEPTION, or PluginResult.Status.INVALID_ACTION. When passed back, these types of results fire the fail callback in JavaScript.

Updating the .jar in your project's www directory

The added needs to be updated in your project. To build the .jar file, Navigate to the BlackBerry WebWorks repo's root directory and run the ant command:

ant update -Dproject.path="~/path_to_my_project"

This builds a new .jar file in the build/ext directory. Copy the build/ext/cordova.jar file into your project/www/ext directory.

If all goes well, that allows you to use the Echo plugin in BlackBerry.