Now this is a happy day. During DevCon in November RIM promised to open up their Push API to all developers beyond just BlackBerry Alliance members. They promised to do it in the first half of 2010 and they are right in their timeline. As a reminder RIM’s Push API allows developers to push up to 8KB of content to their BlackBerry application in the background making them get information in real time. This is how the native IM clients and other RIM apps work.
The BlackBerry platform lets multiple pushes get to your device at the same time so an app delivering news can get information at the same time as an app that gives you the weather. The big catch is that there is two tiers of BlackBerry Push APIs. BlackBerry Push Essentials is a free service that developers can incorporate into their applications and allows them to push content but does not allow for quality of service. BlackBerry Push Plus which has a free tier and paid tiers, provides developers with notification that their push has been delivered. Not a huge deal but it will make the push API cost money for certain kinds of apps.
You can read more about the Push API and download the documentation and SDK at: