FAQ: Why Don’t 3rd Party Applications Use Push Technology?

pushpull.jpgA bit back I had asked Neil Sainsbury, the developer of BBSmart, why no 3rd party application developers made use of the push technology built into the BlackBerry platform. I asked him because I am still dreaming about the day we could get a push RSS feed reader for BlackBerry that would not harm your battery life. Or better yet a 3rd party application like Jivetalk would harness the push capabilities while offering more features than the native clients.

It turns out that Neil finally had a chance to think about my question and has published quite a well written article on the subject. The sad news is that it does not seem like we will be seeing many 3rd party push applications beyond the enterprise application level. If you are at all interested in this then I highly encourage you to head over to devberry.com to read Neils latest piece.

On a side note Neil gave my idea a real bashing in the last paragraph.

Finally, maybe it’s just because other developers are like me and find the “push” concept repugnant. I really do hate it. Conceptually, it seems inefficient to me that a service should know about my existence and have to provide me with information not on request. It’s inefficient because as the number of users of that service grows, so does the burden on the service. Just look at the huge NOC infrastructure RIM has had to create to support everyone for push email. As the number of BlackBerry users grow, it’s just going to get worse too. Pull systems can easily undercut push in terms of efficiency, and so in a competitive marketplace will be able to charge less for, in practice, the same service to the customer.

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