How to identify BlackBerry device compatibility by cryptic error / exception messages

8800_databackup_error_s
Joe just asked us the following question in the comments of our popular article “Installing 3rd Party Applications”:

Just tried installing DataBackup via the OTA. It installes fine, when I try to use it I get:
Error starting databackup:
Class ’net.rim.device.api.ui.decor.Background’ not found.

I deleted it and re-installed it via the RIM BB device manager with the same error when trying to use it. Am I missing something or is there a setting that needs to be turned on? Any suggestions?

How to solve this? There are two ways I usually use.

Way 1: Check Vendor Site
This is the most easiest step of all. Just look up the official vendor’s website and look for the product you are trying to use. They mostly have a “Requirements” section somewhere on the app’s page. In the case of DataBackup the website is: DataBackup for BlackBerry – Free Download

A bit further down on that page you will find a “Supported Devices” listing which clearly states:

Please make sure your BlackBerry® is running BlackBerry® OS 4.6 or higher.

Way 1: Check RIM/BlackBerry API Docs Site
In this case it is very easy: The mentioned class “net.rim.device.api.ui.decor.Background” is only available since BlackBerry OS version 4.6 and later. I just know that :) But those of you who don’t know, just click on the link in the last sentence and you are brought to an official developer documentation page maintained by RIM. The important part on that page is:

Since:
BlackBerry API 4.6.0

Like I said before, this means that the “Background” class is only available since BlackBerry OS version 4.6 and later.

So as for Joe’s problem, it seems he is running an older OS version on his device (he probably has the very popular BlackBerry Curve 8300 / 8310 / 8320 / 8330 with BlackBerry OS 4.5), but the mentioned program DataBackup requires OS 4.6 or newer. Joe’s solution to get this application running is: get a newer BlackBerry. Sorry mate, but it seems at least OS 4.6 is required and if you device is older, this program will just not run on your BlackBerry.

If you have another way to solve this or you think I said something, please feel free to correct me by using the comment section below.

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