Okay, first and foremost, RIM does not support upgrading from BlackBerry Professional Software to BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express. It can be done, but should you run into a problem, you will have very little chance of getting official support. The steps outlined below are provided as is with no warranty, and as it is unsupported, this could break your BES and require a reinstall.
First, you will need to get BES Express installed on a separate server. You cannot install BPS and BES Express on the same server :/. Once you have both servers up and running, download and install the BlackBerry Enterprise Transporter 5.0 Tool from here on the server running BES Express.
Launch the BlackBerry Enterprise Transporter utility, and perform the following actions:
- Click Config, then BlackBerry Administrative Service, and enter the credentials you want to use to login to BES Express for this process.
- <OPTIONAL> Click Config, then E-mail Notification, and define the e-mail your migrated users will see once moved to BES Express.
- Create a new User Manifest by clicking New in the section labeled Step 1: User Manifest.
- Verify connectivity to both the source and destination BESMgmt databases by clicking Configure in Step 2: BlackBerry Databases. You will likely need to run the SQL Surface Area Configuration utility on the BPS server to enable remote access (disabled by default) for this to connect.
- Click Details in Step 3: Manifest Configuration to choose which user(s) you wish to migrate, and what you want the destination group and IT policy set to, then click Done to go back to the BlackBerry Enterprise Transporter.
- Once your user manifest is in set, and your database connections are verified, click Preview in Step 4: Preview and check for any errors or warnings.
- Assuming no warnings were encountered during the preview, click Migrate in Step 5: Migration, and cross your fingers (In my experience with this tool, you can Ignore Warnings if you see a warning about Test BAS call failed, BAS assignments unavailable. I don’t know why this error is thrown, but I migrated a few users with it, and everything went fine).
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Check out our VAR profile here 🙂
Not too long ago we told you that Research In Motion had released BES Express, but I found my first problem with it soon after. As you may or may not know, the latest FaceBook application for BlackBerry allows you to connect FaceBook to your calendar and contacts. If you are not on a BES (or BPS/BES Express), this works ‘right out of the box’. If you are on a BES of any sort, there is a special IT policy that controls whether FaceBook can connect to your organizer data. If the BES does not have the policy (older versions of BES require a free policy add-on for this, it’s included in BES 5.0), then the settings will be grayed out on your handheld. This is also the case when the policy is enabled (the IT policy in question is Disable Organizer Data Access for Social Networking Applications, which can be added to BES/BPS 4.1.X by following the instructions in this KB article).
Although BES Express is based on BES 5.0.1, the IT policy is not included, and you will need to download the ATTValueAddedApplications-PolicyPack.zip from that KB article mentioned above. It has an XML file that must be imported into BES Express from the BlackBerry Administration Console (Policy–>Manage IT policy Rules–>Import IT policy definitions). After the import, there will be a new section when you view the Complete IT policy labeled RIM Value-Added Applications, and this is where you will find the IT policy, Disable Organizer Data Access for Social Networking Applications. As long as this IT policy rule exists or is set to No, connected BlackBerry smartphones should be able to connect their FaceBook friends to BlackBerry contacts, as well as connect their FaceBook calendar to the calendar on their handheld.
For more information on this specific IT policy, please refer to BlackBerry KB article 18427.
For the past few years, RIM has offered BlackBerry Professional Software to SMB customers as an alternative to BlackBerry Enterprise Server. BPS was more or less a watered down version of BES (latest version was 4.1.4) with a hard limit of 30 users. The server software was free, and included 1 CAL, and you could add up to 29 additional users by adding BES CALs. Sadly, RIM killed the project a while ago, and while BES kept getting service packs and new features, BPS was starting to get stale. My biggest pet peave was that BPS did not support Server 2008 (which was a big problem for SBS 2008 customers).
RIM just announced BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express, which seems to be the replacement for BPS (and I can’t even find BPS on www.blackberry.com anymore). It won’t be released until next month, but as far as I can tell, it is basically BPS with a new name, and the following features added:
- 30 user limit has been increased to 75 (or 2000+ if installed on dedicated server)
- Works with *BIS and BES data plans, software and CALs seem to be free
- Remote file access (Windows Shared folders)
- Support for SBS 2008 and Exchange 2010
- Web-based administration
This means that the BlackBerry solution for SMB customers will be ABSOLUTELY FREE. There is no cost for the software, and CALs are even free. Also, no longer will end users need the enterprise data plan, which most carriers charge an extra $10/month per line for. This will mean new features and a much lower cost for SMB customers!
*EDIT: I just read on the BES Express documentation that a BES data plan is needed for wireless enterprise activation, as well as: “Over-the-air (OTA) updates require a BlackBerry Enterprise data plan.” This means BIS users will need an updated data plan if they want to stay wireless