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Archive for the ‘BlackBerry Enterprise Server’ Category

Vision One partners with BlackBerry

April 23, 2010 Leave a comment

Although we have sold and supported BlackBerry solutions for a while, Vision One IT Consulting is now listed on the BlackBerry VAR Locator.  As a matter of fact, we are 1 of only 2 BlackBerry VAR’s in the Cincinnati area.  We sell BES licenses and technical support contracts, we can help with design and implementation, as well as work with you to ensure you get the BlackBerry smartphone that meets your needs.

Check out our VAR profile here 🙂

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FaceBook and BES Express

March 8, 2010 24 comments

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.

RIM announces BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express

February 16, 2010 5 comments

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 :/

BlackBerry Manager on Windows 7

January 20, 2010 Leave a comment

If you are a BES Admin, you probably already know the legacy BlackBerry Manager (for BES 4.1.X) is not supported on the Windows 7 platform.  What you may not know is that XP Mode on Windows 7 will let you manage your BES and still upgrade to the shiny new Microsoft OS.  I recently ran into this problem, and it took me a good bit of time to resolve. 

My solution was relatively simple in concept, but tedious in practice.  I installed XP Mode, and opened it up.  I decided to join it to the domain just so I would not get prompted to login all the time.  After joining it to the domain, I also changed the VM settings to use my domain credentials, instead of auto-logging in with a local account.  I installed the MAPI & CDO 1.2.1 pre-requisite (for Exchange 2007 environments only), then the Exchange 2007 Management Tools, and finally the BlackBerry Manager (4.1.5).  Now when I need to fire up the BlackBerry Manager, I can just click Start (in Windows 7) and type ‘BlackBerry’, and there it is!  BlackBerry Manager (Windows XP Mode) opens up seamlessly without needing to open the VM desktop and other stuff I don’t need.