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Hi all, Seems like I found a pretty active BB forum! I'm here b/c the ... General Blackberry forum

  1. #1
    SWY's Avatar
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    The boss wants a BB... so here I am to learn

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    Hi all,

    Seems like I found a pretty active BB forum! I'm here b/c the boss came and asked what it would take get him a Blackberry. Right now, the answer is "I don't know"

    We're a 65 person marketing and creative company. The boss, like almost all of the company, uses OS X- Mail.app for mail talking to our Linux mail server, Now Up to Date for calendaring (though I can't get rid of it quickly enough... I'm closely watching Darwin Calendar Server in OS 10.5). We are NOT a Windows/Outlook/Exchange based organization, and becomming one just to support a blackberry would have to be pondered thoroughly....

    So, where should a Unix/Linux sysadmin with enough Windows knowledge to be dangerous starting reading to learn his options and methods to integrate a BB into a non-Windows infrastructure?

    Thanks,
    SWY

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    Spamdumpster's Avatar
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    So basically, you're getting paid to surf around this forum? Man, I'd love that job. I am jealous!

    Welcome aboard. You've definitely come to the right place.

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    rush88's Avatar
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    Welcome to pinstack!
    hmm..that's a tough question. I'll try to give an outline of the BlackBerry system. As you probably know, the blackberry is a smartphone with the ability to have email pushed to it in near-realtime. There are two main ways of having this email pushed to the device:
    1. BlackBerry Enterprise server(BES)
    This software connects with both the corporate e-mail server and RIM's Network Operation Center (NOC). As soon as an email arrives in a user's mailbox, BES forwards it in encrypted form to RIM, which then in turn forwards the email to the correct user's device. The BES can also provide data services through the Mobile Data Services (MDS). In this way, the handheld user can browse the corporate intranet from his/her BlackBerry. Finally, if a user changes his/her calendar, notes, task, or address book on the desktop, it is automatically updated on the BlackBerry, and vice-versa.
    I always thought that this software only ran on Windows, but I am not certain. RIM's website may have more info on that.
    In addition to purchasing and installing your own BES, you can use a hosted BES, although again I'm not sure of how to integrate this with a corporate e-mail system. If you have any questions regarding BES in any way, I suggest you post them in the BES section of the website...there are some really knowledgeable professionals there who can explain better than I can.

    2. Blackberry Internet Service (BIS)
    Many consumer users (the writer included) use BIS to aggregate emails from existing accounts and have them forwarded in near-realtime as with the BES. But unlike the BES, this is a service provided by the carrier, and usually requires nothing more in cost or administration than signing up for the carrier's correct plan (something I apparently didn't do at first :P ). So, if it's just your boss, and he doesn't need task calendar, notes, etc. synchronization to occur automatically over the air, BIS can be a good choice too. He can set it to retrieve e-mails from his corporate account as I set mine to retrieve e-mails from my gmail account.

    So look into these a little...I'm sure if you have a question any of us would be delighted to answer...Best of luck!
    BTW- fellow pinstackers, if I've made an error, feel free to correct it! I don't want to misinform anyone!

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    Thanks for the info. As far as I can see, using BES of any kind would take some major mail server changes around here, since it only plays with Exchange, Domino and Groupwise. BIS might be the right tool for the job, however.

    Next question- does your Gmail and BB email stay synched? IE, is it like reading the same account on 2 machines over POP, where replies aren't tracked and read flags will differ, or does it behave like IMAP?

    I'm 99% sure we're just out of luck on push calendaring without some major changes. I think we can live with that... just having a reasonably recent synced calendar on a handheld device would be a good step forward.

    And yes, Spamdumpster, I am being paid as I learn from the forums. Nobody ever said it was a bad job.....

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    rush88's Avatar
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    Here's what I can tell you about my experience with BIS...when I send a message or reply from the desktop, that reply does appear on my BlackBerry as a reply. Unfortunately, the read flags don't always seem to match appropriately. And calendar sync could be done over a connection to the desktop if a BES is not at hand. Hope that helps! Again, good luck!

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    Rcbjr's Avatar
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    SWY, Welcome to PinStack.

    If you can set your server up as an IMAP server BIS will do limited reconcilliation. It will Pull the avaible email from the server and, what is read, deleted or sent from the BB, will show up on the server as read, put in the trash folder or the sent folder for the most part. It will not reconcile the other way.

    Again, Assuming since you are running OS X, you use Macs. you will need PocketMac loaded on his Mac to sync the contacts, calendar, tasks and Notes, and for installing any OS updates you might need.

    Hope all this helps and Let us know if you need anything else.
    Rcbjr
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    SWY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rcbjr
    SWY, Welcome to PinStack.

    If you can set your server up as an IMAP server BIS will do limited reconcilliation. It will Pull the avaible email from the server and, what is read, deleted or sent from the BB, will show up on the server as read, put in the trash folder or the sent folder for the most part. It will not reconcile the other way.
    I'm still pondering the "not reconciling the other way" concept. Does that mean if he sends an email from the OS X machine, he won't be able to go to the BB, open the Sent folder and see what he sent? If so, that seems like half of IMAP functionality. I use IMAP for my .mac account on multiple machines, and all the folders just stay in sync.

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    Rcbjr's Avatar
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    You got it, it is a limited reconcilliation, not a complete one. We are lucky to have that much. What you say about connecting from any macine accessing the Server showing all the mail, but the BB is not connecting to the server as a client, it is pulling the email periodically and doesn't search the sent mail folders.

    You could always set up a rule to BCC his BB address for the email sent from his machine.

    Hope this helps
    Rcbjr.
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    SWY's Avatar
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    Got it, thanks.

    One more thing- attachment decoding (.doc, .xls, .ppt, ect) doesn't require having BES, does it? Will I still get that if I set him up with BIS reading his company email address?

    Something I read somewhere in the last few days made me think it was needed.

    Thanks again for your time.

  10. #10
    TechieGirl's Avatar
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    Attachment service does not require a BES.

    rush, nice synopsis. Well done!
    Nikki
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    ~via BB (wap.pinstack.com)~welcome to pinstack!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by TechieGirl
    Attachment service does not require a BES.

    rush, nice synopsis. Well done!
    thanks

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