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back to article RIM unveils free BlackBerry server

Research in Motion is offering a tasty incentive for small and medium businesses to standardize on BlackBerries with the introduction of new - and free - server software. BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express will slot in between personal plans provided by telcos and the company's industrial-strength BlackBerry Enterprise Server …

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Paris Hilton

Will support be any better than BPS?

BlackBerry has been offering the BlackBerry Personal Server (I believe that is its name) for free for one user, or five users for something like $500, etc. I installed this at a customer site and it would not work. Called in to redeem my one support call and was told I would be called back.

I never received a call back, and they had the gall to send me a survey asking about my support experience.

The customer has since gotten rid of his BlackBerry.

Paris, she does not call back, either. *sigh*

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Anonymous Coward

Blackberry Pro

was the name of it. Worked fine for me in at a few customers.

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Grenade

"high availability" "industrial-strength"

Hahahahahahahaha!!

Ha!

Ha!

I have rarely had to coddle a more fragile and hastily stacked pile of old turds in a production environment. Every engineer who had to do anything with it hated it, it makes bloody Lotus Notes look like a joy to manage.

No wonder they are having to give it away, even the mobile operators have had enough of it and don't want the headache and cost anymore.

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Anonymous Coward

About time!

About time! I've been wondering why they've shot themselves like this before actually.

Glad they've filled the hole for us refuseniks.

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FAIL

Oh that is such a new idea.....

And? They had a free BlackBerry server years ago (interestingly called exactly the same - my organisation is still using it). They stopped it at version 4.1 because they knew organisations using BlackBerry would require a BESX server so they would make a killing.

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Unhappy

BB Server

I would buy Blackberry tomorrow if it cold talk to a bog-standard IMAP server rather than having to go through some third-party server. I don't WANT some other server poking about in my email just to pass it on to me - I can do this quite easily myself, or could do if the BB had a standard IMAP client. Yes, I know there are other clients you can buy, but it shouldn't be necessary.

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Silver badge

IMAP

I deliberately avoided getting a Blackberry last time I changed phone for exactly the same reason. I want to be able to run my own IMAP mail server and have my phone talk to that without an intermediary. The information I could discover about the Blackberry strongly implied that I couldn't. Even the write-up of their new free server seems to imply that it only talks to Exchange, not a standard IMAP server.

Try again, RIM, you've got a while before my next upgrade.

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Pint

But that's what it does...

Give the BIS (Internet Service) access to your IMAP box, and it accesses it via IMAP.

What BES adds is a shedload of device control, together with OTA synch of calendar & contacts - and ActiveSync (3rd party app on BBerry handset) does the synch quite happily, if your mail server supports it (Scalix does, nicely).

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FAIL

I know that's what it does - that's the problem

Title says it all really. I don't want to have to hand over my IMAP SSL keys and login details to some third party just so I can access my own email!!! This is plain stupid from a security standpoint.

As for using this "new" BB server software and running it on your own server, I've not looked, but I bet it only runs on Windows, no? More to the point, I bet it won't run on BSD, which is what I would need.

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WTF?

Eh?

You want a service to access your IMAP mail, but without actually giving that service access to it?

And you want that service to access your IMAP mail securely, but without the SSL certificate being involved?

You've not really thought this through, have you?

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Stop

No I don't

You have completely misunderstood - I want my BB (if I had one) to access my IMAP server directly in a secure way, using SSL etc etc.

I do NOT want a "service" - ie - I don't want my BB (if I had one) to access my IMAP server via some third party server to which I would then have to hand over my SSL keys and access rights so that it (the third-party server) could read my email and then pass it on to my BB.

Unfortunately, as is being pointed out by others as well, you can't do this on a BB - the assumption is that you want to use their third-party server rather than accessing your IMAP directly, which I (and many others) don't for the stated reasons.

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FAIL

Uhhh

Don't be ridiculous, that's obviously not what he's saying. He doesn't want to give his credentials to a THIRD PARTY.

You can securely use Exchange server with a BES hosted IN-HOUSE, so why can't you also connect an IMAP server?

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Silver badge

Not quite right

No, I want an application running on the phone over which I have some illusion of control that talks directly to my IMAP server, or other software on the same machine that talks to the IMAP bit. The offerings I've seen to date require use of a third-party machine to host that in-between bit of software and that is not acceptable.

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Thumb Up

Data plans?

The comparison chart at RIM shows support for 'both corporate liable and individual-liable BlackBerry smartphones...' and 'data plan requirement only'.

Does this mean that this free version will support all of those personal BIS-enabled folks without them having to switch to a BES-enabled data plan? If so, we'll be one of the first adopters: no more CAL costs and no more 'sorry you've got to pay another £30 a month for the right data plan...'

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Grenade

Too little, too late.

We got Blackberrys on our last contract because the executive thought they were great - In fact the first our department knew about it was when one of them came in and said "Jim connect these to email would ya." So off we went looking for the imap client or exchange client, like on a normal phone, only to discover there was none.

We eventually discovered that proprietary software was required which could either be Vodafone BIS (an externally hosted service) or a grands worth of server software.

All in all, when compared with other phones that just work Blackberry left us with a very sour "vendor lock in" type taste in the mouth and I certainly wouldn't choose them in the future because of it.

If they had had this "free" software then that might have made a difference - except that the effort required to sync emails, calendar, etc now requires a new server, learning new software, keeping it up to date, etc.

The only way I'll ever consider blackberry devices again is if they make a client on the phone which does emails/exchange natively.

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Thumb Up

Better decide which one you want...

because there's ActiveSync clients that'll do exactly that.

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Free Blackberry server

You too can have a VPN tunnelled through your firewall and terminated in your internal network.

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FAIL

instead of ?

<QUOTE>

You too can have a VPN tunnelled through your firewall and terminated in your internal network.

</QUOTE>

As opposed to having an unencrypted connection through the firewall and terminated in your internal network as a lot of email servers giving outside access will be ?

Not to say that having a Blackberry Server linked to your mail system is totally 100% guaranteed secure, just that having it doesn't instantly make it 100% wide open either.

Of course with BES only RIM machines need to talk to it through the firewall, you basically need to allow any IP Address through for direct mail or dedicated VPN, and the RIM machines need to respond to an outbound request from the BES anyway. No outside machine needs to be able to come in unsolicited, as POP, IMAP or VPN needs, so any failing there is down to the firewall not the BES.

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Never understood...

...why they can justify the cost when it's in addition to Exchange - which does the push email, calendar, tasks, contacts, out of office setup, sharepoint document sharing, web-based access should the client pack in, remote wipe, security policy settings (password, encryption etc.) and with the enterprise edition you can also push applications to the handset, lock parts of the device like bluetooth, browser etc.

You have all that, yet RIM want those sort of prices for IM and some other minor extra's.

Find it amazing CIO's and IT managers sign off on that sort of cost for what little it brings...

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Gates Horns

Anyone fancy a game?

Lets play ... spot the mistake on the RIM comparison card?

The winner gets a life-time subscription to any BBC RSS feed of their choice!

Added bonus points if you manage to make me laugh with a RIM joke at the same time!

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Anonymous Coward

Free BES

Got BES free with a package of 10 Blackberrys. Full version no limitations

Best thing about BE is remote activiation/setup - if your users are able to follow basic instructions - or activation over USB (if they aren't)

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E 2
Flame

Sendmail & Postfix

Much (perhaps most) of the world runs on sendmail and postfix. Would be nice if this thing talked to them.

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So how does the Blackberry mail actually work?

I have never really understood how Blackberry mail works. I understand how any device can connect to an imap server, but doesn't this require a connection to be made all the time - just as if you were in the office connected via cable or wireless? This might be OK if you have an unlimited data account, but most of our users travel overseas - and data is very expensive! The Blackberry mail seems to not require a persistant connection somehow. It seems very efficient, looking at the data usage in the on line account. Anyone know?

P.S. I haven't got Exchange, but I do have a spare Windows server that I could use if it was worth it. As it stands, using the free blackberry account and a few rules on the server seems to do everything we need .. after all there's only seven of us ..

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