back to article Enterprise class mobility

It used to be pretty simple. If you were a large organisation with a hard-core mobile email requirement, the only serious option from a security, robustness, manageability, usability and ease of deployment perspective was Blackberry. If you had a need to develop custom applications, then provided you were happy to construct your …

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  1. Joe Montana
    Flame

    Activesync vs blackberry?

    I'm not sure exactly how blackberry's push mail works, but activesync just seems to keep the 3g/gprs connection open and send very rapid http requests and seems horrendously inefficient...

    From testing on several window mobile devices and iphones, having activesync turned on severely reduces the battery life, my blackberry devices (pearl and curve) seem to go on working all week, but if i leave im+ (instant messaging client) running the battery life is similar to the other devices (because the im client needs to keep the connection open)... Is it the case that the blackberry doesn't keep the gprs/edge link active and just receives out of band notification (sms?) while activesync based devices need to keep making tcp connections to the https server and negotiating ssl etc...

  2. Alexander
    Dead Vulture

    what

    Why is the Iphone even in this article? it is in no way a enterprise based soloution it just does not work on level and never will...

    Bad reg

  3. Adam Johnston

    Wot no S60? UIQ?

    Do I detect the faint whiff of a North American journalist?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Dr Dolittle

    had a Pushmi-pullyu.

  5. Glen

    The Blackberry data connection remains open...

    ....permanently (unless signal is lost) and does not require any keepalive traffic to keep the connection up. My understanding of over the air activesync is that it typically used a connection with a timeout of anywhere between 3 and 60 minutes and implemented some kind of keepalive ping. Maybe ActiveSync OTA has improved since then?

  6. MarmiteToast
    Heart

    @ Alexander

    As soon as the enterprise apps and support come out for the iPhone the Blackberry is going to be firmly seated in 2nd place.

    The only real advantage that it can maintain is the physical keyboard but seeing as most people only tap out quick yes/no replies on the road this amounts to very little.

    I suspect you're just trolling though and any apple product is a target :(

  7. Nicholas Wright
    IT Angle

    Well... actuallly...

    There's a limt on the BES (if you use one) that means you can't keep a connection open forever. I think it's something to do with the amount of traffic, or perhaps a time limit, and then the connection gets dropped.

    It's a simple matter to refresh the connection every now.

    Can't remember if the BES drops the connection, or just sends nothing....

  8. Mark Mitchell

    Don't rule out the iPhone

    It has the best usability & interface and by far THE best development environment of any mobile platform.

    Apple has such a clear and concise strategy in terms of development frameworks and tool sets that make RIM and Microsoft's offering look very poor in comparision.

    It's not just me that is saying this but many long term Windows developers - have a read of this article to make it clear why Apple will win this battle

    3 parts to this - the first is at:

    http://arstechnica.com/articles/culture/what-microsoft-could-learn-from-apple.ars

  9. Darren B
    Stop

    How confusing

    Shirley the E71 is as "viable [an] alternative to Blackberry and Windows Mobile devices" as the iPhone. Infact as the E series is designed for enterprise, compared to the consumer iPhone it would seem to be far more viable.

    And then he disguards both platforms (Symbian/Apple) as being in "Front Ends" for Exchange so is making a play for Blackberry/RIM vs Windows Mobile/Exchange.

    WTF mention the iPhone (or even breifly E71) in the first place.

    Oh and doesn't Symbian have Blackberry connect (and I would expect Applt to have it too at some point)? Wouldn't this make a platform more compelling being able to connect to any solution rather than the single connection solutions from Microsoft Phones and RIM Phones?

  10. iSuff44
    Stop

    What?

    "Why is the Iphone even in this article? it is in no way a enterprise based soloution it just does not work on level and never will..."

    They said this about the iPod. With mp3 players out years ahead of Apple and Apple moving into a different marketplace.

  11. James Bassett

    No clue

    The people defending iPhones as Enterprise devices clearly haven't a clue. No encryption, no remote wipe, no means of pushing out corporate updates, running remote audits etc. etc. etc.

    ALL of the things an enterprise needs to be able to do in order to be able to properly manage a LARGE NUMBER (did any of you read that bit of the article. Not just the CEO and his toy but hundreds of the damn things) of devices without getting sued under the Data Protection Act etc.

    The iPhone is a great device but still a million miles away from any company (at least one that still wants to exist in 12 months time) deploying them as an enterprise solution.

    I agree about them being a bit dismissive of Symbian. However, symbian is rather more hard work as you have to go out there and find the solutions. The solutions just exist for WM and BES so it's easy.

    I'm always amazed/impressed that Blackberry still exists in the market place. Given that the whole world and it's Uncle use Exchange for their email and therefore have all the infrastructure in place to just turn on push-mail, the number of companies who go out and spend money implementing BES is astonishing - the company I work for included.

    In our case, a loud-mouth Exec (to whom no-one ever says no) decided we were getting mobile email and going with Blackberry because all her Exec friends had it and were teasing her. IT were told to get on with it!

    Oh, and both BES and ActiveSynch maintain an open connection all the time but neither require any siginificant ping/data exchange to maintain that connection. The difference Joe Montanna sights could be down to any number of things. Maintaining a 3G signal, screen size/brightness, power-saving etc etc. Windows Mobile devices can maintain a push-email connection for a long-weekend without charge under the right conditions.

  12. Mark Allen

    iPhones and Nokias

    From talking with one of my client's Exchange mail hosts, there is a good reason the iPhone support is picking up well. It is very easy for them to support on Exchange. And works really well for them.

    Meanwhile, they are having total headaches with trying to get the Nokia stuff to work. This has been done in such a way that they have actually given up supporting the Nokias at all until there is an improvement in the Nokia software.

    I accused him of having a fruity server if it would only talk to Apples and Blackberries... Nokia needs to release the Nokia Banana. :)

  13. Stuart Butterworth
    Boffin

    re:iPhones and Nokias

    @ Mark Allen...

    Didn't Motorola release one of those?

  14. Stuart Castle

    @James Bassett

    "The people defending iPhones as Enterprise devices clearly haven't a clue. No encryption, no remote wipe, no means of pushing out corporate updates, running remote audits etc. etc. etc."

    In fairness, Windows Mobile did not have those features until recently, and still doesn't do the corporate updates properly.

    And Windows Mobile still does not have a good user interface.

  15. myxiplx

    I'd move to iPhone in a shot...

    if apple released some enterprise management software.

    We've only just rolled out our first Blackberries and I'm horrified at the functionality and the crazy bugs I'm finding, many of which appear to have been there for years.

    Some of the crazy behaviour I've seen:

    1. Requiring users to leave stuff in deleted items so it will sync deletes, and not improving on that behaviour for 2+ years.

    2. Ony syncing the inbox by default, and requiring IT involvement to sync other folders. Yeah, that'll scale well if we roll these things out in bulk...

    3. Deleting messages at random if you go under 12MB of free space, with no way to ever get them back on the device.

    4. Shipping blackberries with a 1GB memory stick, but defaulting the camera to storing the 512KB jpeg photos in the 20MB of built in memory, and you can imagine how well that goes with 3!

    Yup, that's right, end users taking a dozen photos is enough to completely trash the primary purpose of the device. I haven't found out yet if you can set the camera location centrally, but if we can't we're going to have to get every single one back to IT to be reconfigured.

    Yes they can be managed centrally, but the damn things are so badly thought out they need to be. I'd never recommend blackberries again, RIM have all the signs of a company who leave long standing bugs to rot for years. Not impressed at all.

  16. Trix Bronze badge
    Jobs Horns

    Seconded about iPhones not being enterprise-ready

    And myxiplx, what on earth makes you assume that Apple will address those issues you mention (other than making it easier to play media, of course)? Because Mac servers are so marvellous as well. Not. And you'll "never recommend Blackberries again"? Because of the camera memory problem? You sound like those Democrat morons in the US who say they'll vote for McCain because they didn't get Hilary. Where is the enterprise-class competition you'll be going for? If you say Windows Mobile, good luck - they haven't worked out the design flaws there either.

    Regarding the positioning of Windows Mobiles as a viable BB alternative, they're not there yet either. All those http requests have the fun effect of wearing down the device battery in about a day. However, the policy management stuff at the backend and suchlike is pretty good.

    I do like the fact that RIM are making the BBs more attractive in terms of browser capability and media management (and GPS) - anything that delays the day when execs want the iPhone shiny toy implemented makes me happy. I hope it never happens (at least until Apple come up with an enterprise-class product, which they have yet to do in any sphere).

  17. Rasczak

    @myxiplx

    <Quote>1. Requiring users to leave stuff in deleted items so it will sync deletes, and not improving on that behaviour for 2+ years.

    <\Quote>

    And how else is it meant to know it has been deleted and not archived ? No matter though, just enable the hard delete function if you need that, its been around since 4.1 first came out, what 18 months ago or so.

    <Quote>

    2. Ony (sic) syncing the inbox by default, and requiring IT involvement to sync other folders. Yeah, that'll scale well if we roll these things out in bulk...

    <\Quote>

    By default it reconciles Inbox and Sent Items. As I remember from playing with, rather than supporting, Exchange Wireless Activesync, it just does Inbox. You have to set the Sent Item sync, as well as any other required folders, from the device later.

    And how do you know which other folders each user wants or needs to reconcile, some will need all subfolders, others may need some, yet others may not want any. It only needs IT involvement choose these before activation for a user, once activated, they can choose which folders are reconciled themselves. The level of IT involvement required for that would be the same for BlackBerry as for Echnage Activesync.

    <Quote>

    3. Deleting messages at random if you go under 12MB of free space, with no way to ever get them back on the device.

    4. Shipping blackberries with a 1GB memory stick, but defaulting the camera to storing the 512KB jpeg photos in the 20MB of built in memory, and you can imagine how well that goes with 3!

    Yup, that's right, end users taking a dozen photos is enough to completely trash the primary purpose of the device. I haven't found out yet if you can set the camera location centrally, but if we can't we're going to have to get every single one back to IT to be reconfigured.

    <\Quote>

    Don't know about the random bit and below 12 MB, but certainly older messages will go if there is no memory left.

    And they have worked on being able to get messages back from your desktop mailbox, when 4.5 of the handset software comes out and you have BES 4.1.5 you can search your desktop mailbox.

    And, as far as I am aware, it is not RIM that ships with the memory cards, it is the carrier, RIM ship with no card so why it cannot be set to save omewhere that doesn't exist. That said, if it could swap to use the card when it is detected, or at least ask if you want to, then hat would be a good idea for an upgrade to the firmware. I can't see an IT Policy to set the camera store location, but you can disable the camera totally.

    The BlackBerry Technical Solution Centre, http://www.blackberry.com/btsc, is your friend, along with articles for known setups and issues, their is full docmentation for the BES and devices, it does sound like you haven't read any of them yet.

  18. Folke Nikolai Sonin

    Lotus Domino Support for iPhone

    IBM has just announced Lotus Domino 8.0.2 which supports accessing your mail from an iPhone. IBM is enterprise computing. If Apple does not make device management software for the iPhone someone else will. There are too many executives who want iPhones to replace their not quite so new nor sexy Blackberries.

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