Personally I consider the introduction of BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express (BES Express) by RIM for free to the SMBs as one of the smart move to help these small and medium size business customers connect their personal BlackBerry to their work email and PIM data. This will definitely strengthen RIM’s positioning as enterprise solution provider to this customer base at affordable cost. BES Express announced few days ago will be officially available some time in this month but before that we do have answers to some common questions for this stripped down version of BES and tons of pictures made available by Ronen from BerryReview.
Will it work on a regular BIS provisioned device?
- We can confirm 100% that BES Express works on BIS contract devices. The only limitation is that you cannot do a wireless enterprise activation. Instead you will have to cable activate the device with either Desktop Manager, Web Desktop Manager, or BES Admin Web Console. This even works with BIS prepaid SIM cards!
Will wireless OTA PIM (Contacts, Calendar, Etc) work with a BIS provisioned device?
- We can confirm that PIM synching works on BIS provisioned devices just like it does on BES provisioned devices.
What Features/Components did RIM take out of BES Express?
- High Availability
- Database Mirroring (Not say it cannot be done manually via SQL) – Built in BES component has been taken out.
- Monitoring Core (SNMP monitoring still possible, SNMP Agent DLL still available – still trying to confirm Performance Monitor availability)
- Enterprise Messaging and Enterprise Social Networking
- Limited Policies – 35 instead of 450
Will there be a migration path from BPS to BES Express?
- There is no supported migration path from BPS to BES Express. This is not officially supported and RIM is saying companies must install and re-activate from scratch.
Will there be a migration path from BES Express to BES 5.0 Enterprise?
- So far RIM is saying that there will be no migration path from BES Express to BES 5.0 Enterprise.
- THOUGH our source has tested using the Transporter for BES Premium and transported from Premium to Express it did cause BAS errors but no issues with the transport. The reverse was tested from Express to Premium with a successful Validation and transport. This is weird since BPS is supported from BPS to Enterprise in the Transporter.
How will licensing work? Will they be interchangeable?
- RIM has learned from their licensing mess with BPS and Enterprise that it was possible to go to Enterprise from BPS without paying the upgrade since the same CAL’s used to work. The Express license is now different making use of a different format from that of Premium. The License Manager rejects the use of the Enterprise formatted CAL licenses.
Will there be support for BES Express?
- Our source calls this a really sticky issue. RIM is saying that there will be almost no support for BES Express. Support will be through the regular online channels like forums, knowledge base, carrier, or third parties. Not sure how this will work out…