Exchange Connectivity Test

For those who ever wanted to test activesync connectivity as well as web connectivity to an exchange here is a great tool that Microsoft has put out there for us.

You can test it but make sure the exchange server you are testing it on is running 2007 or 2010 otherwise you get errors.

Have fun and I’ve been able to use it a couple of times so if you have any questions I’ll be happy to help out with it.  It works really well when you are getting ready to setup smartphones on a network and need to verify settings prior to inputting them and then trying to troubleshoot from the phone.

Blackberry Express: Upgrade from Blackberry Professional

I recently performed two BESX migrations in both test and production environments and here are some key takeaways:

  • There is no migration or upgrade method from Blackberry Professional
  • Make sure you have a good backup of both the file and database
  • Remove all phones from Professional
  • Uninstall Blackberry Pro
  • Use SQL Management Studio to delete the BESMgmt database completely
  • If you’re running SQL Express 2005, you’ll need to make sure you’re running SP-3, if not be sure to upgrade first
  • Reboot the server
  • Delete the “Research In Motion” registry keys under HKLM/Software and HKCU/Software
  • Download and follow the pre-installation checklist, paying special attention to all pre-reqs, including:

o   Besadmin account must be a domain user, but local admin on the exchange server

o   Send-as permission settings

o   AD account settings for DES/AES

  • Download and install the current version of BESX
  • Typically a reboot will be required, be sure to logon as a local admin
  • Complete the installation process
  • Once completed, it may take up to 30 minutes before the Administrator Website will work properly, until then you’ll get 404 errors – just hold tight. J

Also here are some less standard configurations but can cause a lot of trouble:

  • Double check to make sure you’re not running in Terminal Server “application mode” (if you are, be sure to remove TS, and run in remote admin mode only) (I recently found an exchange server running in application mode)
  • There can be problems connecting to the web console if you have a mixed 2003/2008 Domain Controller environment (With the forest set to 2003 functionality). See kb18186; however these problems do not exist in pure 2003 or pure 2008 domains.

Blackberry Enterprise Server Express (BESx)

Last month Blackberry released a much anticipated Express version of BES which is targets for Small and Medium Businesses just like the ones Apex supports. This provides all of the key features most of our clients are looking for a absolutely no licensing cost. Here is my quick review/comparison of both BES & Express; along with why I prefer Blackberry over the competition.

Blackberry Enterprise Server Express

  • 100% FREE for both the license and CALS; does not require a SQL Standard license
  • Support Exchange Server 2003/ 2007 and SBS 2003/2008
  • Supports up to 75 users when installed on the Exchange Server
  • Supports up to 2,000 users when installed on a dedicated server
  • Requires ONLY the Standard Data Plan (BIS) from the cell provider, and does not require the more expensive enterprise data plan
  • The biggest feature difference between BES and BES-Express is that there is a limit to 35 policies, versus 450+ policies for management
  • Missing features that we don’t typically use is high availability (multiple BES servers) and advanced monitoring

Continue reading “Blackberry Enterprise Server Express (BESx)”

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