blackberry

How to set up a Blackberry with Exchange (without using Blackberry Enterprise server)

Since this article was written in Jan 2007, it is now possible to do the following:- 

  • On the Blackberry- an application called NotifySync* has been developed which can be installed on the Blackberry and uses ActiveSync for full mailbox synchronisation over the air. We use this for our own customers and recommend it as a solution.
  • On your Server - BlackBerry Professional Software Express which provides the functionality of 'Blackberry Enterprise Server for Exchange' for small businesses and it comes with 1 free user and can grow up to 30 users.
  • With your mobile/cellphone provider - IMAP and Outlook Web Access (OWA) have been made available via the Blackberry Internet Service (BIS) with mobile/cellphone providers. This supports synchronisation of your mail with move/delete (not calendar/contacts/tasks though)

which all provide a superior solution to this setup. However not all situations are equal and there may sometimes be reasons for reproducing the setup below and is kept for historical reasons and for its comments.

Most individuals that use their Blackberry in a small businesses environment would not buy Blackberry Enterprise Server for Exchange as it is simply too expensive and quite pointless for one or two users. Here is one method to bypass this and use the (UK) mobile phone providers Blackberry infrastructure and run it in conjunction with your Exchange system. (I'll also mention here that runPCrun can provide fully managed Microsoft Exchange hosting*  with the ability to add full "over the air" Blackberry synchronisation - starting at £14 p/mailbox/month, call us if you are interested in this.)

The main main advantages of the following set-up compared to just setting up standard POP3 collection are:-

  • immediate (push) delivery of messages (rather that waiting for the Blackberry service to poll the POP3 provider)
  • No need to open POP3 ports through your firewall
  • Items sent via your Blackberry are kept in your Sent Items in Outlook/Exchange.

This is attained with a little bit of tweaking and performs very well, although (obviously) the calendar,notes and tasks are not synchronised over the Internet as with the full blown server. In a small company this is not an issue and the synchronisation can occur easily using the cradle.

What this method does in a nutshell - when an email is received, it is forwarded immediately to a mobile providers blackberry address. When a new mail or reply is sent from the Blackberry, it is sent masquerading as the Exchange email, and a copy is BCC'ed to the Exchange email address. This email is the sorted into the Sent Items folder using a server side rule.

The steps to attain this are thus:-

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Blackberry Quotas and Auto-aging

We come across this problem from time to time:-

Customer wrote: 
I never understand this as you set it to auto delete.
Customer
--- Sent via BlackBerry

-----Original Message-----
From: Quota Manager <Administrator@blackberry.com>
Date: Tue, x Dec 200x xx:xx:xx To:customer
Subject: Mailbox full
One or more messages could not be delivered
to your mailbox because they would have put
your mailbox disk usage over its quota.
The system will keep trying to deliver these messages.
To receive them, you must delete some old messages
from your mailbox.

Blackberry give you a 10Mb quota in the UK for your email, and unfortunately, even with "Auto-aging" set to 1 day, it seems that occasionally someone will send you a 9Mb attachment. Unfortunately the Blackberry web interface that Vodafone, O2 and T-Mobile use doesn't allow you to set the Auto-aging to 0 days. So you're kind of stuck in this situation.

This customer never seemed to get the grip of this, so I resorted to my ever favorite tactic, everyday analogy. Here it is.

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