Announced earlier today was the release of BES 4.1.4 for GroupWise. This version of the BES software appears to be very well developed, resolves lots of outstanding issues and has had a fairly significant BETA cycle. I carry a BlackBerry Pearl (red) and we have been running the BES software against 7.0.2, 7.0.3 and Bonsai POAs within the GroupWise Engineering data center. The Novell IS&T department has also been running this version of the software on several servers and for hundreds of users within our organization. RIM can be very pleased with a significant update to the software that appears to have satisfied most of the Novell users.
There are still a few outstanding problems that are our IS&T department have identified and are still working on with RIM. We have a few users that are still complaining that not all of their fields in the address book appear to consistently sync between GroupWise and the device. Also a few users have complained that the icon displayed on the device is a ‘folder’ icon and not the expected ‘mail’ icon. I must report that I am not seeing these two issues and I know of several of my co-workers that are not having these issues, but they are still open incidents with RIM. One other reported problem is that when doing a ‘lookup’ in the address book – which searches the System Address Book within GroupWise, you can find a user, but when you retrieve the contact, one of the most important fields, the mobile phone, is not copied to your address book as expected. I synchronize my Frequent Contacts and seldom perform the lookup function myself – so I have not personally experienced this problem either. My personal report – Works great!
With each release of the BES software, we have been working with the RIM engineers to get more and more of their sync functionality moved from the OAPI to the preferred SOAP layer of the POA. Each version appears to be able to scale further and provide more reliability on the functionality that has been ported. In our discussions with RIM, they have reported that they are working quickly on a SOAP only release of the BES software – that will probably be version 1.5.
Overall, great solution for your BlackBerry users and for this user – what an essential part of my personal productivity – effective mobile solutions! Check out the new support pack and deploy as soon as possible.