Novell Cool Solutions

RIM BlackBerry Enterprise Server 4.1.4 Released



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March 19, 2008 6:59 am

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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.

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Categories: GroupWise Blog

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18 Comments

  1. By:ahidalgo

    With a combination of 7.0.3 and BES 4.1.4, does Novell recommend SOAP mode or OAPI mode?

    • By:JayParker

      We don’t have an official recommendation on this topic. But here’s some additional information that may help you make your own decison.

      Working with RIM we discovered some OAPI design performance limitations with multi-threading that impact BES performance. For a multi-threaded application these limitations end up serializing the application worker threads. In other words, one thread will be working hard, while the others are waiting for for access to a critical section of code or a shared resource. The object API was originally designed as a client-side API without the performance requirements needed to ensure that a multi-threaded server class application such as BES could scale to the needed throughput. For this, and other reasons, we continue pushing RIM to a SOAP-only solution.

      New code can often introduce bugs and instability. Every now and then one of these bugs may escape out the QA validation process into customer hands. It can take one or more support packs (and sometimes releases) to iron out wrinkles in code. The OAPI configuration has had several releases to achieve stability. In comparison the SOAP configuration has had less time to stabalize. By migrating only parts of the BES functionality to SOAP with each release rather than an all-at-once approach, RIM has reduced the amount of new SOAP code that could result in bugs.

      – Jay

      • By:coafark

        Guys, we just updated to BES 4.1.4 and its supposed to fix the issue with a GroupWise account being renamed but doesn’t seem to work :-( our Black berry’s still die when we rename an account.

        Does anyone have a suggestion as to a fix for this? Right now, so our BB/GW guy doesn’t spend all his time recreating the world, we’ve started leaving people with their old GW name when they get renamed in NDS.

        Calling BB tech support doesn’t help, they told us the upgrade would fix this.

    • By:coafark

      We upgraded mostly because their latest patch fixed the issue we had when renaming users. It would “think” that the old and new groupwise names were the same person and not send emails. With the latest patch, it correctly “mergest” them and renames are not a hassle anymore.

      Rich Text format is also a bonus that a few of our users liked too.

  2. By:bluebeagle

    Is this an upgrade to the 4.1 “starter edition” and if so where can I get it? Thanks!

  3. By:gmarsh

    Apart from paid incidents, as I see it there are the Novell forums and the unofficial blackberryforums.com, as well as the Novell and RIM knowledgebases. However, after trawling though them and not getting a good answer, can one contact anyone at Novell directly, such as your good self for instance?! Since this BES/GW combo has much less installed base than the BES/Exch or BES/Domino and by extension fewer (free) support resources. Or perhaps have one of the engineers regularly lurk in the GW admin group on Novell forums on the lookout for BES messages…

  4. By:hennys

    Quoted from the BES 4.1 SP4 upgrade guide:

    If your messaging environment is Novell GroupWise Version 7.0 SP1 IR1 or later, you should use the SOAP mode, even though the
    object API mode of the BlackBerry Enterprise Server is also supported. The SOAP interface is an event-driven architecture that
    can, for example, improve synchronization times for items such as address book changes and calendar updates. Note that if you
    want to use SOAP, you must enable it in your Post Office Agent (POA).

  5. By:cransomsr

    Quoted from above:

    Note that if you want to use SOAP, you must enable it in your Post Office Agent (POA).

    From what I undertstand, you’ll have to enable it on EVERY PO that you BES users live on. Depending on your network, this might increase the security risk.

  6. By:brendan_cna

    We were beta testing BES for GroupWise, and were forced to shut it down because it was causing SOAP errors/conflicts with GroupWise Mobile Server that was already in production. Apparently we couldn’t run both at the same time. Now that SP3 for GroupWise is out and we have upgraded our backend, we can go back to testing BES, since SP3 has supposedly resolved lots of SOAP issues.

  7. By:worm5406

    After upgrading to BES 4.1.4 we had lost ALL connectivity. We opened an incident and had to go in and turn off SOAP and do a database rebuild on the BES.

    7.0.2 has a known SOAP bug and it is supposed to work correctly in 7.0.3

    Next week we will upgrade to 7.0.3 and hopefully SOAP will work correctly.

  8. By:hennys

    We are using BES 4.1 SP4 and switched to SOAP recently.

    Which GroupWise client should we use on the BES server ?

    Should we install groupwise 7 SP3 client or should we stick with the old GroupWise 6.5 client ?

    Kind regards,

    Hen

  9. By:btfoster

    Re:
    “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.”

    We are still running BES 4.0 (4.0 SP7), but ever since original installation, it has never synchronised the mobile phone field.

    We have had GroupWise Client versions 6.5 and currently 7.0.2 on it, but no change, so it’s not surprising that it still doesn’t work with the current BES version.

    Personally I think this is an important field that users need to synchronise, yet no one seems to have ever bothered to fix it.

    • By:Anonymous

      Dean,

      I’m sick of complaining about the mobile number field or lack thereof in GW.
      Even Bonsai doesn’t have a dedicated mobile field in C1.

      I understand this to be the reason that the BES doesn’t sync the mobile field from the global address book.
      WebAccess also does NOT have this function.
      This is unacceptable, and yet one more nail for GW from my managers…

      Seriously, Dean, get this fixed, it’s a joke not having a mobile field in Blackberry lookups & webaccess.

      Don’t give me admin defined fields, they DONT WORK in webaccess OR in BES.

      Fix it and fix it SOON !

  10. By:cjbart

    Using SOAP here with BES 4.1.4 and GW 7.0.3 backend and a 7.0.1 (6/13/2006) client.

    Works very fast for the most part.

    Do have an issue with Calendar items. Calendar items created in GW sync to the BlackBerry just fine. Calendar items created on the BB do not make it back to GW.

    Will try the API connector.

  11. By:alandpearson

    OK, so I had enough of waiting for Novell and or RIM to fix the BES address book -> Groupwise sync and wrote a script to do this.
    This will go through the BES system address book, find all of the fields in eDirectory via LDAP (mobile, address, pager, fax, email address, notes) and populate the BES system address book with this information.

    At last, lookups from blackberries return all information !!!!

    See my cool solution article on the subject (awaiting approval)

    If you are impatient you can get the script from
    ftp://ftp.quative.tv/pub/updateBesAddrBook.tar.gz

    Enjoy :)

  12. By:anonymous

    We use BES 4.1SP3 but we can only select one personnal address book to sync with BB in the field AddressBookSubscribed.
    How to sync another address books by wireless ?
    Thanks. Bruno

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