BlackBerry 10 'incompatible' with existing BES servers: report

BlackBerry 10 'incompatible' with existing BES servers: report

Summary: RIM will cease development of the current version of BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) to make room for BlackBerry 10 devices. Why? Because the two don't don't click.

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Update at 1:30 p.m. ET: RIM has updated its statement and clarifies its position on the next-generation enterprise offiering. In a nutshell, we got it wrong. See: "RIM: BlackBerry Enterprise Server will support all devices; We goofed"

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RIM is developing a new version of its BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) for BlackBerry 10 devices because the existing offering is incompatible with the next-generation platform.

Screen Shot 2012-08-22 at 13.55.38
BlackBerry 10 devices are not compatible with current versions of BES. Credit: CNET.

According to a BGR report, it's why the Ontario, Canada-based firm's failed to include email and BlackBerry Messenger support at the launch of the BlackBerry PlayBook device -- because the QNX-based operating system couldn't communicate with RIM's existing server infrastructure.

According to the report, RIM will cease development on the current BES server, version 5.0.3, but will issue security patches for "well into the future," according to a RIM spokesperson. BES server version 5.0.4 will be compatible with BlackBerry 10 devices only. 

The kicker? If you're running Java-based devices -- such as BlackBerry 7 devices or older -- and BlackBerry 10 devices that run the new QNX-based platform, your enterprise network will have to retain a legacy BES 5.0.3 server as well as a newer BES 5.0.4 server.

It's a move that could increase infrastructure costs in the long run because older BlackBerry versions will have to remain on the legacy BES server while newer devices will have to be hooked up to the newer BES version.

The new BlackBerry 10-compatible BES server, codenamed "NG" for 'next-generation,' will integrate Mobile Fusion and support for the BlackBerry PlayBook. 

RIM currently has 78 million customers in total around the world that use the consumer driven BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS). Governments, businesses and enterprises -- a smaller proportion -- continue to use BES for secure communication and messaging, contacts and calendar synchronization, and other business uses. 

A RIM spokesperson told ZDNet in an emailed statement that it "does not normally comment on rumor or speculation". However:

As we announced at BlackBerry World, BlackBerry Enterprise Server 5.0.4 will be available later this year and we will continue to maintain BlackBerry Enterprise Server well into the future. Research In Motion is a leader in enterprise mobile solutions and we are committed to continuing to innovate solutions that fulfill our customers’ requirements.

So, no answers there, then. 

Topics: BlackBerry, Enterprise Software, Mobile OS, Mobility, Security

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18 comments
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  • Slight discrepency?

    I'm pretty sure the next version of BES is 5.0.4, while PlayBook and BB10 devices will use the BDS (BlackBerry Device Service) which is currently version 6.0.1, to provide similar functionality. So you are correct in a sense, but the facts maybe slightly inaccurate.
    rsun@...
  • It's all words

    This is terrible product management, and even worse PR management. There must have been a dozen ways to repackage and renumber things so that a single, unified BES appeared that supported all devices. Instead they let somebody who apparently has zero understanding of the pickle RIM is in talk to the press and tell the customers that the current BES is an orphan.

    Did they just hire Elop's kid or something?
    Robert Hahn
    • Unbelievable stupidity.

      The Enterprise Market is all RIM has going for it. But, at least, now we understand why the Playbook was crippled at birth.
      kenosha77a
  • Stick a fork in RIM.

    Do RIM seriously think enterprises are going to host TWO different BES systems?

    RIM had better make sure that the Gen-Y kiddies, who use BBM, continue to flock to them, because they are going to lose enterprise level customers en masse.

    My university (18k potential users) is moving off of BES, and going with other systems. A BB phone is no longer an option for users, and has not been for nearly a year.

    Just one MORE stupid move by RIM. Unbelievable.
    IT_Fella
  • But is BB 10 any good?

    That's the real question I'd like answered.
    Michael Alan Goff
    • from what I've seen so far

      the OS itself is great- QNX is very powerful and light, and while there's nothing earth shattering in the UI that RIM has come up with for it, it's hardly bad either. on par with the competition I'd say.

      the apps though.... not so much. and this is what will probably kill BB10. this, and the fact that RIM just can't seem to get it finished. they were supposed to release it a year ago and it's still 6 months from the projected release date.
      theoilman
      • Well, that's good news

        (That it's good, not that it is late).

        I was thinking of getting a PlayBook eventually, I might just have to do that.
        Michael Alan Goff
        • good with a but

          without any real apps for it, it's a glorified web browser. it has the potential to be a lot more, but I'm not that convinced it will happen.
          theoilman
          • I've dealt with a low number of apps

            I had a Windows Phone shortly after Mango came out, though that didn't last.
            Michael Alan Goff
  • This is wrong

    Mobile Fusion already supports PlayBook and will support BB10 when released (the same core OS). See the description here:
    http://us.blackberry.com/business/software/blackberry-mobile-fusion.html
    There is no need to run two BES servers.
    Jack Gold
  • RIM is driving the nails into their coffin all by themselves.

    I can't believe that they are so out of touch that they think enterprises are going to install and support two versions of BES. At the very least they needed to make the new BES backward compatible so they could have old and new devices supported. I'm so glad we moved off of BB for our business phones two years ago.
    Digger_z
  • Not really news

    Obviously the tech press didn't bother to attend Blackberry World in May or were asleep.

    RIM has already shared this with all enterprise customers and many are in the process of evaluating Fusion with BDS and UDS. BB OS 7< are LEGACY devices at this point. 5.0.4 (SP 4) will likely be the last major update to BES 5 which is going on 3 years old. RIM HAS NOT stated when their support for BES 5 will go EOL (end of life) as there are 90% of corporations still using it (huge deployments) as well goverment / military (very huge deployments). So we're likely looking at 2015 if not later for BES 5 to go EOL.

    I love how it's a burden if you have multiple BES but it's ok to have another MDM which has the same issues? Currently we are BES, BES Express as well Fusion in DEV. We also have Good Technology for the past 2 years for iOS support and cannot get off Good quick enough.

    RIM has already commited to honor our BES licensing cost across all mobile platforms. (One CAL to rule them all) so yeah it has appeal.

    The additional infrastructure is a non issue as everything is virtual so at the end of the day if we have 10 server or 12 it really doesn't matter. Having a much lower CAL cost as well a central management console across all devices is something no one else will provide.

    The next version - planned for mid next year will combine all the fusion products into one solution (no need for seperate BDS / UDS).

    Will RIM lose some enterprise customers? Sure some will be ok with Exchange ActiveSync, some will like Good, some MobileIron etc. Each company will have different needs. If BB10 IS a hit - you'll need RIM's MDM if you wish to manage it.
    MobileAdmin
    • ..

      The additional infrastructure is a non issue as everything is virtual so at the end of the day if we have 10 server or 12 it really doesn't matter.

      Erm... no... You still have to pay for a Windows Licence for the 11th and 12th server you speak of, unless people are running Data Center......

      Your IT budget must be much bigger than mine, as i don't have the luxury of just going "oh well, ill just add another 2 servers to this machine, no biggie!" and neither do most IT departments.
      danjames2012
      • Not to mention...

        That additional server, whether physical or virtual, needs to be administered, patched, backed up, accounted for in your DR/BC plan, etc.

        For larger organizations, is it that big of an issue? Probably not. But how about smaller organizations? After we gave users the option to use iPhone or Android, we had a mass exodus from Blackberry, with only those resistant to change opting to stay with BB. And when I say mass, about 70% of our mobile users couldn't get off BB fast enough. So our BES went from over 100 users to about 30 or so in the first 2 months. So what RIM's telling me is that I have to spin up a new RIM server for literally a handful of users once BB10 devices start popping up? No thanks. Our remaining BB users will simply have to stick with older versions that our BES supports and new users will only have the option of iPhone or Android.

        And on a side note...
        "The next version - planned for mid next year will combine all the fusion products into one solution (no need for seperate BDS / UDS)."

        Of late, RIM hasn't exactly had a great track record with sticking to announced release dates, so don't hold your breath on this one.
        TroyMcClure
        • Different environments

          Gents,

          Understand the VM costs and they are cheaper than physical but all that is capital costs to use, the added expense for another server is minor (for us). Now I recognize there are all types of IT shops and we have a budget likely around 85 million so we're not exactly watching our server CAL cost.

          Really for less than 500 users BES is overkill, just run BES Express and save yourself some money. If all your using mobile devices for is email / PIM than I question the value of a solution with Blackberry / BES.

          Time will tell, be interesting if there actually IS a Blackberry World 2013!!
          MobileAdmin
  • Another Fact-Free Article copied from the worlds least reliable source, BGR

    Had Zack Whittaker taken an extra 5 minutes to do some basic research before parroting complete and total nonsense from BGR, this article would never have been written.

    RIM, in response to this total fabrication, had the following response:

    "RIM does not normally comment on rumors and speculation. As we announced at BlackBerry World, BlackBerry Enterprise Server 5.0.4 will be available later this year and we will continue to maintain BlackBerry Enterprise Server well into the future. Research In Motion is a leader in enterprise mobile solutions and we are committed to continuing to innovate solutions that fulfill our customers’ requirements."

    I'm going to bet that ZDNet won't bother posting a correction.
    recompile
  • Anology garbage article

    Common guys, a little research would have been nice before writing this junk. Another RIM bashing article. Get your facts straight with the following RIM statement:

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57498254-94/rim-next-server-will-work-with-all-blackberry-devices/
    Clawdawg
  • BlackBerry versus all others

    Good luck to all of you that have Iphones & Ipads just wait until you have to repair yours!!
    jsr92643