Should RIM also license Exchange ActiveSync?

Should RIM also license Exchange ActiveSync?

Summary: I was pretty impressed by the RIM BlackBerry Bold (see my first impressions post) and the display and keyboard sold me on it. I still think the display and keyboard are both fantastic and it is definitely the best BlackBerry device to date. However, due to the lack of Exchange ActiveSync support I am being forced to return it and move on. I tried the Outlook Web Access (OWA) method of connecting to my work email account, but the security settings on our server won't allow it to fully function for me. Also, this would only give me email access and not calendar, contacts, or task synchronization. Is it too much to ask RIM to add support for Exchange ActiveSync like Palm, Apple and Nokia have already?

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Should RIM also license Exchange ActiveSync?I was pretty impressed by the RIM BlackBerry Bold (see my first impressions post) and the display and keyboard sold me on it. I still think the display and keyboard are both fantastic and it is definitely the best BlackBerry device to date. However, due to the lack of Exchange ActiveSync support I am being forced to return it and move on. I tried the Outlook Web Access (OWA) method of connecting to my work email account, but the security settings on our server won't allow it to fully function for me. Also, this would only give me email access and not calendar, contacts, or task synchronization. Is it too much to ask RIM to add support for Exchange ActiveSync like Palm, Apple and Nokia have already?

RIM makes some great devices that are becoming more and more consumer friendly. I still think they have work to do on making things look more modern (take a look at the text list of options), but they have started adding some media functionality. I like that they support Java applications and find many of them highly functional (Gmail, for example) and wish Windows Mobile would do a better job with this functionality. The BlackBerry Bold is a very nice piece of hardware with an amazing display and well-designed keyboard. There are Windows Mobile devices that are similar, but not as good and I am not looking for a Windows Mobile-based Bold here. I would like the same BlackBerry OS, hardware and experience, except for the ability to sync to an Exchange server.

One other thing about BlackBerry devices is that they communicate through the BlackBerry servers or other servers with the BES. I would prefer to rely upon my company's server with Exchange to provide me with full service at all times, rather than suffering the occasional BlackBerry outage.

I could have lived with the Bold as a secondary personal device with my AT&T SIM, but I already have the T-Mobile G1 that doesn't sync with Exchange and I cannot have two primary devices with no Exchange support.

Topics: Mobility, Collaboration, Hardware, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Servers, Software

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9 comments
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  • Seriously?

    Matthew's rambling post shows that he is quite the Noob when it comes to real synchronization technology.

    BES' provide a far superior connection to a Blackberry device than activesync does to anything else.

    From a management standpoint, the security and customization possible with a BES are far beyond what Activesync can do. From a performance standpoint a BES provides faster and better sync than other connections.

    Blackberries can sync using a variety of other methods including POP, IMAP, downloading items through OWA, or even through an Outlook re-director running on a pc.

    Matthew's awkward writing style suggests he was probably hung over, possibly still drunk when he posted this morning. He starts a paragraph as a 4th grader would: "One other thing about BlackBerry devices..." Additionally, he wrote a 39 word paragraph which consisted of a single run-on sentence.

    All jabs aside, the primary point of Matthew's article is wrong. Matthew states that Blackberry has "no Exchange support." Seriously?
    tommy99
    • Re:

      "BES' provide a far superior connection to a Blackberry device than activesync does to anything else"
      What does BES gives that Activesync can't do? I have deployed both solutions, and both are high capable and secure.
      "Blackberries can sync using a variety of other methods including POP, IMAP, downloading items through OWA, or even through an Outlook re-director running on a pc"
      Maybe you can work only with emails, but like me, many others need to synch contacts and calendar for day to day work. Can I sync contacts, calendar or tasks via IMAP, POP or OWA? Thats the reason BES and Activesync exist.
      dvm
      • re: Sync and management

        My rambling reply to dvm:

        ----
        "Maybe you can work only with emails, but like me, many others need to synch contacts and calendar for day to day work. Can I sync contacts, calendar or tasks via IMAP, POP or OWA? Thats the reason BES and Activesync exist."
        ----

        Of course you can't sync PIM over IMAP or POP (you can through the redirector though.) My point was that Blackberry supports a variety of connection methods OTHER than OWA. Matthew said that he tried and failed to setup OWA, but didn't mention all of the other options available.

        ----
        "What does BES gives that Activesync can't do? I have deployed both solutions, and both are high capable and secure."
        ----

        BES connections offer a huge variety of options that Activesync doesn't. Any Exchange admin should know this.

        You can view in realtime every application on the phone, the phone number, battery life, available and total storage space, and more.

        You can log all phone calls, texts and PIN msg's sent and from for all users.

        Blackberries are automatically backed up to a BES, and the entire phone config can be restored to the same phone, or a new one.

        You can control customized applications for your BES environment, as well as control what applications phones do and do not have.

        I could go on, but I think you get the point.

        Can Activesync do any of those things?

        (Yes, Activesync can now remotely wipe a phone, but that functionality doesn't always work. A BES can remotely wipe or lock a phone.)
        tommy99
  • RE: Should RIM also license Exchange ActiveSync?

    Really, seriously? RIM license Active Sync and give up the lucrative CAL business?
    cloonatic
  • Does ActiveSync work with Groupwise, Lotus etc?

    Bad idea. RIM doesn't need activesync
    deaf_e_kate
    • Re:

      IBM and Novell can license Activesync as Apple did. So it's no MS fault that Activesync doesnt works with Groupwise or Notes...
      dvm
  • RE: Should RIM also license Exchange ActiveSync?

    Matthew,

    This is what you are looking for:

    http://www.astrasync.com

    ActiveSync client for BlackBerry smartphones.

    John.
    JGD11
  • RE: Should RIM also license Exchange ActiveSync?

    http://www.notifysync.com is far more stable than
    Astrasync.

    Astrasync twice did kill my Storm so badly that I did
    have to send it in for repair. Notifysync works really
    fine for me, now for about 2 months ...
    mvsb@...
  • RE: Should RIM also license Exchange ActiveSync?

    I work for the NHS, our email service runs
    exchange, there are no plans to license BES.
    Because of this I am forced to use notifysync
    to provide access to exchange. Notifysync
    works, but the interface is horrible. It
    displays HTML mail as the source code and feels
    clunky compared to the blackberry client.
    Because of this I am going to switch from
    Blackberry to the iPhone (can't stand windows
    mobile) when my contract comes up for renewal.
    The Bold is a fantastic device but lack of
    interoperability will make it unsuitable for
    some.
    samrodgers