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Old 07-11-2009, 11:12 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Gathering support experience from Groupwise BES Admins here

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Hi all,

Been supporting Domino BES for years and suddenly "forced" to support Groupwise BES as well as we have new accounts in this alien platform. Have been "proactively" placed in many fast-track Groupwise courses and expected to support as though we are already experts. But a course is still a course - mostly theories and concepts. They are never close to real world experience. I guess most of us know what I meant. Behind every sensible technical talks, they are backed with the solid years of experience hands-on with the platform. Just like we built our Domino knowledge from the many years of administering it on a daily basis. I believe I can take away some from the pool of Groupwise BES experts in this forum.

Could you share your experiences in supporting Groupwise and its BES? I have the following questions:-

(1) What are the things to watch/beware in Groupwise that could potentially break the BES?

(2) How is the BlackBerry message flow like? E.g. Domino router (of the BES) is the delivery mechanism for the MFH (Message from Handheld) and BES polls every 20 seconds on users' mail files for new messages (MTH).

(3) How defects/changes in Groupwise could potentially halt the BlackBerry message flow? E.g. Unavailability of mail servers and non-working state of the Domino Router task on BES could stop the flow.

(4) What are the different types of organizer data items in Groupwise that can be synchronized wirelessly with BES? E.g. in Domino, contacts sync is with the Personal Address Book (names.nsf) and memo sync is with the Journal NSF file. Calendar and To-Do (task) items are built-in with mail files by default etc.

(5) Which are the top major issues that you constantly see that they re-occur between Groupwise and BES? E.g. in Domino, we constantly have hung threads issue due to Notes mail databases corruptions (can be views or documents or database file itself). We also have read/unread reconcilations issue due to Access Control permissions and unstable Domino clustering of mail files etc. Just to quote a few.

(6) Which BES logs should you start looking when there is an issue? E.g. In Domino, we always start with the Messaging Agent (MAGT) log and start looking for keywords like "No Response" to lookup hung threads.

(7) What are some of the online research websites apart from the Blackberry Technical Solution Center? Any good BESG forums or resource bases?

I have many more but couldn't gather all thoughts at one go but will definitely post more later for sure. Hope you could kindly share so that I can be better prepared mentally for any big issues waiting down the road. Thanks in advance.
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Last edited by noname : 07-11-2009 at 11:28 AM. Reason: Added more questions.
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Old 07-11-2009, 12:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 07-11-2009, 07:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Any good write-ups from Novell just like the following IBM's?

Link1: IBM - Knowledge Collection: BlackBerry (RIM wireless device) and Lotus Notes
Link2: IBM Lotus Domino with BlackBerry Enterprise Server: Performance best practices
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Old 07-20-2009, 06:23 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Seriously, are all the Groupwise BES admins on vacations?
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Old 07-20-2009, 07:33 AM   #5 (permalink)
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... they just don't exist.
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Old 07-23-2009, 05:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Getting fewer every day... personal experience.


1. BES talks to the POA (Post Office Agent) only. Sometimes, when the POA is restarted BES does not pickup. Make sure you do mail flow testing with a user in that POA.


2. BES acts like a GroupWise client and polls Groupwise for new mail


3. Again, just keep an eye on POA. If POA is down, no one gets into their mail including BES. Of course there are other problems that could bring Groupwise down, MTA (Message Transfer Agent), GWIA (Groupwise Internet Agent) etc. but then if those go down that is really a Groupwise issue. I suggest you call Novell or Novell newsgroups for support.


4. Unique to Groupwise BES is that BES can sync to a single Groupwise Address Book that the Admin chooses. I wish Exchange BES had that feature.

Blackberry Tasks and Notes dont exactly work the same way in Groupwise because the Groupwise UI is different.

Address book syncs are slow to come down to the device (random value up to 2 hours) but are quick to sync from device to Groupwise (5 mins.).


5. Groupwise and BES is pretty reliable. BES server uses native Groupwise client APIs to make the connection to the BES server. If you update your Groupwise client on a workstation, make sure the BES server has the same version Groupwise client.


6. Depends on the issue, but the same logs are there. Same troubleshooting rules apply.


7. Sometimes the Novell newsgroups are helpful. But really, you need to attend the BES for Groupwise training from RIM. RIM tech support is also helpful.


Good luck!
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