07-04-2005, 11:58 PM
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It seems like there should be documents on this. In a nutshell, I'd say that it's like the Blackberry is really meant to be a complement to BES/Exchange. There are a lot of advantages, but it's really not for everyone as typically hosted BES/Exchange will cost you $20/month (some higher, some less).
In choosing BES/Exchange over BWC/BIC you gain:
- "A seamless interface with your email account". In other words, the email that is delivered to your email address is delivered to your Blackberry. There are, however, ways to keep particular email(s) from getting to your Blackberry. Note that spam filtering is difficult (what else is new?) if not addressed by an upstream or Exchange-integrated system. There's no 15 minute delay for POP account polling from the BWC/BIC*. You don't even need to set up POP access to your email account. You don't need to cc: yourself on outbound mail to have a copy because it's in your Sent Items folder. You don't have to worry about where it appears your email is coming from like you do with BWC/BIC (though the latter does allow you to set the apparent from: address. FWIW most BES/Exchange hosting providers offer OWA (webmail) access which can be handy. You can file email to folders in your Exchange account from the Blackberry.
- Level 1 messages can be flagged using a slightly better set of criteria. I don't recall the details, but you can only flag email as Level 1 on the BWC/BIC by criteria matched against the To:, From:, Cc:, and Subject: fields. BES allows filtering based on Importance: as well (a useless feature IMO as only the un-important email EVER gets flagged as important). Level 1 flagging allows you to establish that only certain email should trigger the email alert on the Blackberry device. VERY handy, say, if you subscribe to email lists and don't sort them into folders. Just to be clear, Level 1 flagging is available on _both_ BWC/BIS and BES.
- With BES 4.0 on the host's side and 4.0 on your handheld, you gain fully wireless syncing of calendar, contacts, tasks, and notes. It's a bit slower than realtime as the two sync over the air, but works well.
- In some cases, MDS (Mobile Data Service - a browsing proxy) provided by the BES/Exchange hosting company really enhances the web browsing capability of the Blackberry.
- MDS also helps TCP/IP apps in some cases. Most Blackberries without BES/MDS can't run applications that rely on accessing data via the internet.
- This one isn't going to be beneficial to an individual/consumer, however, a Blackberry with BES/Exchange has wireless access to the Exchange Global Address List. There's no need to mess with syncing the GAL to the Blackberry address book. On top of that, no need to worry about that data getting out-of-date. Again, no biggie for individual or small business customers.
- Another benefit not needed by individuals/consumers is the ability to create and respond (accept/reject/suggest) to meeting requests using the Blackberry itself in all cases. Meeting requests automatically create and manage calendar entries for the relevant participants.
* - Work-around is to forward mail from your mail server to the BWC/BIC email address set up for your Blackberry.
Is it worth ~$20/month for hosted BES/Exchange? That's really your call. Now, hosting a BES server yourself is completely another subject that I don't know much about (and someone else can cover).
Last edited by takeshi : 07-05-2005 at 12:09 AM.