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Old 06-27-2007, 02:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Blackberry 8830 and Outlook questions - sell me on Blackberry! :)

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I am considering getting an 8830 instead of a Windows Mobile product. I want the Verizon network (best in my area) and the global functionality. But is it worth it if I have to deal with just a plain Outlook 2003 server with no BB functionality? I don't want to leave a computer on all the time to forward emails, and in fact, I really can't since I use laptops exclusively.

I currently run Outlook 2007, which syncs my calendar, contacts, and email with my Outlook 2003 server. My Outlook server does have web access as well as the plain-text mobile web access feature.

Does this mean that I can use an 8830 to sync through the web without installing any conduits on my computer? It would be really great if I could use this to sync contacts, calendar, and email, even if the email wasn't true "push." I could deal with timed "pull" email on a short interval.

So, let me know what my best option is. Frankly, I should probably wait for the i760 or xv6800, but I just can't wait any longer to get a new phone, and I know that the BB doesn't let people down easily.
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Old 06-27-2007, 03:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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what is an outlook 2003 server? Outlook is a mail client. The accompanying mail server is Exchange. If you are running an exchange server, you can install BES and get all of the wireless syncing: contacts, calendar, tasks, mail. But BES isn't for the faint of heart.

If you are using Outlook with a POP3 account, you can set up BIS and you get pull mail. you will have to manually sync contacts, calendar and tasks. You can also use gmail or yahoo and get push mail. I have heard that there is a product that lets you wirelessly sync gmail calendar. Or you can use gmail mobile.

There are always hosted BES options if you want the full functionality of a BB on BES and I think that they are about $10-15/month.
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Old 06-27-2007, 04:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The "right" answer is the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES), which is true push sync of e-mail, contacts, and scheduling with Microsoft Exchange Server.

But, if your IT folks aren't willing to do that, you can use BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS), which will "pull" email from Microsoft Exchange Server either through IMAP, OWA (Outlook Web Access), or POP3. BIS with most carriers does not, however, sync Exchange contacts or calendar, for that you hook up your 8830 via USB and sync BlackBerry Desktop/Intellisync with Microsoft Outlook on your PC.

If the Exchange server is not accessible from the Internet using those protocols, such as requiring a VPN connection or simply closing off all protocols, that's when you need to use BIS with BlackBerry Mail Connector on BlackBerry Desktop running on your PC.
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Old 06-27-2007, 04:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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dvaskelis--you waited an awful long time to make your first post on here! Welcome to the forums.
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Old 06-27-2007, 05:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yeah, that's the right name - sorry. It's an MS exchange server, but there is no chance of installing BES to it since I don't run it.

I can definitely get to my exchange server outside of the intranet. I don't use it as POP3 - I retain all messages both on my PC and on the central server, and they remain synced. (No matter where I read a message, it gets marked as read, etc.) So I guess my best bet is BIS with IMAP or OWA then?

What is the downside to these approaches? Are they known to screw anything up with a perfectly functioning Exchange system? I don't want something to happen like my BB deleting something from the exchange server before I d/l it on Outlook, or deciding to sync an empty mailbox to a full one.

I guess I'm just looking for some assurance that this is a reasonable solution to Exchange/BB integration, rather than just cobbled together. I'd like to try a lot of this stuff out beforehand, or even just look at the software, but it's hard to even get the files w/o having a BB serial number.

Thanks for all of your help.

Last edited by alfa : 06-27-2007 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 06-27-2007, 05:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alfa View Post
So I guess my best bet is BIS with IMAP or OWA then?
OWA seems to be rather full-featured (two-way updating of email, handling of meeting requests, etc.), and if you already have OWA available on Exchange, then in BIS you just fill in the fields under account setup:
Outlook Web Access URL:
Type the URL that you use to access your work email account using a browser on your computer and the Microsoft® Outlook® Web Access application.
User name:
Type your user name. The user name is the part of the email address before the at sign (@). For example, "katewahl" in [email address]. In some cases, this might be the login name that you use to log in to your organization's network. If your organization uses multiple network domains, the user name might follow the form domain name\user name. For example, if the email address is [email address] and the domain is domain1, then the user name is "katewahl," and the network domain name and user name are "domain1\katewahl."
Password:
Type the password that you use to log in to your email account on your organization's network. Passwords are usually case-sensitive.
Email address:
Type the complete email address of the email account that you want to add.
Mailbox name:
Type the mailbox name for your Microsoft Outlook account. The mailbox name is the same as your login name, and it is usually case-sensitive.
Honestly, it only takes a minute or two to setup an email account to work on BIS as long as it's accessible via the Internet. For your non-Exchange email, @yahoo.com and @gmail.com accounts are true push too!
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Old 06-27-2007, 05:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for the additional info. This solves my problem of waiting for the new WM6 phones. Time to get an 8830.
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Old 06-28-2007, 09:06 AM   #8 (permalink)
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BIS doesn't properly support IMAP. I really don't recommend that approach unless it's your only option.
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Old 06-28-2007, 03:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yeah, it looks like I'll be going the OWA route. It seems like the easiest way to set it up.
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Old 12-18-2007, 11:26 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I used mail connector for about a week and it felt it was a PUSH service rather than POLL. It failed to work for whatever reason (some security update on IE 6.0 messed it up, I think) so I switched to OWA. OWA is POLL and not great but it works
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Old 12-18-2007, 11:34 AM   #11 (permalink)
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The ending question you must ask yourself is do you want full wireless sync between your mobile device and your Exchange server or can you deal with just message sync (currently one way reconcile, meaning that if you open or delete a message on Outlook it won't push the changes down to the phone) and manual USB updates for your calendar and contacts, or do you want full wireless sync with live push/pull and two-way reconcile for EVERYTHING in your Exchange email box (yes, that includes all subfolders in your Inbox if you have any, so you can file email like you do in Outlook)?

If the answer is you want full sync, then you need to go Windows Mobile because the ActiveSync capability of those devices put BIS to shame. Not only that, but Exchange 2003 has ActiveSync support out of the box so there's no additional cost for your IT department and there's also nothing they have to change on the config to make it work.

Good luck with your decision.
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