There does seem to be the odd bit of confusion now and again to do with how BES licensing is designed, so I have created this thread to clarify how it works - which hopefully should help out with some peoples questions. Please post if you believe I have missed something off that should be covered and I'll add it to the first post. If this thread proves useful I may stickie it.
BES license components
Your BES server will contain three separate 'keys' at point of installation:
- SRP Authentication Key
- CAL (Client Access License)
These will always remain unchanged, although you may add additional CAL's as you require additional users on the BES server.
There are five separate versions of BES:
The Enterprise Edition of BES ships with a 20 user CAL and has no legal license limit. You will find there are guidelines as to the best practices on having high levels of users and of course you will be limited by the hardware specifications of your BES server computer.
SBE (Small Business Edition)
The SBE version ships with a 5 user CAL and can be expanded up to a maximum of 15 users through the addition of extra CAL's.
The Express Edition of BES is a free download from the BlackBerry website. This versions ships with a 1 user CAL. BES Express is basically identical to the SBE Edition as it can only be expanded to a maximum 15 user threshold.
BlackBerry Professional Software
BPS is intended to be the replacement platform for Express Edition. It is (currently) a free download from the BlackBerry website and you get a copy of the software, a licence and a one user CAL all free. BPS is graphically slightly different in terms of the UI from the other versions of BES. Most tasks are wizard based, making it simple for admins who are not familiar with the BlackBerry server platform. One of the key advantages of BPS is that it's the first version of BES which offers full RIM support when installed on the same server as Exchange or Lotus Domino (there is currently no version for GroupWise mail environments). This is a big cost saving in hardware and Windows licencing. The downsides with this are that some companies will have strict guidelines on running several mission critical applications on the same server, and secondly, BPS does not have a full BES feature set. To elaborate on this final point - users have full email and PIM reconciliation as you would get with a normal BES, but there is no MDS (Studio, not Service) which means it's not possible to build custom applications, but existing java apps can be pushed through the BPS software.
BPS can take a maximum user threshold of 30 users, and Small Business CAL's are the ones you should purchase if you need additional users.
BlackBerry Enterprise Server for MDS Applications
The MDS Applications version of BES is a version of the server which has no wireless email facility. While this may sound odd, it is designed for organisations who do not require wireless email but do require the ability to access applications remotely from a low cost handheld device.
Note: There is no difference in the feature set, functionality or GUI of the BES editions with the exception of 'BlackBerry Enterprise Server for MDS Applications' as this has no wireless email features
BES Update Key
BES Update Keys were designed for companies who purchased SBE Edition BlackBerry servers. One of the problems with BlackBerry adoption is that some companies believe they will only have a small device fleet (usually high level management) and it's not until after implementation that they realise they need to expand beyond the user base they predicted during their planning. Originally to overcome the 15 user hurdle companies would have to re-invest in the solution from scratch, casting aside any additional CAL's and purcasing a new Enterprise Edition BES which of course proved costly.
With this in mind RIM introduced the BES Update Key. This is effectively just a 5 user CAL, but when entered in to your BES License Manager it alters your BES version from SBE to Enterprise. Therefore, if you have a 15 user BES which is at its license threshold and you add a BES Update Key, you will now have a 20 user Enterprise Edition BES.
The update key is not a cheap option and will cost significantly more than a standard 5 user CAL, but it is still a cheaper option than discarding any SBE Edition BES you may already have in place and purchasing a new Enterprise Edition.
Purchasing the right type of CAL's can be confusing as they are not all the same and come in a variety of denominations. CAL's can be purchased in the following numbers, but availbility depends on your supplier:
- 5 user
- 10 user
- 50 user
- 100 user
- 500 user
- 1000 user
You must also purchase the correct type of CAL. If you have an SBE or Express Edition BES you will need SBE CAL's, and if you have an Enterprise Edtion BES you will of course need Enterprise CAL's - there should be a minimal difference in the cost of a (for example) 5 user SBE CAL and a 5 user Enterprise CAL (if at all).
Remember, if you had an SBE BES and have installed an Update Key you will now need to purchase Enterprise Edition CAL's.
If you have multiple BES servers in place and want to move licenses around for any reason this is possible. How you remove a license depends on your BES server version number, but in versions 4.0 and above you can simpley right-click the license in the License Manager and 'remove' or 'clear'. You can then add that license to another BES server. The key message to take from this is that a CAL, once entered, is not tied to your SRP in any way and can be moved in the futue if required.
I hope this helps!