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Research in Motion's BlackBerry Enterprise Server

It seems like just yesterday Network Computing was evaluating BlackBerry Enterprise Server 4.0 for Microsoft Exchange in our mobile e-mail roundup. Since then, Research In Motion has made some significant upgrades to BES, forging ahead with its product offerings despite the current patent lawsuit with NTP. BES 4.1, the back-end platform that handles communications with BlackBerry handhelds, includes improvements in management and administration, adds instant messaging, and brings updates to the Mobile Data System (MDS).


Good

• Unified management interface
• User group administration facilitates management

• Visual development tool eases the pain of creating mobile applications


Bad


• LMDS applications not fully integrated with other device management capabilities
• Some features only available for newer BlackBerry handhelds meeting minimum memory requirements


BlackBerry Enterprise Server 4.1, starts at $2,999, Small Business Edition starts at $1,099. Research In Motion, (877) 255-2377, (519) 888-7465. www.blackberry.com

I tested a late beta of 4.1 for Microsoft Exchange in our Syracuse University Real-World Labs®, analyzing new capabilities, such as its support for Web Services and a visual tool for creating forms-based applications. This version, as well as one for IBM Lotus, will be out later this month or early next; a version for Novell GroupWise will follow soon after.

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