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We've got Exchange configured for Outlook Anywhere/Mobile Access which allows us to sync using ActiveSync on Windows Mobile and "Mail for Exchange" on Nokia devices.

Can a Blackberry device work in a similar way? We've got somebody who has a Blackberry Storm on a personal contract. Need to know whether it'll work like the above or another handset is needed.

Cheers, Rob.

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6 Answers 6

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Try NotifySync works with Exchange and many other messaging servers.

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To my knowledge there is no ActiveSync support in Blackberry devices. RIM's business model is such that they require you to use their their "services" (as a tax on the system, in my mind) and their sync software. There is a third party service, AstraSync that proports to do syncronization over-the-air to Blackberry devices via ActiveSync, but I have no personal experience with it.

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There is no current way to sync a BB "over the air". What you need is a Blackberry Enterprise Server, which sits parallel to your Exchange box and the BBs communicate with it, and it talks to the mail server.

Or just wait for Exchange 2010. :)

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I think we'll just buy a new handset :-) Anyone want to buy a second hand Blackberry Storm?? –  Rob Nicholson Jul 16 '09 at 16:36

My 2 cents...

BES is by far the best enterprise messaging platform out there. RIM's network is extremely reliable and as far as I know, hasn't gone down except for a few extremely well publicized incidents a few years ago. The centralized management features are absolutely fantastic.

That being said, if they have a Storm, that means Verizon. Go to Verizon's BB link and set up a BB account for them. You can then sync the email via OWA. Jason is correct in that it won't sync contacts, calendar, or notes. You need to install the desktop application for that. It does have the side affect of letting them charge the BB during the day.

As a side note, if you have an extra pc lying around, you can get a free single user edition of Blackberry Professional Edition for Exchange. Also, if you do end up getting a bunch of users with BB's, look on eBay for BES licenses. MUCH, MUCH cheaper than RIM.

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If you have Outlook Web Access set up, Blackberrys can get and send mail through that, but I don't think it syncs calendars, contacts, todos, etc. For that you need Blackberry Enterprise Server and depending on the carrier, the users might have to subscribe to some fancy-pants expensive "enterprise" data plan that will let them access it. They can also use POP3 or IMAP if your Exchange server is set up for that.

The BES stuff is pretty slick, and works really well. The OWA approach isn't nearly as nice, but is usable for email.

Personally, I get my mail via OWA, and calendar uses a convoluted Outlook->Google Cal->Blackberry three way sync. It ain't perfect, but it works.

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IF its just one - go for BlackBerry Professional Software Express. It comes with a free CAL and does everything you need.

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