Further Explanation of the Role of the NOC and how Native Email Works on BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2

By Kevin Michaluk on 13 Jan 2012 04:13 pm EST

Following up our initial walk through of native email, calendar and contacts on BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2 earlier this week, we followed up with Michael Clewley from the PlayBook team to get some better insight and understanding of exactly how everything is working on PlayBook OS 2 to deliver an uncompromising experience. With native email on the PlayBook using ActiveSync as a transport, we weren't quite clear as to what the ongoing need/role of RIM's famous NOC (Network Operating Center) would be going forward.

As you'll see in the video above, RIM is still leveraging the NOC throughout the BlackBerry experience. OTA updates, App World, etc. all leverage the NOC, and even the email experience relies on it, allowing for super easy setup - users just enter the email address and password and the NOC takes care of setting everything up on the backend (no having to figure out annoying SMTP blah blah blah stuff). And for enterprise users, RIM is still adding a layer of security and compression beyond ActiveSync.

As for performance, we finish up the walk through with a little test, and suffice to say the push email is as pushy as ever. I don't really care how it works, as long as it works well. Check out the video above. If you have questions on any of this stuff, Michael does a great job here of going through it all. The discussion has me thinking it might be time to rebrand the BlackBerry NOC to just be the BlackBerry Cloud Services (BBCS doesn't sound as cool as BBID though) or something like that. The NOC does a lot!

Reader comments

Further Explanation of the Role of the NOC and how Native Email Works on BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2


So ya still need Active sync enabled but Mobile Fusion adds the encryption portion to activesync and is the liason between the NOC and the Activesync enabled device?

This isn’t going to work well for enterprise. Many of them have active-sync turned off by default. I doubt many will want to turn it on just for an encrypted Playbook/Future BBX.

I Think we need more info on this active-sync & NOC when used with BES

I'm still confused..........:(

how do you think BYOD works with enterprise email? this is perfect integration with bes+active sync. it's added layer of security

With native e-mail, contacts and calendar, with all that information what not going on how will it interact with Bridge and will there be any confusion when both are being utilized.


Thanks for the post, really promising

i'm from middle east and we really are frustrated regarding the playbook due to lacking Arabic language support...

is there any news concerning adding Arabic language in the next upcoming update?

Thanks and appreciate your effort

Would corporate emails still work without the Fusion piece in place? On other Tablets all you need to set up is the Active Sync profile...

i have the same question. my compnay announced that they will be discontinuing their BesX relationship so if i wanted to contine my Outlook relationship (e-mails, contacts and calendar) i have to switch to a non-blackberry active sync device. i dont want to give up my Bold 9900 so im hoping there is a way around it. having the PlayBook connected to my OutLook would be sweet, i sure hope Mobile Fushion is not mandatory...

I just have two questions... When BlackBerry 10 devices are released will we still have to pay the BIS subscription and will data still be directed through RIM servers?

I am really getting tired of the lousy speeds I get through BIS and would like to use my carrier networks data connection even if it means paying a packet.

Speaking of updates, I wish RIM would offer updates to their phones directly, there is nothing more annoying than having to wait for my carrier.... Although, i never have waited for my carrier, since they never release any new phone software... I am stuck getting it from international carriers who seem to be on the ball!!

My understanding is that RIM plans on having BBX updates coming OTA from RIM. Carriers taking forever to release updates annoys RIM too

I am still a bit confused, to my knowledge this is the first video where I heard people drop the BBM bom, but I haven't seen it! Is BBM now integrated into the new contacts / social hub/app?
Or is bbm support for the Playbook still pending and won't be available in this upcoming release?

Still pending... the official response is that they are making sure it will work properly before including it in a future OS update (after next month's OS 2.0 release)...

ok, so let me get this straight. the "professional grade tablet" from Blackberry cannot get corporate BES email on the device until OS 2.0 gets released
is installed in the enterprise.

and since Fusion is not available, how does this qualify as a "professional" device when not all the components are readily available??

what the F here! native email should not be just Gmail, Yahoo, MSN, and all the other web based email addresses i don't need on this device.

Mobile Fusion is basically the next version of BES. It really shouldn't be too surprising that a new product requires a server upgrade. Current BB7 phones won't work with ancient BES versions either. Fusion will be available in March, only a month after release of OS 2.0.

so confussed so its still the amazing push e-mail service RIM has always given us BUT my confusion comes here iOS Android and Windows use ActiveSync but they dont have true push email service so how do we still get the same push service as we always have when other OS's use the same tech minus the NOC yet they dont have true push?

Push e-mail works only if your e-mail server is Exchange or Gmail (you have to know a trick to make it work). It enables Push e-mail for all kind of servers around the globe. As we look deeper, we find that RIM is far more productiveness-driven solution provider.

Anyone using ActiveSync has push email. RIM's NOC and supporting infrastructure adds security and manageability tools, but push no longer requires something like RIM's infrastructure.

ActiveSync actually works very well. It's not as comprehensive as BES, but it's also infinitely easier to set up, especially for small shops.

What iOS lacks is push email with IMAP (no support for IMAP IDLE) and POP (you'd need BIS, or something like it). With Android it's a total crapshoot and depends on the email client you use. Windows Phone 7 I don't know.

So ActiveSync alone isn't enough for true push email and that is where the NOC comes in to fill in the gap and make it true push email for practically all emails and not just ones supported with ActiveSync.

I am also wondering how this is all going to work with BES. Am I going to have to go to my IT person at work at beg them to allow my Playbook on the Enterprise server, or can i just put in my email credentials and it will work?

So this only means that BIS is unnecessary and nobody really cares? If BB10 still requires BIS subscription then they are basically ripping off our money....

This is all cool and all but do you guys think they will make 3G playbooks to use all these features on the go? Will we just have to take MiFis around with out having to use blackberries with mobile hotspot or bridge?

Slightly off topic, but how is the playbook outputting to the screen without any sort of wire connected, am I missing something? :s

my take on it...

if your company is a sole use of BES then it will need to upgrade server to suit BBX devices.

if your company uses active-sync also then your OS2.0 device will work. the business can add the NOC if they wish to have the security features of past RIM servers.

can you confirm that the activesync on the playbook allows for full folder syncing. ie sent items, sub folders.

So when is RIM gonna make a Dock that has HDMI out, full size SD card support and full size USB port in addition to charging/sync port so that we can finally use it for something useful instead of laying the tablet down on the table?

This maybe a dumb question but here goes. We use Lotus Notes Domino for email and whole lot more. All this "Active Sync" talk makes me think 2.0 won't support Notes email. Please tell me that's not the case. We've been waiting for a business case to roll these out and email was all we could hope for and now I fear 2.0 won't offer any hope.