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Google Apps Connector for BlackBerry Enterprise Server updated to v 4.0

Google Apps Connector for BES
By IsaacKendall on 1 Sep 2011 09:16 am EDT
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Always welcome news for me and the Enterprise BlackBerry faithful, late last week Google updated the Google Apps Connector for BES. It's great to see that this is a product Google plans to keep up-to-date and shows that BlackBerry and BES is critical to the business user.

In addition to supporting BES 5.0 service pack 3, version 4.0 of the Google Apps connector brings some of my favorite business features. Theses new features are Free/Busy look-up and support for read receipt.

The new support for read receipt is exactly what is sounds like. It allows for the tag to be added to an email messages that offers the sender to receive an acknowledgement that you did in fact receive the message.

The free/busy look-up is invaluable in a business environment. If you are looking to schedule a meeting or a conference call with several colleagues you can drive yourself crazy just sending out a meeting invite and having everyone propose new times because they have conflicts in their calendars. Free/Busy support allows you to view the availability of the attendees you're inviting, not their actual calendar details but just the times that they are free or busy.

Here's a screenshot of a calendar item I'm making for a CrackBerry meeting, after I add the attendees to the appointment I have the option to view the attendees availability.

Free Busy lookup

Again these are welcome features for BES users in the Google Apps environment. Thanks Google keep 'em coming!

7 comments

hambroski

It would be even better if you could do this with a BES server and do it straight from Google Apps. Am I dreaming...

stevedion

If i have a BES server with my current domain (non google) and wish to add my Gmail account (non apps) to the existing BES server, any you guys think that will work. I hate that when i look at my emails on my desktop they still show as unread in my BB. A huge pain in the @ss....

dosto

stevedion, I think it will only work if you have Google Apps account, but I could be wrong.

Thanks for the article Isaac. I have Google Apps for my law office. Currently I use BIS, but am considering switching to BES.

What are the advantages of BES over BIS, when using Google Apps?

update: started using ExchangeMyMail for Google Apps Connector/BES integration. Love it. Well worth the $10/month, for me.

mas90guru

I just signed up for an outsourced BES. It's running $ 10 per month.

Here's what I see are the advantages:

a. First I think you have to be on Google Apps Premier (doesn't work with regular Gmail to the best of my knowledge).

b. Two way immediate (or close) sync of your inbox. Theoretically Gmail offers this through BIS but it rarely works. If you get a lot of email you want this feature. I've been using BES with the Google Apps Connector for the last 5 or 6 days. It is amazing the amount of time you gain if you are not constantly deleting email from both your BB and Gmail.

c. Though I'm not positive I did notice that before this connector upgrade the description of contact sync was that it occurred "within 5 minutes". It now seems as if it's instant and the "5 minute" disclaimer appears to be gone (at least on some we pages I viewed).

d. If you are on BB OS 7 -- as CrackBerry reported -- you'll want to download Enterprise Activation app from the App World. You might not find it on your device. I had to download it separately. Once done I found the activation worked perfectly.

e. And the best thing is that you may not even have to upgrade your data plan with your wireless carrier. I did not and my integration to the connector worked without problem (I believe you have to be sure the provider is using BES Express which does not require anything more than the standard BIS carrier data plan to connect).

dsteinke

I would be interested in trying this... any advice on an outsourced BES provider?

dosto

I've used ExchangeMyMail http://www.gbesx.com/ and they were great. Switched back to BIS, but considering going back to BES.

dosto

I just signed up with ExchangeMyMail for GBES service. So far, everything works great. Much better than BIS.