RIM Showcases BlackBerry Platform Enhancements at Lotusphere 2008

By Kevin Michaluk on 22 Jan 2008 08:49 am EST
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Research in Motion

Lots of news and coming from RIM today at Lotusphere 2008 for enterprise users on the BES. Some of the big news: the ability to Download and Edit Documents (thanks to DataViz); the ability to remotely search and retrieve email messages from server (even if they are no longer on the phone); free/busy calendar look-up (check availability before sending out a meeting request); and HTML and rich text email rendering (wooHOO!). A number of management, security and development improvements have also been made to the BlackBerry Platform... read the full press release (below) for all the details!

Keep in mind these are BES improvements. Hopefully some of these will soon make their way to BIS customers in the near future as well. Not sure what the difference between BES and BIS are? Click Here to read our BlackBerry 101 article on it! 

PRESS RELEASE

RIM Showcases BlackBerry Platform Enhancements at Lotusphere 2008.

Orlando, FL, Lotusphere 2008, Booth 516 - Research In Motion (RIM) (Nasdaq: RIMM; TSX: RIM) today announced a series of updates for its market-leading BlackBerry® platform that include enhanced messaging and collaboration, simpler management, enhanced security and expanded application development support. These updates will benefit users, IT groups and developers and will enable organizations to increase mobility, productivity and return on investment.

"RIM continues to expand the capabilities of the multifaceted BlackBerry platform to allow an increasingly rich and productive mobile experience for our customers," said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO at RIM. "The software enhancements demonstrated today will make BlackBerry smartphones more powerful than ever and even easier to manage."

Enhanced Messaging and Collaboration
The BlackBerry Enterprise Solution is a complete, end-to-end wireless platform that extends the benefits of an organization's messaging and collaboration environment to mobile users.   Updates to the BlackBerry Enterprise Server and BlackBerry device software1 will enable customers to further enhance usability and increase end-user productivity.

  • Document Downloading and Editing – As a result of the integration of the ‘Documents To Go® by DataViz®’ software with the BlackBerry platform, users will be able to edit Microsoft® Office Word, PowerPoint® and Excel® files2 directly on their BlackBerry smartphone.
  • Remote Search for Messages – Users will be able to search for and retrieve email messages from their email server even if the message is no longer stored on their BlackBerry smartphone.
  • Free-Busy Calendar Lookup – Users on the go will be able to check the availability of colleagues before sending a meeting request.
  • HTML and Rich Text Email Rendering – BlackBerry smartphone users will be able to view HTML and rich text email messages with original formatting preserved including font colors and styles, embedded images, hyperlinks, tables, bullets and other formatting.
  • Advanced Enterprise Instant Messaging and Presence – New features for users running IBM Lotus Sametime® and Microsoft Live Communications Server will include improved address book integration, IM contact “click to call”, IM session “convert to call” and advanced emoticon support, allowing co-workers to collaborate and communicate more effectively using their BlackBerry smartphones.

Simpler Management and Support
BlackBerry Enterprise Server provides IT groups with industry-leading management and support capabilities. New features will further improve and simplify the administration of BlackBerry deployments.

  • BlackBerry Monitoring Service – A new software component of the BlackBerry Enterprise Server will help organizations maintain high availability and high performance of their BlackBerry infrastructure by providing administrators with enhanced monitoring, alerting, troubleshooting and reporting capabilities. BlackBerry Monitoring Service will be included in the next release of BlackBerry Enterprise Server3.
  • BlackBerry Web Desktop Manager – A web-based device management console has been designed to increase deployment flexibility and simplify software upgrades by reducing the number of BlackBerry software components installed on end-user workstations.  BlackBerry Web Desktop Manager enables users to install software and manage their BlackBerry smartphone from any browser-enabled computer. The software is available now as a free download from: www.blackberry.com/go/webdesktop.
  • Over-the-Air Device Software Upgrades4– Organizations will be able to update a user's BlackBerry device software wirelessly, delivering a fast, cost-effective method for remotely supporting users and managing BlackBerry device software lifecycles.
  • Expanded Systems Compatibility – BlackBerry Enterprise Server v4.1.5 is certified with Microsoft® Exchange 2007 SP1 and supports IBM® Lotus® Domino® versions 7.03 and 8.0.

Enhanced Security
Security is a cornerstone of the BlackBerry Enterprise Solution and today there are over 400 IT policy settings and controls that an administrator can set to centrally manage and enforce security policies. Newly introduced IT policies further enhance the security and control of a BlackBerry deployment5.

  • Encrypted Attachment Viewing – Users will be able view attachments within encrypted PGP and S/MIME messages.
  • Increased Control over GPS – Administrators will have the ability to control which applications access GPS functionality on BlackBerry smartphones.
  • Increased Bluetooth® Controls – Administrators will have the ability to enable or disable certain Bluetooth profiles as well as set the allowable 'discoverable time'.

Expanded Application Development Support
RIM continues to expand the opportunities for software developers to create innovative and powerful wireless applications that leverage the inherent security, network efficiency, reliability and push capabilities of the BlackBerry platform and take advantage of new BlackBerry smartphone features.   With the recent release of the BlackBerry Java Development Environment (JDE) v4.3.0, new Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have been added to the thousands previously available, enabling developers to offer even more robust and exciting business and lifestyle applications to the more than 12 million BlackBerry subscribers around the world.  In addition, support for the following Java Micro Edition APIs is also now available:

  • JSR 205: Wireless Messaging 2.0 (MMS Support) – provides the ability to send and receive messages that include images, sound and video via Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS).
  • JSR 211: Content Handler API (CHAPI) – allows applications to invoke other applications, including native BlackBerry applications, to handle specific content types.
  • JSR 238: Internationalization – allows developers to easily create a single application for multiple languages and regions across the globe with proper location-specific language, time conventions, currencies, and number formats.
  • JSR 172: Web Services – enables developers to quickly develop and deploy applications that act as web services clients.

These new BlackBerry platform enhancements are scheduled to be phased in to new software releases during the first half of 2008 and will be showcased at Lotusphere this week. For more information please visit www.blackberry.com/go/serverupdate.

1) Requires BlackBerry Enterprise Server v4.1.5 and BlackBerry device software v4.5 or above.
2) Microsoft Office Word and PowerPoint files will be supported in conjunction with BlackBerry device software v4.5 and Microsoft Excel files will be supported in conjunction with a subsequent software release expected later in the year.
3) Included in BlackBerry Enterprise Server v4.1.5 for Microsoft Exchange and IBM Lotus Domino, and included in BlackBerry Enterprise Server v4.1.4 for GroupWise.
4) Requires BlackBerry Enterprise Server v4.1.4 and BlackBerry device software v4.5 or above.
5) Requires BlackBerry Enterprise Server v4.1.5 and BlackBerry device software v4.5 or above.

About Research In Motion (RIM)
Research In Motion is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of innovative wireless solutions for the worldwide mobile communications market. Through the development of integrated hardware, software and services that support multiple wireless network standards, RIM provides platforms and solutions for seamless access to time-sensitive information including email, phone, SMS messaging, Internet and intranet-based applications. RIM technology also enables a broad array of third party developers and manufacturers to enhance their products and services with wireless connectivity to data. RIM’s portfolio of award-winning products, services and embedded technologies are used by thousands of organizations around the world and include the BlackBerry® wireless platform, the RIM Wireless Handheld™ product line, software development tools, radio-modems and software/hardware licensing agreements. Founded in 1984 and based in Waterloo, Ontario, RIM operates offices in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. RIM is listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market (Nasdaq: RIMM) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: RIM). For more information, visit www.rim.com or www.blackberry.com.

Topics: News & Rumors

5 comments

Paulio

mmm... middle of 2008!!?? Thats ages away... is this going to be a free upgrade aswell??

Pauio

and whats happening to the curve upgrade?? Whens that coming out? Same time as this.. i'm desperate for a fancy lil video camera on me curve... I think these upgrades are awesome - so so glad i got a blackberry and not a windows phone, i just love the face it doesnt crash!

Bla1ze

but this stuff is all based on BES users, I applaud RIM for staying true to their bread and butter, but advancements on the BIS front are needed as well, some of this stuff will carry over but if RIM is still planning on capturing that consumer market BIS needs a lot of work as well.

vaughnq

So these improvements have absolutely nothing to do with BIS then?

Bla1ze

Some of the SMALLER improvements such as html emails,expanded MMS and SMS capabilities and document viewing (to an extent) will carry over, but for the most part BIS customers will not see any of this...the best thing coming for BIS customers as of now is BlackBerry Unite!