BlackBerry Enterprise Server 5.0 Due Q2 ’09, Featuring Remote File Access

Remote File Access in BES 5.0

Remote File Access in BES 5.0

At a swell little shindig in New York today, RIM talked up BES 5.0 codenamed after the inert (i.e stable) gas, Argon. Argon’s been in the works for a couple of years now – according to RIM, beta versions have been in the hands of companies for the last year, and in use internally for two.  As a result, we’ve heard rumblings about new features and have a good idea of what to expect, especially since screenshots leaked in the weeks leading up to today, but here’s the official list.

A new administration user interface, BlackBerry Administration Service, provides a centralized framework that increases productivity by allowing IT to remotely manage and troubleshoot the system and components through a web user interface

Enhanced job management, throttling and scheduling upgrades and maintenance of applications for users’ devices – this improves any task an IT Manager may do in relation to end users

Enhanced monitoring capabilities through the BlackBerry Administration Server helps identify and prevent potential downtime and outages

Improved reporting, alerting and troubleshooting through the BlackBerry Administration Server help minimize potential issues

Built-in high availability enables fast recovery from failure and unplanned downtime, supporting mission critical business operations by seamlessly failing over key components of the BlackBerry Enterprise Server

BlackBerry User Migration Tool enables user accounts to be easily moved from one BlackBerry domain to another with minimal risk and impact or action required by the end user

IT administrators can leverage the high availability architecture to conduct maintenance upgrades without impacting the service

Improved remote desktop capabilities

Device-side folder management, such as adding, deleting, moving and modifying folders from the device

Enhanced calendar functionality

Synchronization of public and private contacts

The web-based interface BES interface is good news for admins, and makes it easy to get help desk workers to do their job without having to manage upgrades at their end. Speaking of upgrades, the RIM folks were touting this one as being the easiest upgrade to date. For end-users, remote file access is huge, and will allow enterprise users to dig through the corporate network for that extra-vital Powerpoint presentation they forgot back at home base. Over the air software upgrades will save on both customer and IT admin hassle when a new OS is available for your handset. One of the more tantalizing possibilities brought up by the new enterprise features is that it will depend on corresponding handheld software hitting the 5.0 mark as well – whether or not non-enterprise users on BlackBerry Internet Service will be able to enjoy all of the same new goodies is up in the air, but they’ll be getting at least a few after enterprise does. One way or the other, we were assured that the Javascript issues that plague the current BlackBerry browser will be fixed by OS 5.0 – we’re holding you to that, RIM. BES 5.0 should be ready to rock in the second quarter of 2009.

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