Tips for IT Administrators
Here are the top five issues facing IT Administrators right now, based on the calls we received in the past month. Click the links below to read about the issues and discover how to resolve them:
Top 5 BlackBerry Enterprise Server Issues
- Troubleshooting Enterprise Activation Problems
- Unable to Write or Update Application Data
- Unable to Receive Email Messages From an Integrated POP3 Email Account
- How To Perform a Clean Uninstall of BlackBerry® Desktop Software
- Unable to Send Messages (Receiving a Red X in the Message List)
Looking to understand more about Enterprise Activation?
Here’s an article explaining all the ins and outs: What is Enterprise Activation?
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What is Enterprise Activation?
Enterprise Activation is one of the most common activities performed by a BlackBerry Administrator, but for many admins the ins and outs of what is actually going on remains a mystery.
Enterprise activation is the process of establishing a secure connection between a BlackBerry® Enterprise Server and a BlackBerry smartphone. The underlying mechanic of an Enterprise Activation is essentially email. When a user types in his/her email address and password in the Enterprise Activation screen on the smartphone and clicks activate, an email message is composed in the background and sent to the user. This email message comes from blackberry.net and is addressed to the email address entered in the Enterprise Activation screen. Once this email message is received in the user’s mailbox, the BlackBerry Enterprise Server will identify this message as an Enterprise Activation email, pull out any required information such as the user’s PIN and the password that was entered, and remove the message from the user’s mailbox.
Once the BlackBerry Enterprise Server has verified that the password is correct, the BlackBerry Enterprise Server can now begin communicating directly with the smartphone via the wireless network using the handheld PIN as an identifier. From this point forward all traffic is encrypted with the encryption key generated by the BlackBerry Enterprise Server and the smartphone during their initial communication.
The final stages of the Enterprise Activation involve synchronizing data with the BlackBerry Enterprise Server and mailbox. At this stage the user will see an Activation Progress percentage, and a list of all databases that will be synchronized. This is when the Calendar, Contacts, Memo, Tasks, and configuration settings are synchronized.
Now that we have an idea of how the Enterprise Activation works, we can take a look at some of the common issues that administrators will encounter during this process.
The most common issue encountered during Enterprise Activation is that the smartphone will just sit at the Activating… screen for a long while until eventually it times out and states that the server is unavailable. At this point, we are still at the first stage of the activation – the Enterprise Activation email has been sent to the user’s email address, but so far has not been received by the BlackBerry Enterprise Server.
How can this be resolved?
In this case, the most common issue is that this email has not made it to the user’s mailbox to be picked up. This can happen due to a corporate Spam Filter, the user’s local Junk Mail settings in the mail client, or even something as simple as a typo in the email address on the handheld. The first step to resolving this type of issue is to ensure that the activation email is being received by the user and that the email is not being moved to another folder or modified in any way.
Another common issue can be seen when the activation email is received by the user and picked up by the server, but an error message is immediately displayed on the device stating “An error has occurred, please contact your system administrator”. In this case, the BlackBerry Enterprise Server failed to verify the password, or failed to create an encryption key with the smartphone on the first handshake.
How can this be resolved?
This issue is often resolved by simply creating a new password and trying the activation again.
Another issue commonly seen is that during the final stage of the activation the smartphone can sometimes get stuck at a particular percentage during the activation process. The cause of this type of issue can vary depending on what percentage the activation hands at.
How can this be resolved?
Often this is simply due to dropped network connectivity, or sometimes, issues with the user’s mailbox. Re-activating the device will often resolve the issue.
A more complete set of troubleshooting steps that can be performed at each stage of the Enterprise Activation process, please see Knowledge Base article KB05202.