Manageability in BlackBerry Enterprise Server v5.0
The manageability improvements in BlackBerry® Enterprise Server v5.0 are meant to provide far more granular control of an organization’s BlackBerry® deployment and improve efficiencies and reduce the workload of your IT department. In this article, we will briefly describe each of the major manageability improvements in BlackBerry Enterprise Server v5.0 and explain how they’ll change the way your BlackBerry solution is organized and maintained.
BlackBerry Administration Service
With BlackBerry Enterprise Server v5.0, the way you will administrate your BlackBerry® Enterprise Solution has been fundamentally changed, thanks to the BlackBerry Administration Service—a centralized, web-based administrative console. Because there is no longer a need to install administration client software, administrators are now able to control the BlackBerry Enterprise Server from nearly any web-capable computer from any location.
The BlackBerry Administration Service console contains all the tools you need to control your BlackBerry Enterprise Solution. It is used to manage the user accounts on your network and allows you to assign user groups, administrator roles, software configurations, and IT policies to user accounts, and to wirelessly activate BlackBerry smartphones. The console also allows you to manage server hardware and component instances in a BlackBerry Domain and is able to set up and manage the High Availability architecture.
The BlackBerry Administration Service control panel is generated dynamically based on the permissions of the accessing user, meaning that anyone who connects to the service will see only the options appropriate for them.
A host of new features, including custom roles and tiered user groups, make user accounts in BlackBerry Enterprise Server v5.0 more powerful than ever before.
Since BlackBerry Enterprise Server v4.1, you’ve been able to use roles to create different classes of administrator positions, and in BlackBerry Enterprise Server v5.0 that capability has been augmented with the introduction of custom roles, allowing you to define the exact administrative positions that are right for your organization.
A custom role is defined by a set of fine-grained capabilities that determine which tasks that role can perform within the server. For tasks that affect other user accounts, roles can further specify which groups of accounts can be operated on. For instance, you could create a Junior Admin role and grant that role the ability to manage users and software configurations but not administer users in the “Executive” group or access servers and components.
Roles can be assigned to individuals or to whole user groups, which have also been made more powerful and flexible in BlackBerry Enterprise Server v5.0.
User groups provide an organizational structure for users in a BlackBerry Enterprise Solution architecture. Groups determine the IT policies, software configurations and administrative roles that apply to their members. By assigning these characteristics to groups, rather than individuals, you create an architecture that’s more organized, accessible and extensible.
In BlackBerry Enterprise Server v5.0, user groups are hierarchical—that is to say, user groups can belong to other groups, which can themselves belong to other groups, and so on. Users (and groups) inherit all the roles, IT policies and software configurations of their parent groups. Because a user can be a member of multiple groups, there are times when inherited characteristics contradict each other. In these situations, a user is always assigned the least restrictive set of roles and policies from among his parent groups.
For example, you might have a group called “Product Management” that has three direct subgroups—“Software Product Management,” “Hardware Product Management” and also “Service Product Management” with its own “Executive” subgroup. Thus, the broadest groups are at the top, and subgroups represent more specific subsections of employees.
Continuing the example, if a user is a member of the Executive subgroup and also a member of a different group called “Sales,” he would inherit the most lenient IT policies from those groups and all of the software. This means that such a user would likely have the IT policies of the Executive group, with access to the applications of both groups.
The BlackBerry Administration API
The BlackBerry Administration Application Programming Interface (API) is an important tool in BlackBerry Enterprise Server v5.0, which allows you to write applications to automate tasks that are time-consuming, complicated, or repetitive. For example, with the API you can create applications that can activate a BlackBerry smartphone wirelessly, reset a phone’s password, or install applications.
With BlackBerry Enterprise Server v5.0, it’s possible to put some control back in the hands of individual users, allowing them to perform software upgrades, device activations, and password changes. By allowing users to perform these simple functions themselves, you free up time for your IT team to concentrate on more demanding tasks.
In this article, we’ve covered many of the new features designed to make it easier than ever to manage the BlackBerry Enterprise Server v5.0. We’ve discussed the new web-based BlackBerry Administration Service console, custom administration roles, and hierarchical user groups. We’ve also mentioned the new BlackBerry Administration API, which lets you automate common tasks, and new options for user self-service.
The common thread to all of these features is the idea that with BlackBerry Enterprise Server v5.0, you shouldn’t have to spend as much time administering your network. With the tools to organize users and administrators into groups and roles that reflect the unique structure of your organization, and a more flexible and robust control interface, your BlackBerry deployment can be better organized and more efficient than ever.
Read the complete BlackBerry Enterprise Server v5.0 series
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