Alright so you’ve just downloaded and installed the BlackBerry Enterprise Server, you’ve configured everything and are ready to start getting your users added to the Server and working. Once you have your users added to the BlackBerry Administration Service (BAS) you will need to activate them on the BES server. The process of activating a BlackBerry on the BES is simple and if all goes well takes only a short while. In this guide I will be talking about the different ways to activate a user and about what happens during an activation.
What is an activation?
An activation is basically the process of letting the BES server know which user and email account will be connected to a specific BlackBerry and connecting that BlackBerry with the user.
Pre-Requisites of Enterprise Activation
- In order to Enterprise Activate a BlackBerry you will need to have BES services put on your BlackBerry( if you are using BESXpress you can activate with normal BIS Services)
-The user must have an Email Inbox attached to their user account
How is a BlackBerry Activated
There are 5 ways to activate a BlackBerry Smartphone on the BES server. The first is OTA (Over-The-Air). This involves setting a password for the user on the BAS and then having your user go to the Enterprise Activation screen on the BlackBerry and enter in their email and password that you created.
The second way to activate a BlackBerry is through Email. This process is also done through the BAS by choosing the option to send an email containing the Activation password to the users mailbox. Once the user receives this email they again go to the Enterprise Activation screen on the BlackBerry and enter their email and activation password they received in the inbox.
The third way is to use the BlackBerry Desktop Software. This process will require you to have the BlackBerry and USB cable on hand. Launch the BlackBerry Desktop Software 6.0 and then connect the BlackBerry to the computer. Once the BlackBerry Desktop Software recognizes the device you will go through the wizard and select the option “Add my enterprise email account”. Once you have completed the wizard that comes up with that option the device should begin its activation process.
The fourth way to activate a BlackBerry on the BES is to use the BAS. Simply connect the BlackBerry to the BES server or a computer that you can launch the BAS on and on the left hand side click the “+” next to attached devices. When this expands you should see the connected BlackBerry. Click on “Manage current device”, and then “Assign Current Device”. Search for the user and click “Associate User” and then click “Assign Current Device”. The Activation will begin.
Finally the last way to activate the user on the BES is to use the BlackBerry Web Desktop Manager which is similar to using the Desktop Manager.
This is just a general overview of the different ways to activate, for a more thorough look at how to activate through these different ways you can take a look at this document -How to activate a BlackBerry smartphone using BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express 5.0
What Happens Behind the Scenes of an Enterprise Activation?
During an Enterprise Activation as soon as the user has been added to the BES, the BES begins scanning the mailbox that is connected to their user account. When the BlackBerry starts the activation through the activation screen it sends out an email message(called ETP message) to the inbox that was entered into the email field within the activation screen. This email contains a bunch of information about the phone and the encryption (password). Once in the inbox the BES recognizes it as an ETP message and picks it up and processes the information within the ETP message with the user account information within the BES. If this information is the same the encryption is verified and then the phone becomes officially connected to that particular user and their mailbox. The synchronization begins and at this point all of the contacts, memos, calendar appts etc get pushed to the device. When all synchronization is done the BlackBerry will give you a message stating so and the BlackBerry will now be activated to the server.
I hope this has given you a better knowledge and understanding about BlackBerry Enterprise Server Activations. Should you need any assistance in troubleshooting activation issues stay tuned as I am currently working on a tutorial that will outline the main activation issue causes and how to troubleshoot these causes.