RIM + Jobs
August 4, 2009 8:11 AM   Subscribe

Resources for a Blackberry administrator that now has to support iphones?

I'm running a windows shop (AD, Exchange, Sharepoint) and I have a BES server and ~50 blackberry devices. Now I have to support iphones for some of the executives (5 and growing).

Other than an ipod (with the horrid itunes), I have no experience with any apple products. The exchange webmail access seems to work well, except when it doesn't. The error messages and troubleshooting resources I've found so far are not impressive and google seems to be of limited help, returning nothing but pages of marketing/blogs. The one error I've had dealt with webaccess to email and account security/password issues.

What are my options here? Is there an apple-flavored support site (ala technet or TAC) that I haven't found yet? Do I need to bite the bullet and buy one?

Any and all help appreciated.
posted by anti social order to Computers & Internet (11 answers total)
The only truly helpful resource I can think of for this situation is monster.com.
posted by cyniczny at 8:12 AM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

Why use webmail? The iphone connects natively with Exchange now. You should be using that connector. Its the same one Windows Mobile uses.
posted by damn dirty ape at 8:15 AM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

Love the title of this question. Anyway, dda is right. The iPhone 3G and above uses ActiveSync to connect to Exchange, just like Windows Mobile. It works pretty flawlessly for me on Exchange 2007, and I believe it also works on 2003. If any of the execs are using older iPhones, they would need IMAP exposed for them to connect. But you may want to suggest that their fellow suits ridicule them when they are not in the room for having such ancient hardware.

Also good to note, if you are using self-signed certificates, you may need to copy the root certificate to the device and install it there before it will be able to connect. This is necessary for my WinMo device, but possibly not the iPhones.
posted by rocketpup at 8:26 AM on August 4, 2009

Response by poster: Why use webmail? The iphone connects natively with Exchange now.

Perfect example. Where would I go to find this stuff out? Preferably handed to me on a silver platter with a side of chips.
posted by anti social order at 8:31 AM on August 4, 2009

Its all here:

posted by damn dirty ape at 8:33 AM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

Which version of Exchange? 2003 or 2007?
posted by 8dot3 at 8:44 AM on August 4, 2009

Response by poster: I should have been more clear - I'm not just talking about the email setup. So far that's been the only issue, but I'm sure I'll be asked about other features and problems. "not supported" or "Go to the genius bar" won't be acceptable answers. FWIW I've got 2003 exchange with it's own valid SSL cert.

Not quite the technical details I was looking for but the deployment guide PDF and it's 'additional resources' section is promising.

Odinsdream - Very detailed. thank you. Also that forum from your post is a good resource. I'll look into that client config utility. Part of the issue is that these are personal devices and not corporate - I can't just lock them down.
posted by anti social order at 10:18 AM on August 4, 2009

"The iPhone 3G and above uses ActiveSync to connect to Exchange"

Actually, all iPhones are capable of using ActiveSync if they have reasonably recent firmware. But yeah, what you're looking for is ActiveSync. Please don't subject users to OWA (which is horrible) when you can provide properly integrated support (which is awesome).

In fact, what you want to do is consider webmail from Mobile Safari the unsupported solution, then deploy and support ActiveSync of mail, contact, and schedule data as the supported solution. This has the secondary advantage of giving you a mobile connectivity platform that extends beyond the limited number of devices supported by your BES.
posted by majick at 10:28 AM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

odinsdream is correct. One Exchange account per iPhone.
posted by Silvertree at 12:25 PM on August 4, 2009

That is correct (one Exchange account per iPone) - but the interesting thing is that for most Windows Mobile devices it is also a single Exchange account per phone...

(I have 4 Exchange mailboxes, and only one works on my Palm Treo Pro - so, for my work I use Exchange, for everything else IMAP/SMTP)
posted by jkaczor at 4:48 PM on August 5, 2009

Sorry, I worded that poorly. I believe it is one Exchange account per ActiveSync device.
posted by Silvertree at 3:00 PM on August 6, 2009

« Older Renting a car for the first time ever. What...   |   I need a simple CMS for managing flat xml files Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.