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BES Prerequisites Thread for Microsoft Exchange 2003
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Old 11-30-2008, 07:37 PM
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Default BES Prerequisites Thread for Microsoft Exchange 2003

One of the painful elements of implementing a BES environment is the way in which RIM write the checklists. I often come across people who are not quite sure what they need to do in terms of prerequisites . The problem I think is not so much the complexity, but the way in which the checklist element of BES is laid out. RIM also make this worse by segregating the checklist on the basis you may want to install various BES components on different machines, and most of us don't need this. To try and make the process as simple as possible I have written up a checklist which, although largely taken from RIM's documentation, I have added my own experiences and ways of explaining each element in the hope that if you need it, you will find my documentation simplier to follow.

Now, a couple of footnotes; We know you can fudge a BlackBerry Server to work on an Exchange box (exclusing BPS), and we know you can get away with installing it on a machine with perhaps lower than recommended specs (depending on the size of the user base), but my theory behind the below is on the fact that most people want a BES server which they can get support on from RIM, therefore my checklist ensures a supported configuration (no corners cut on Port3101)!! Also please note my checklist is based on an implementation for Exchange 2003 (2007 is a bit more painful regarding permissions and CDO, and I'll cover this in another prerequisite thread specifically for that version of Exchange).

BES Prerequisites for Exchange 2003

Hardware Requirements

RIM’s minimum recommendations for the hardware on which you want to run BES are:

Intel Pentium IV processor (2GHz or higher)
1GB of free disk space

Your BES should also be located near your Exchange Server to avoid issues with latency.

Network Environment & Firewall Configuration

Do not put the BES in a DMZ

Configure your firewall to initiate a bi-directional TCP/IP connection to an external server on port 3101

Verify that the firewall can resolve Internet addresses using DNS

If using a proxying firewall, ensure that the proxy is transparent

SPAM & Anti Virus Systems

You must allow .DAT file attachments to pass through to users mailboxes for Enterprise Activation

You must ensure your Anti SPAM software does not prevent activation messages reaching users’ mailboxes. The best way to configure this is to allow all emails from *.blackberry.net

BES Software Requirements

Your BES server will need to run Microsoft Windows 2000 (Server or Advanced Server editions) or Microsoft Windows Server 2003 SP1 or later

You will need to install Microsoft Exchange 2003 System Manager ONLY (do not install a full Exchange Server on the BES computer)

Microsoft Internet Explorer version 6.0 or later

Adobe Acrobat Reader 3.0 or later (to read the user guides)

You must install SQL 2005 Express or SQL 2000 (or later) on the same computer as the BlackBerry Enterprise Server. You can also utilise a remote SQL server if required (this has failover benefits).

Microsoft Exchange Infrastructure

Microsoft Exchange 2003 native environment

Any Microsoft Exchange service packs that are installed on your mail server must also be installed on the BES computer

Do not install Microsoft Outlook on the computer on which you intend to install BES

Install and register the cdo.dll hot fix in C:\Program Files\Exchsrvr\BIN\ on the BES computer to obtain the correct Messaging API (MAPI) version. The version number on the BES computer must be the same or higher than the CDO.dll on your Exchange Server

Verify that the BES is in the same Microsoft Exchange domain as your messaging server

Configuration Database

If you intend to install your database on the same computer as BES, install one of the following database programs:

1. Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Service Pack 3a (or later)

3. Microsoft SQL Server 2005 (Express, Professional or Enterprise)

If your configuration database is on a remote server, you must enable network protocols to make a connection

Microsoft SQL Server must not be installed with case-sensitive collation settings. Use the default case-insensitive collation settings.

Install one of the following Microsoft Data Access Component (MDAC) versions on the computer where you plan to install the BlackBerry Enterprise Server:

1. MDAC 2.8 with Security Patch MS04-003 (version 2000.85.1025.00)

2. MDAC 2.8 Service Pack 2 (version 2000.86.1830.00)

If you are using Microsoft SQL Server, download and install the appropriate Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) driver.

- Microsoft SQL Server 2000 driver for JDBC Service Pack 3:
- Microsoft SQL Server 2005 driver for JDBC:

Database Permissions

If creating the configuration database on the BES computer, assign System Administrator permission

If creating the configuration database on a remote database server during the BES installation, assign Server Administrator and Database Creator permissions

BESAdmin Permissions

Create a Windows 2000 Domain User to act as your BES service account and create an Exchange mailbox for the newly created user.

Initialize the mailbox by sending a test message to the newly created service account mailbox

The service account requires a minimum of the following Windows 2000 permissions:

* Log on locally with local permissions
* Log on as a service
* Local administrator

The service account requires a minimum of the following Microsoft Exchange 2003 permissions:

* View Only Administrator. This permission should be set to enable (at minimum) access at the Administrative Groups level in Microsoft Exchange 2003 to be able to read from the Active Directory.

* Administrator Information store, Send as, and Receive as. These permissions should be set at the Microsoft Exchange server level.

You must ensure your Group Policy does not conflict and override the permissions set for the BESAdmin

Terminal Services

Windows Server 2000: If installed, select Remote Administration mode
Windows Server 2003: Do not install; select Remote Desktop mode on the System Properties Remote tab

Multiple Languages

You can enable additional languages to support Unicode in the BlackBerry Manager using the Windows regional options

Download the Microsoft Internet Explorer Multilanguage support pack and adjust the encoding to view Chinese Simplified [GB2312] and, or Chinese Traditional [Big5]


If you are running a USB hub, verify that the driver supports USB 1.1 compliant hubs

As a final point, when it comes to actually installing your BES server, make sure you are logged on as the BESAdmin account!!
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