While at an event yesterday RIM went out on the record confirming the general features of BES 5.0 codename Argon. The most interesting new thing they mentioned that I did not know before is that the reason behind the Argon codename. Turns out it is a geek reference to the Argon element (remember your periodic table?) which is both a noble gas and stable. They also confirmed that the release of 5.0 is scheduled for the second quarter of this year.
NOTE: After I walked out of RIM’s presentation yesterday I realized they had not mentioned (or omitted) some of the more interesting features of BES 5.0. I hope they have not removed them from the release but it was a general session. I am just really waiting for the public folder sync… Just in case you don’t know them I listed them below.
Features they did not mention that were in previous BES Beta’s:
- BlackBerry support for device linked to multiple BES (one for policy & one for applications)
- Remote option setting – allowing admins to set the default options for a device
- Viewing personal distribution lists on your BlackBerry
- View, copy, and use contacts in public folders
- Sync a public folder with your Berry
- Viewing personal contacts subfolder on your BlackBerry
The new 5.0 version of BES is more focused on BES administrators rather than end users. This release is great for administrators since it focuses on stabilizing the RIM server and providing for high availability. It also adds a ton of features that make managing a BES easier. Supposedly Argon has been running in production at RIM for 2 years now but that just makes me wonder why they waited so long…
Administrator features include:
- High availability Master/Slave redundant server. I have no idea why they did not use an active/active cluster… but its better than nothing!
- Enhanced Device Activation Diagnostics
- Easiest upgrade ever
- New web based management console
- Scheduled administrative tasks
- Over the air upgrades of device software
- Granular control and permissions based on roles
The main new features that users can expect that RIM confirmed:
- Viewing attachments that come with meeting invitations and calendar items (I did not even know you could not do this currently)
- Add, rename, & delete folders from your Berry
- Some vague mention of storing email along with attachments on MicroSD cards
- The ability to access corporate file shares behind the firewall
- Creating inbox filters from your berry
So what do you think? Are you going to push your BES admin for the upgrade? I know of one shop that got their BES upgraded just to support the separate inbox icon for BES email.