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BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) 4.0 Documentation Found Online!

BIS documentation 4

It has been awhile since we last heard about an upcoming update to the BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) that delivers email and other info to BlackBerrys. The last few updates have been pretty lackluster with the exception of some contact and calendar sync for some services but not Exchange… The latest documentation for BIS 4.0 was spotted by N4BB and lists some more changes coming to BIS but not really anything groundbreaking. The main change seems to be that RIM is moving towards using your BlackBerry ID login account for BIS too. Something they should have done years ago…

Here is a quick summary of the changes with the full descriptions below:

  • Integration with BlackBerry ID (BBID)
  • Improved BIS End User Communications
  • Automatic Login improvements
  • Support for new service tiers
  • Google Calendar Improvements

Full description of changes:

Integration with BlackBerry ID (BBID)

Developed by RIM, BlackBerry ID (BBID) provides users with a single user account and credentials to access RIM services and third party services. Users can store and manage their personal information and preferences which can be used to provide personalized application experiences.

BlackBerry ID provides a unified view of a user’s information and preferences to RIM services and participating 3rd parties, who can use BlackBerry ID to authenticate users and access personal information in order to quickly enrol a user and personalize an application to user preferences.

With the release of BIS 4.0, all devices with handheld software 6.1+ and a BBID will have their BIS account associated with their BBID.  The use of BBID will provide users with the ability to seamlessly switch their devices by inputting their BBID on their new device.  This will switch all services over to the new device, including the BIS Email account.

Note: Users with a BBID will not be able to access the HTML user interface – only on device management through the email setup application will be available.

Improved BIS End User Communications

Currently, BIS communicates with end users for a variety of different reasons (i.e. upgrade notifications). These communications are sent using PIN messaging, which are text based and do not allow for dynamic content. As a result, these messages often ignored due to their unofficial look/feel.

In BIS 4.0, a new method of communication will be introduced to help improve the effectiveness of the messages BIS sends to end users.  The improved messages aim to help improve the customer experience when action is required by creating a richer, more appealing message. Improvements will include branding all messages with the BlackBerry logo (making it look more official), and ensuring the message appear at the top of the inbox, even after other messages are received afterwards.  The improved messages will also be sent in rich text, and allow for a user to launch their Email Settings directly from the message. The improved communications will help reduce support calls by increasing the likelihood of an end user resolving their issue by reading and following the steps outlined in the message.

Note: Improved BIS communications requires HH SW 6.1+.

Automatic Login Improvements

Previously, BIS users who had a username and password were prompted to enter their credentials whenever they accessed their BIS account from their device.  Customers often forgot their credentials, consequently driving support calls.  In BIS 3.2, the existing Automatic Login functionality was updated for an improved experience for users who have a username and password. Users who access their BIS account using a username and password on their device by using the email setup application (devices running 4.6 handheld software or earlier) were automatically logged into their BIS account, thus eliminating the need for a user to enter their credentials. In BIS 4.0, this improvement has been extended to all username password users who use the Email Setup application on 6.0+ devices. This will provide an improved experience for more BIS users by not having to remember BIS credentials when accessing their account from their device, helping reduce support calls related to forgotten BIS account credentials.

Note: Users who have a BlackBerry hosted email address (@<carrier>, and currently do not have a password assigned to this email address will use their BIS account password for validation actions.

Once BIS 4.0 is released, the user will have to enter their BIS account password  when they make changes to their hosted email address from their device.

Google Calendar Synchronization Improvements

The following improvements to Google Calendar Sync have been included in BIS 4.0:

  • Delete sync for events that belonged to a deleted Calendar
    • If the user goes to Calendar Settings in Google Cal and clicks on the “Delete” link for the primary calendar, then confirms the deletion in the Gmail UI, the events deleted on the Gmail calendar are deleted from the HH as well.
  • Status field sync
    • The “Status” field (free/busy status) is synchronized between the HH and the Google calendar

User Interface Changes

Remove Import Control:

  • In BIS 4.0, the import control option within the HTML user interface will be removed.
  • This feature previously allowed users to have BIS check Outlook for integration settings during setup of a new email account.

Secret Question:

  • Currently, BIS prompts a user to enter a ‘secret question’ and ‘answer to your secret question’ that allows them to retrieve their BlackBerry email address password in the event it has been forgotten.
  • In BIS 4.0 the text will be changed and users will now be asked to enter a ‘security question and ‘answer to your security question’
10 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. And still no launch of BlackBerry Protect. Booo on you RIM!

  2. If I switched carriers would I loose my @rogers.blackberry email address or is there a way to take it with you or get a permanant forward?

  3. Wow. So once again, nothing really useful. Especially for those of us who simply don’t use Google. They jump a whole version number, and it’s only for some things in an OS that isn’t even out yet.

    Still waiting to hear about expanding the limit of email truncation. Or, how about actual ActiveSync integration so that we can play with those other smart phones out there.

    I’m not giving up my Berry, but it would be nice that the iPhone and androids out there would have one less thing that they can say they have over BB. The main thing that is causing BB to lose the small business market that simply can’t afford a full BES system on top of their Exchange servers. Yes, RIM released BESX, but the damage was done. If other small businesses did like the office I work at did – they dumped BES as soon as the iPhone picked up ActiveSync natively. Now there is no incentive for the bosses to consider BES-anything – free or otherwise. Those of us still packing BBs have to make do with OWA for email, and wired usb syncing with DM for everything else. That’s just pitiful

  4. I really like the seamless device switching capability with BBID. Too bad this only applies to BB’s running 6.1+. :(

  5. Glad to see an update. Any kind of update is ok by me.

  6. What about multiple Google calendar sync? This upgrade should have been labeled It doesn’t deserve the major upgrade status that it implies; i.e., 4.0.


  8. release date on BIS 4.0? if 6.1 is required for some features then this tells us when to expect to see 6.1!

  9. I have any problem with my application installation on real BlackBerry

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