BlackBerry devices are quickly growing in popularity for both business and personal use. It is a perfect way for individuals to stay connected with their Exchange email and calendar from any location that provides wireless network support. If a user has a mailbox on an Exchange server, messages can be relayed from the user’s mailbox to the BlackBerry device. When the BlackBerry is connected to your computer, any messages, contacts, and so on can be synchronized. A BlackBerry can also keep track of an Exchange calendar. Any new appointments in your Exchange calendar can be automatically sent to your BlackBerry device.

There are three methods of getting email to a BlackBerry device. The method you choose will depend upon factors such as cost and network configuration. The three methods include:

  1. Forwarding mail from your existing email account(s) to your BlackBerry device (i.e. [email protected], it varies from carrier to carrier)
  2. Configuring your BlackBerry account (using the BlackBerry Web Client that your carrier provides) to poll your POP/IMAP accounts on a regular basis.
  3. Install a BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) on your network that communicates with your corporate mail server (Exchange/Notes/Groupwise server). Unfortunately, this solution is by far the most costly. Individual users (the “prosumers” as RIM likes to call them) tend to go for one of the two options described above. If you really want Exchange, you can actually find hosted services that run their own Exchange servers and that have a BES as well. On the other hand, for companies that have their own Exchange servers and a large number of users carrying BlackBerry devices, implementing a BlackBerry Enterprise Server may be the ideal solution.

In this series of articles, I will outline the activation process that needs to be completed before you can begin sending and receiving emails from a handheld. The articles assumes there is an Exchange server on the network and a server that functions as the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES).

[tags]blackberry,rim,email,network configuration,exchange,prosumer,wireless support[/tags]