Eight best practices for running BlackBerry Enterprise Server on Lotus Notes Domino

Discover eight best practices and maintenance tips that will keep BlackBerry Enterprise Server running properly in your Lotus Notes Domino environment.

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Installing BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) on a Lotus Notes Domino system is relatively straightforward, but you need to pay careful attention to certain configuration issues to avoid availability and performance problems. These eight best practices and maintenance tips will keep BlackBerry Enterprise Server running properly in your Lotus Notes Domino environment.

  1. Is the Domino server running the BlackBerry Enterprise Server software either in the LocalDomainServers group or a part of the standard server organizational unit (OU)? (Some environments are configured to have all the Lotus Domino servers in their own OU so they can be referenced using "/YourServerOU/YourOrganization") You should add the Lotus Domino server (or the LocalDomainServers group or wild-card reference) to a group called "BlackBerry Admins" (or something similar). This group can then be used for all access control list (database- and server-level) needs.

  2. If the Lotus Domino server running the BES software is configured as specified in item #1 above, make certain that all Local Domain servers (by group or wild-card reference) are set to "Run unrestricted methods and operations" on the server document. (If you're still running Lotus Notes Domino 5.x, the value goes in the "Run unrestricted Java/Javascript/COM"). Because it uses agents that require high-level access to function, BlackBerry Enterprise Server will not work properly -- if at all -- without these settings.

    Related BlackBerry resources for Lotus Notes Domino:
    Stop spam on BlackBerry mobile devices

    A batch file to back up all active state BlackBerry databases

    Wireless Integration Development Learning Guide

    Mobile device management tips for Lotus Notes Domino

  3. Add BES task to the ServerTasks line in the notes.ini file of the Lotus Domino server running BlackBerry Enterprise Server. As an alternative option, you can also configure Domino to load the BES task using a program document instead of creating a direct reference in notes.ini. If not added to the ServerTasks line or in a program document, the administrator has to launch BES manually from the console each time the server is restarted by using "load BES" at the console.

  4. In the user-state databases, make certain that the special BlackBerry Admin group you set up is in the ACL with 'Manager' rights. Members of the BlackBerry Admin group need 'Manager' access so they can update the ACL, delete the database should the user be removed from the system, as well as perform any other database maintenance that might be necessary on the state databases.

  5. If not using roaming profiles, user mail files should be configured using the Domino Web Access mail template in order for Personal Information Management (PIM) synchronization to work properly. (In Lotus Notes Domino 5.x, it's known as the iNotes mail template.)

  6. If a profile database becomes corrupt, delete the database and restart Domino Server to recreate the profile database from the Microsoft SQL Server information (if using a version of BlackBerry Enterprise Server version 4.1 or later, an IBM DB2 server could also be used).

  7. Make sure port 3101 (TCP) is open on the firewall for outbound initiated BlackBerry messages. It is a TCP/IP operation that maintains the state relationship for communication.

  8. On BlackBerry, enable database pruning -- it keeps the size of user state databases in check. When the pruning process runs, it selects 20 users to process (their state database) each night at the designated time. The Domino agent tries to remove documents in the state databases of the 20 users in 20 minutes. If it cannot, the agent terminates. If it completes the initial 20 and has extra time, it will start work on another user outside of the original 20 selected.

About the author: Michael "Mike" Kinder is a senior application developer for a software company in Caribou, Maine, where he both develops in and administers a Lotus Notes Domino environment. Mike has more than 12 years experience with Lotus Notes and Domino and has worked in many different environments. He is currently available for consulting opportunities in both development and administration. To keep sharp, he dabbles in C# .NET, Java, Web technologies, and C++.

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With regards to enabling database pruning on BlackBerry, as noted in #8, where exactly is this setting enabled? Is it enabled in Domino, since that's where the state databases are stored, on the BES, or on the BlackBerry device itself?
—Jeff F.

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Based on your question, I'll address where the database pruning setting is maintained on the Blackberry server.

From the BES server software, select the server. You'll see a navigational tool in the lower right-hand pane of the screen. In the "Service Control and Customization" area, select "State Database Pruning." A dialog box will appear with choices. The settings are pretty obvious, but there are some limits. To enable this option, be sure that the checkbox at the top is not checked. Checking this box actually disables the setting.
—Michael Kinder, tip author

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This was first published in August 2007

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