Configuring Lotus Sametime on a Blackberry mobile device

Discover the steps to configure Lotus Sametime on a BlackBerry mobile device when running software versions 4.2 or earlier through version 4.3 and later.

Configuring and accessing Lotus Sametime on a BlackBerry device is not as simple as it may seem. The method to do this, which first requires careful planning and preparation, also depends on which version of the BlackBerry software you're using. This tutorial outlines step by step how to configure and access Lotus Sametime on a BlackBerry mobile device.

This article originally was to be titled, "Eight steps for configuring Sametime awareness on a BlackBerry device." Then reality hit. What I learned while researching how to configure and access Lotus Sametime on my BlackBerry mobile device is detailed below so that you don't encounter the same difficulties.

Configuration prerequisites

There are a few prerequisites for your organization's configurations that will not be discussed in-depth in this article. However, it is important to outline them briefly.

  1. Access the Lotus Sametime server using the RIM-provided Sametime client.
  2. Make certain that a working BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) for Lotus Domino version 4.1 or later has been installed and configured for access by your Sametime clients. To determine that this has been done, open the BlackBerry Manager on the BlackBerry server, and look for an entry on the left under BlackBerry Domain, and then under servers. It is usually in the form of servername_BBIM.
  3. The BlackBerry handheld device must be running software version 4.0 or later.
  4. Ensure that a working Lotus Sametime server is running, properly configured and enabled for end users. There are some basic requirements here, but a commonly missed item is that the Sametime server configuration must be set to trust the BlackBerry server's IP. More information on how to set the Sametime server to trust a BES IP can be found on the BlackBerry website.

Next, you must know where to obtain the Lotus Sametime client software to download the necessary software. Click this link to download the Sametime client software. You'll be able to download the free software and all you have to do is sign off on the license agreements.

There are two versions to download: Sametime.zip and SametimeOTA.zip. BlackBerry administrators can use the OTA version to deliver the Sametime software "over the air." This article details how to install the software on a local PC, so click on the Sametime.zip version.

Note: It's important to remember that only a few steps are different for Lotus Notes Domino administrators and the OTA software.

Finally, how do you install the client software so that you can connect to your Lotus Sametime server and benefit from all the great Sametime features you have on your PC or laptop with only your BlackBerry device? The steps involved depend on what handheld software version your BlackBerry device is running. I'll outline the difference between running version 4.2 or earlier of the handheld software and a later version.

  Installing Sametime with BlackBerry software v4.2 or earlier  

In general nothing additional is needed. Just follow these steps:

  1. Download the zip file from the previously provided link for the BlackBerry website .
  2. Extract the files to the same local drive to which your Desktop Manager software is installed ( C: drive) with the file path:
    <drive>:\Program Files\Common Files\Research In Motion\Shared\Applications
  3. Note: If this directory does not exist, create it and place it in that specific directory.

  4. Open a command prompt, and change to the following directory (as above, <drive> is likely the C: drive) to:
    <drive>:\Program Files\Common Files\Research In Motion\Apploader
  5. From the command prompt, type loader/index to create special package files of this Lotus Sametime install package for your desktop manager to add the product to your mobile phone, namely "PkgDBCache.xml" and "specification.pkg".
  6. Open the copy of the Desktop Manager, and connect your phone to your PC.
  7. Launch the application loader from the Desktop Manager software.
  8. When you get to the list of available applications for your device, look for the following:

    BlackBerry Instant Messaging for IBM Lotus Sametime

    Note: I installed my device using v2.0 of the client and this was its name; the the name for v1.1 most likely is similar.

    If your device name isn't listed, click "Add," go to the path in Step 2 and locate the file named sametime_en.alx (or your appropriate language version of the file). Select this file and click "Open." This should add this application to the list.

  9. Put a check in the provided checkbox next to the BlackBerry Instant Messaging for IBM Lotus Sametime application and click "Next" to install.
  10. After completing the installation, the handheld will reboot. From the main screen, click on the "Applications" icon and you will see a grey chat icon. When highlighted, it's called "Enterprise Messaging."

The client is now installed and ready to use. The final steps will be covered at the end of this tutorial.

  Installing Sametime with BlackBerry software v4.3 and later

Installing Lotus Sametime with BlackBerry software version 4.3 or later is slightly different than the previous method; and can cause of some pain. Most devices are running handheld software v4.3 or later now, so these steps are critical. Many steps are the same as detailed previously. I have included "sub" steps anywhere in which the steps vary.

For those running an environment with a mix of handheld versions -- earlier than 4.3 with version 4.3 and later -- the sub steps in Step 2 can be performed first. The same ALX file can be used for all versions, just in different folder locations.

  1. Download the zip file from the BlackBerry website.
  2. Extract the files to the same local drive to which your Desktop Manager software is installed (C: drive) with the file path:
    <drive>:\Program Files\Common Files\Research In Motion\Shared\Applications

    Note: If that directory does not exist, create it and place it in this directory.

    • Go to the new directory and edit the file "sametime_en.alx" (or the appropriate language version of the ALX file you use) using Notepad. It might be helpful to turn on word wrap in Notepad. The ALX file is structured like an XML file with beginning and ending tags. The following steps are essentially those outlined in BlackBerry KB article #14654.

    • There are two starting tags similar to the following:
      <directory _appsVersion="[4.1.0,4.2.0)">

      These tags should be changed to:
      <directory>

    • There is one starting tag that reads:
      <fileset Java="1.0" _appsVersion="[4.1.0,)" Colour="True">

      This tag should be changed to:
      <fileset Java="1.0" Colour="True">

    • After making these changes, close and save the "sametime_en.alx" file (or the appropriate language version of the file you chose to edit).

  3. Open a command prompt and change to the following directory (as above, <drive> is likely C:):
    <drive>:\Program Files\Common Files\Research In Motion\Apploader
  4. From the command prompt, type loader/index. This will create special package files for the Lotus Sametime install package for your desktop manager to use to add the product to your phone, for example "PkgDBCache.xml" and "specification.pkg."

    • Go to the <drive>:\Program Files\Common Files\Research In Motion\Shared\Applications drive.
    • Note: <drive> is generally the C: drive and is where the desktop software is installed.

    • Select the Sametime folder and either copy it or cut it, if you want to permanently move it to its new location.
    • Change the directory back one folder/directory to the following path:
      <drive>:\Program Files\Common Files\Research In Motion\Shared
    • Paste the Sametime folder you copied or cut to the above path.

  5. Open your copy of the Desktop Manager and connect the phone to your PC.
  6. Start the application loader from the Desktop Manager software.
  7. When you get to the list of available applications for your device, look for the following:

    BlackBerry Instant Messaging for IBM Lotus Sametime

    Note: I installed this using v2.0 of the client and this was its name. Most likely, the name is the same for v1.1.

    If it is not listed, click "Add," go to the path explained in Step 2 and locate

    Related resources from SearchDomino.com:
    Considerations for deploying mobile devices on Lotus Notes Domino

    Managing and maintaining mobile devices on Lotus Notes Domino

    Lotus Notes Domino and Mobile Devices Reference Center

    the file named sametime_en.alx (or your appropriate language version of the file). Select the file and click Open. This should add the above application to the list.
  8. Put a check in the checkbox next to the BlackBerry Instant Messaging for IBM Lotus Sametime application and click "Next" to install.
  9. After completing, the handheld will reboot. On the main screen you will see a grey chat icon. When highlighted, it is called "Enterprise Messaging. This is different than it was in the earlier versions in which it was installed under the "Applications."
  Final steps to installing Lotus Sametime on a BlackBerry

Open the "Enterprise Messenger" application and enter the username that is recognized by Lotus Notes Domino and the one you use to access the server through a browser, your HTTP password and your preferred availability status. You can choose to save the password and have it log on automatically, if preferred. Click "Log On."

In my experience, this works immediately. In one instance, I had to reboot the Lotus Sametime server to get it to work, but this may have been because the server IM portion of the BlackBerry server wasn't installed and needed to be installed.

BlackBerry provides a guide to using the Enterprise Messenger application on your handheld device, if you need to troubleshoot any further.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:   
Michael Kinder
Michael "Mike" Kinder is a senior application developer and administrator with over 12 years experience in the Lotus Notes/Domino environment, including work with BlackBerry and Barracuda products. He is currently building a Managed Solutions/Call Center company in Northern Maine. He is available for consulting opportunities in both development and administration. He can be reached at michael.kinder@virtualmanagedsolutions.com.
This was first published in June 2008

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