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Moving Blackberry Express Server 5.0 from Exchange 2003 to 2010

Blackberry’s are still around, even in the BYOD world we now operate in.  In fact some of my mobile users are choosing Blackberry’s for whatever reason.  Since there’s less than 10 of them in total we downgraded last year from our BES subscription to Blackberry Express Server which is surprisingly stable.  Now that I’ve migrated the company mail platform to Exchange 2010 from 2003 I had to point the Express Server to the new mail server.  Here’s how…

  1. Make sure the BES version is at least 5.0.3 Express with MR1 for SP3 applied.  No earlier versions are compatible with Exchange 2010.
  2. Stop all the BlackBerry Services on the server hosting the Blackberry Express Server.

Make sure the Exchange 2010 server is ready for Blackberry Express connectivity.

  1. As of Exchange 2007 Microsoft did not include MAPI Client and Collaboration Data Objects 1.2.1 in the base product install.  It is required for BES communications.  Download and install it on the 2010 server: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=1004
  2. Move the BESadmin mailbox to Exchange 2010 in the Exchange Management Console and then delete the move request.  This mailbox can also be moved at the time you are moving all other users mailboxes but must be moved before attempting to connect the BES to the 2010 server.
  3. Make sure the BESAdmin account is not hidden from the Global Address List in any way.
  4. On the Exchange 2010 server open the Exchange Management Shell, then copy and run the following commands:

(Note: You may need to wait about 10-15 minutes for Active Directory replication to take place across all your domain controllers before running the next command, assigning the new throttling policy to the BESAdmin mailbox.  If you receive an error, just wait for replication to complete.)

Now it’s time to make the changes on the BES host:

  1. Run the Registry Editor and navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows Messaging Subsystem\.
  2. Right click on the Profiles sub key and select “Export”.
  3. Save the exported key in any location you choose.
  4. Right click and “Delete” the entire Profiles sub key.
  5. Close the Registry Editor.
  6. Go to Start > Program Files > BlackBerry Enterprise Server > BlackBerry Server Configuration > Blackberry Server Tab.  Click “Edit MAPI Profile” and put in the local name of the new Exchange 2010 Server to configure it for the Blackberry Service Account (e.g. BESadmin).
  7. Start all of the BlackBerry Enterprise Server services.

At this point you can move your Blackberry users over to the new Exchange Server if you have not already done so.  Then launch the Blackberry Administration Web Console and check the time of the “Last Message Sent” to see if messages are flowing to the user devices.  If the Admin Web Console won’t launch it is typically because the prerequisite MAPI Client and Collaboration Data Objects 1.2.1 version 6.5.8211 or higher is not installed on the Exchange 2010 server.

Hopes this eases the transition pain at least a little bit…

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