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Scalix Wiki -> How-Tos -> BES Installation and Troubleshooting


This is the attempt of a summarized and commented Installation and Troubleshooting Guide for running the Blackberry Enterprise Server for Microsoft Exchange with Scalix. It is currently under construction.

Things to know before

The official product name of the BES is "BlackBerry Enterprise Server v5.0 for Microsoft(R) Exchange". This means nothing more or less that it will be hard to get official support from RIM or your Provider as you will run it in an untested environment with a different messaging backend. "Scalix Connect for Blackberry Enterprise Server" is a product which is based on the standard "Scalix Connect for Microsoft Outlook". We will see that there are some drawbacks resulting from this fact.

Furthermore it is a good idea to use the internet search engine of your choice and look for typical pitfalls, especially if you have never installed a BES or BPS before. You will find interesting articles like How to avoid problems when installing Blackberry Enterprise Server 5.0. Other useful resources are listed at the bottom of this document.

Software Requirements

Your Scalix Server should run on the latest available version (currently 11.4.6) by using one of the follwing licenses:

  • Enterprise Edition (System Class: Multi-Server)
  • Hosting Edition
  • Small Business Edition (System Class: Single-Server) with BES-option (the license shows a line like: "Option: Name=BES;Expiry=2020-12-31")

For the Software Requirements you should refer to the "Installation and Configuration Guide" provided by RIM BES Documentation for Administrators.

Remark: According to the current "Supported Environments" documents Windows 2008R2 is not supported, but the Release Notes for BES 5.0.2 states that this has changed with this release.


The installation routine for BES will allow to to use a local database based on the Microsoft SQL Server Desktop Engine (MSDE). The biggest drawback - beside the usual performance considerations - is the limitation to two Messaging Agents. While the theoretical number of mailboxes to be handled by one Messaging Agent against a Exchange Backend is 500, we have to notice that the maximum number of mailboxes per Agent is dramatically lower when using Scalix Connect for Blackberry. This is primarily based on the fact that the software foundation of this Connector is founded on the standard version for MS Outlook. From experience we can see that sites that are planning to serve more than 50 BES-users should consider to use a dedicated SQL server.

Hardware Requirements

The minimum hardware require for a BES according to RIM (up to 200 users) is a single core 2GHz Xeon, 2GB RAM and 2 drives in RAID 1 mode. This seems to be a bit undersized for a fully "supported environment" as well. By using Scalix as a backend there is a heavy dependency to the size of the mailboxes and the number of items in the monitored folders to the memory and CPU usage. Especially VIP users - the primary audience for a BB device - tend to own large unlimited mailboxes. As there are currently no known performance tests for a BES using Scalix as a backend which is showing dependencies to the mailbox utilization we should add more safety to the hardware equipment.

On the Scalix backend we only see a slight increase of the hardware utilization. Usually Scalix ActiveSync will be more hardware intensive than the Blackberry solution.


There are already some useful hints about the installation process in the Scalix Connect for Blackberry Enterprise Server 1.0.1 - Release and Installation Notes. It is worth to mention that the order listed there is to be followed without any exception.

Some additional remarks:

  • Create BES admin user on the Scalix server

The BES Admin needs to be a Scalix Premium User.

  • Install BES Server OS

We will see, if Windows 2008R2 will work too. It may probably stated as not officially supported until Scalix QA has included it into their test environment.

  • Install Active Directory

The advice 'Ensure the "BESAdmin" account has administrator privileges by adding it to the "Domain Admins" group.' conflicts with the official advice by RIM. It is a better idea to follow the BES Installation and Configuration Guide ("Configure permissions for the Windows account") and add only permissione to the BES server locally.

  • Install MAPI CDO

Use the version that is linked from the Release Notes. The BES-Setup will object, but other CDO-versions havent been tested.

  • Install Outlook

Yes. We need it. And we know that RIM does not recommend to install e-mail client software on the BES. But the current version of Scalix Connect for Blackberry needs some libraries provided by Outlook only.

  • Install Scalix Connect for BES

This is a pretty straight-forward step.

  • Create the BES MAPI profiles

At least at this point you should work by using the BESAdmin Windows account. profile names, save password influences of password policies and SSO

  • Install BES/BPS

Other Resources