With the release of BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) 5.0 and the large amount of new features on offer, many administrators, IT architects and professionals will be looking very seriously (if not already considering) at migrating to, or deploying, the new version of software.
However, whether you are an experienced BlackBerry Administrator or have just begun your foray into the administrative capabilities of the your BlackBerry environment, there has always been one cause of frustration suffered by all - the ability to move users within an organisation with the least amount of effort and service downtime.
Enter BlackBerry Enterprise Transporter, or "BET". BET is a new, free tool that comes bundled with BES 5.0. It's aim is to move users seamlessly from one BlackBerry domain and configuration database to another, without the need for users to enterprise activate. It's designed to be robust and won't move a user unless the operation can be performed successfully. There are some caveats, however, most noticeably with older devices (4.3.0 and 126.96.36.199 handheld code). They'll still work, but you may need to enterprise activate the device in order to complete the operation.
Note: if you have a 4.1.x environment sharing a BESMgmt database with a 5.0 server then BET is unnecessary.
BET can be installed on either BES, or a workstation. You specify the credentials you want to use for logging in to each of the config databases when running BET, so it doesn't need to be installed under a BESAdmin account. I''ve used it fine on an XP workstation.
Note: BET won't create the database for you - this article assumes you have a working 4.1.x and 5.0 environment, ready to go, with majority of users on the 4.1.x BES.
When you run BET you'll notice that many of the options on the screen are greyed out and un-selectable. They will become available as you choose the options and work your way down.
Step 1: User Manifest
First create a manifest, or load one. If it's your first time, click the "New" button next to the text box and it will ask you where to save it. The manifest is simply an XML file with the details of the source and destination databases, as well as users and their move states (pending, complete, etc).
Note: DON'T choose "Bulk Server Mode" unless one of your BES' is offline (i.e. you only have one SRPID that you want to use on your new BES after you turn off your old one).
Step 2: BlackBerry Databases
Once created, you'll have the ability to choose your source and destination databases. In the "Source Domain", click "Configure". The "Label" is just a naming reference for you and will store details of every SQL server you specify for future reference. If you're using an external SQL then choose "<new>", otherwise choose LocalSqlServer.
If you choose "New", then give it an appropriate label, enter the hostname or IP address of the SQL server and choose the authentication. Enter the username/password if using SQL, otherwise Windows NT Authentication will use the credentials you're currently logged on as.
Enter the database name (default is "BESMgmt", unless you've changed it when installing it) and then click "Test Connection".
Perform the same tasks for your destination domain, making sure you test the connection.
Step 3: Manifest Configuration
Click "Details". From the new window you can see several drop down boxes at the top. If you have already defined groups and IT policies on your new server then you can assign users to those groups and policies before you move them.
Note: BET does NOT move your existing IT policies and groups from your old domain to your new one.
Choose your users from the left hand pane and click the right arrow to the select them for moving.
Step 4: Preview
Click the preview button to *simulate* a move. The user's service won't be stopped and any errors and warnings will be displayed before the users are actually moved. Warnings aren't a bad thing - you'll typically get them if the user's device is off or hasn't been contacted for some time. The warning is there to let you know that the user won't get the new service books until they turn their device back on.
Step 5: Migration
If you received warnings in step 4, rectify them first, or make a note of them. If you're comfortable proceeding with the warnings then check the "Ignore Warnings" box and press "Migrate". A console window will appear showing the tasks that are occurring. Typically, each user will take around 5 minutes.
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