Blackberry 4.1 Update progress

I’ve had several of you ping me to ask me about my Blackberry Enterprise Server 4.1 upgrade and how it went. So I wanted to give you a heads-up as to where I am in the process right now.

To give some perspective, here’s our (rather small) environment:

  • Domino 7.0
  • Windows 2000 Server
  • The Microsoft developer SQL edition (the freebie that comes in the install)
  • We have 60 users
  • We were at BES version 4.0

First off, the documentation gives you a bunch of checklists to make sure you have everything ready to go, and then it has info on how to upgrade from the various previous version that are out there. Coming from version 4.0 I could do an in-place upgrade, or several other options (like cut-over or phased.) Anyway, in-place upgrade it was.

Now at this point, the documentation starts to suck. My documentation consisted of this (verbatim):

1. Double-click the setup.exe file.
2. Complete the on-screen instructions.
3. When prompted to restart the computer, click Yes.
4. Sign in using the same account that you used for the setup program.
5. Complete the on-screen instructions.

This is all well and good unless you’re not sure what some of the “on-screen instructions” mean. Because they really aren’t “instructions” per se, but rather “fields with minimal information on what the hell they do.” This doesn’t really intimidate me, they simply annoy me. So, I go through the install, filling in whatever I think I need to, and we get to the reboot part. So far, so good. The machine reboots and comes back to finish the install. Still good until it gets to the last item:

Installing MDS Services

This churns for quite awhile, 10 – 15 minutes maybe before it comes back and says that it has failed and I need to check logs. It simply has an EXIT button. So I hit exit, not sure what to do next, and looking at the logs aren’t much help. But, while I’m doing this, the Blackberry server is actually up and running. So I run some tests:

Wirelessly reconciling email? – CHECK
Able to send out email from the device? – CHECK
Able to use the Blackberry Browser (the one through MDS) to browse the web? – CHECK
Able to view attachments? – CHECK

Hmmm, so everything that WE are using as a company is working absolutely fine. Let me reboot and see if it still works? Yup. Everything is fine. So I go into the Blackberry Manager, and the ability to connect to MDS (and all the options with it) fail with an Unable to Connect to Server error.

At this point it was the end of a 13 hour day, so I decided to call it a night. All today everything continues to work. I’ll be calling RIM’s tSupport in the next couple of days to have them give me a hand. I’m pretty sure that I will need MDS actually working if I want to get Blackberry devices talking to Sametime. I’ll let you know how it goes…