We wanted to set up an automated testing environment for the Blackberry in which we could test against multiple versions of a real BES. We have a pretty solid framework for automated testing of OfficeWriter, and since it proved itself to be very beneficial, we decided to try to do the same for our BlackBerry product. We already have a framework in place which runs automated tests on the simulator using the MDS simulator. We even extended this framework to run against an actual SharePoint server, although that’s a topic for another blog post. So, if precedence counts for anything, setting up an automated test environment for BlackBerry should have been a snap, right? Wrong. Here I wish to describe the path we walked down as we tried to set up a test environment that would run automatically against a real BES.
In order for a simulator to run against a real BES, it needs to connect to Desktop Manager, so we have set up two (Windows 7 64bit) virtual machines, each with a simulator and a Desktop Manager set up with a user provisioned through BES – one for BES 4 and one for BES 5. In order to automatically access and control these machines we chose to use PsExec from our Ant script using the exec tag and passing in the needed arguments. So, for example the followings, as part of an Ant target, will restart MyRemoteMachine using PsExec: Continue reading Setting An Automated BlackBerry Test Environment Against A Real BES: A Story Of Failure
Using the BlackBerry MDS-CS Simulator
Mobile Data System Connection Services (MDS-CS) is a BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) component that acts as a “gateway” between BlackBerry users and local network resources (i.e. intranet, SharePoint, file shares). RIM offers the MDS-CS component of BES as a free-standing simulator. This allows developers to test an application (that requires network access) against different modeled BlackBerry simulators without the complication of connecting each simulator to the BES. The easiest way to begin using the MDS-CS simulator is to download a BlackBerry JDE which includes the MDS-CS simulator and a variety of BlackBerry simulators.
Potential connection issues can occur between the SilverDust server, BES, and SilverDust blackberry client if SSL encryption is used. We recommended SSL be used in every production SilverDust environment to encrypt SharePoint content between SD Server and the BES/blackberry.
This post also serves as a general guide for accessing any SSL enabled website from the blackberry.
There are two ways a blackberry can complete a SSL handshake. The first option, called proxy mode, allow’s the BES to complete the handshake on a blackberry’s behalf. The second option, called handheld mode, allows the blackberry to directly complete the handshake.
To enabled handheld mode change the TLS default setting on the blackberry. This setting can be adjusted on the handheld by navigating to options->security options->advanced security options->TLS Default->change the setting between proxy and handheld. The default is proxy mode or set an IT policy value to force handheld mode. Continue reading SSL Certificates, Blackberries, BES, and SilverDust
You can get an application to your BlackBerry in four different ways.
- (OTA -Over The Air) Host the application files on a web server and browse to them from the phone
- put the application files onto a SD card and load it on the device
- load the application onto the phone using the BlackBerry Desktop Manager
- push the application to the phone using the BES
There are three different types of files that you will use to install the application on your phone.
You will need one or the other depending on the deployment metheod you are going with. These files hold the information on how to install the application on your phone what files are going to be needed to do that. Continue reading Deploying a BlackBerry Application OTA in IIS
Any BES administrator who has migrated their BES environment from 4.1 to 5.0 can see the extensive changes made in the central blackberry management interface. I’ve found it difficult at times to find certain options in the new BAS console. Today, I was looking for the option to turn off MDS-CS for a specific user in other words I wanted to keep the user from browsing the internet/intranet from their blackberry. The MDS user component has been renamed External Services and can be found under the component information of a BES user account.