Monday, February 2, 2009

Blackberry Enterprise Server Wireless Activation Process

There were some questions in regards to blackberry and its enterprise activation, when one of my bodies had problems when he tries to activate blackberry for a company they support. The story was activation e-mail held by postini and never had chance to hit the user mailbox. Understanding the process how black berry work with user mailbox conjunction with handheld device for sure makes administrators more comfortable and shortens the time to do the troubleshooting.

If you wish here is the word version of this article

Short story I asked one of my peers at work to put some document together explaining the process. Thanks to Jeff Bakin for taking this time and providing this article.

Wireless Enterprise activation provides administrators a method of enabling Blackberry devices without a network connection or having the Blackberry Administrator physically get his hands on the Blackberry Device. This is especially useful in larger enterprise environments where the Blackberry Enterprise Servers are in a centralized location, but the user base is dispersed throughout the country/world. The only caveat is that the user must be in a location of sufficient wireless coverage in order to perform a wireless activation.

A good example is, remote users in the field can have newly purchased Blackberry handheld devices sent directly to them. The user can contact the Blackberry System Administrator, who then can provide activation instructions and the activation password over the phone. The user can perform the activation process, the proper security parameters and service books will be negotiated and pushed to the handheld device, and users can begin to send and receive emails using their corporate email account from their device handheld.

The Blackberry Enterprise Activation Password

The Enterprise Activation password can only be used once initially to activate a handheld device. It must be set every time a new activation is performed. The protocol ensures that an offline dictionary attack cannot be performed, and therefore a short password can be used. Typical activation passwords are between 4 and 8 characters, but is limited to 32 characters.

The Enterprise Activation Process

  1. The system administrator adds a new Blackberry Device user account to the Blackberry Manager


  1. The Blackberry Enterprise Server begins to monitor the appropriate mailbox on the messaging server.


  1. The system administrator creates an enterprise activation password for the new account using either the manual or automatic method.


  2. The system administrator or user initiates the enterprise activation process on the blackberry device by going to Options > Advanced Options > Enterprise Activation. The system administrator or user will key in their email address and the appropriate activation password.


  3. Once the Email address and password is entered, open the Option menu on the Enterprise Activation screen, and select "Activate"


  4. The Blackberry Device sends activation data to the wireless service provider, which passes the data to the Blackberry Infrastructure.


  5. The Blackberry Infrastructure identifies the data as an activation request and packages it into an ETP.DAT file. This file is then attached to an email message and sent to the email address you typed on the Enterprise Activation screen.


  1. The Blackberry Enterprise Server notes that a new email message has arrived to the mailbox to be activated. The Blackberry Enterprise Server is designed to recognize this email message as a request for Enterprise Activation, and remove it from the mailbox to be processed by the Blackberry Enterprise Server.


  2. Using the data from the ETP.DAT file, the Blackberry Enterprise Server contacts the Blackberry Device to acknowledge that the enterprise activation request has been received.


  3. The Blackberry Enterprise Server verifies the Activation password.


  1. If the activation password is correct, the Blackberry Enterprise Server begins to push activation information and Service Books to the Blackberry Handheld device.


  2. The Blackberry Enterprise Server and the Blackberry device begin the synchronization process.


  3. The enterprise activation process completes, and the handheld device is ready for use with the Blackberry Enterprise Server.


Oz ozugurlu

Oz ozugurlu MVP (Exchange)



Security+, Server +, Project+




Howie said...

Oz -

Here are some great KB articles from RIM on Enterprise Activation:

What is the wireless enterprise activation process ( & Identifying and troubleshooting enterprise activation issues (

Oz Ozugurlu said...

Howie Thanks alot as always hope everyting is well


Salvatiry Carlino said...

Incredible! My cousin uses BES too for his business. It doesn't just help him in organizing his files, but also helps him in keeping his business in good track.

rahulk34 said...

I always like to have a read about such things. I have added yours to my bookmarks.

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