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CIO - Organizations that employ Research In Motion's (RIM) free BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) Express software to connect BlackBerry smartphones to corporate systems and resources this morning have access to a new software update, BES Express 5.0 Service Pack 2 (SP2) or v18.104.22.168.
BES Express is a "slimmed-down" version of RIM's widely used BlackBerry Enterprise Server software that organizations can download for free for access to a subsection of the mobile device management and security features packed into the full BES, which can be quite pricey. (Read more about the differences between BES and BES Express here. Note: BES Express requires Microsoft Exchange or Windows Small Business Server.)
The latest version of the free software adds a number of new administrative tools and features, as well as new user self-service utilities.
* Single sign-on (no passwords needed to securely access the intranet, files or business systems "behind the firewall," BlackBerry Web Desktop Manager and BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express BlackBerry Administration Service)
* New employee self-service tools for securing a lost or stolen device
* Added web browser support for BlackBerry Administration Service and BlackBerry Web Desktop Manager, including Internet Explorer 8, Mozilla Firefox 3.6, Google Chrome 4.0 and Safari 4
* Added support for Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft Hyper-V 2008, and SQL Server 2008.
The full version of RIM's BES was also recently updated to v5.0 SP2.
In related news, RIM recently posted a piece on the benefits of "dual BlackBerry environments," in which organizations use both full BES and BES Express to reap security-related and financial benefits.