11/11/2008

Pushing (too much) my Blackberry BES server?

Some months ago, reading some Blackberry docs, I found out that a Blackberry BES server can send messages (push) to specific BES users, I mean people with Blackberry devices managed by the BES server.

What kind of messages?
You can send a URL address that will show on the users BB device with a custom read/unread icon: you can see the message inside the Inbox OR on the BB device desktop (it depends on the push message type).

When the user clicks on the icon, the browser will load the "pushed" URL and show the page.

To send the push message to can write your own program or download some utilities from the web (it's "just" a custom HTTP call to the BES server), but I suggested you to download ShowTime, the free application written by Chris Toonhey (ask Chris to get the beta version)!

You have to set-up first some parameters in the application (BES server IP, ports were ok for me). Don't forget to enable your Blackberry BES server to accept push messages and restart the service: my BES was not enabled to get push messages by default, although the MDS was on.

I like the code written by Chris:
  • you can define serveral pushing profiles (URL to publish, icons, recipients, ...)
  • you can push messages on selected profiles OR on all active profiles
  • agents and libraries are written using Java
  • agents are run in a Lotus Notes client thread (it will not stop/freeze your client)
  • you can re-use the code in your code (right Chris?)

I'm making some testing pushing (say publishing) web applications URL to selected users using custom icons. Really nice!

1 comment:

Chris Toohey said...

Hey Cristian!

Glad it's working so well for you, and thank you for the kind words! As I'm still a total novice to this whole Blackberry/WAP/MDS stuff, I'm planning this as the first release of hopefully many more to follow.

And yes, it's both totally free and intended to be ripped apart under the Creative Commons licensing - which basically means that you can go nuts on it if it helps you, fold it into a product as part of it's functionality if you so feel inclined, but can't simply slap a company logo on the thing and sell it for $250/user.

I've actually ripped apart the BES Message Push stuff in Showtime and put it into one of my workflow applications for a customer - giving them unique messages on their Blackberry device Inbox that, when clicked, take them right to a given WAP-based UI for a document that requires their sign-off. Good times...