How to Connect Your BlackBerry PlayBook to Enterprise Email with ActiveSync


We’ve highlighted some of the fantastic features of BlackBerry® PlayBook™ OS 2.0 on the official BlackBerry Blogs before, such as the unified inbox and communication features, BlackBerry® Bridge™ with remote control, and the enterprise app provisioning solution. Beyond the multitasking, apps, and other features of the OS 2.0 software update, the update also added support for Microsoft ActiveSync technology. This allows for email/PIM synchronization with Microsoft Exchange and many other mail/messaging providers for those who don’t have an IT infrastructure supporting mobile device management with BlackBerry® Mobile Fusion.

Essentially, Microsoft ActiveSync on BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 allows you to connect to popular free mail platforms such as Gmail from Google or Microsoft Live Mail, but also provides the option to integrate with your work email if your business uses Microsoft Exchange or other popular mail servers that utilize ActiveSync.

A Note on Security

While you can likely connect your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet to your corporate email server using Microsoft ActiveSync, this is by no means the most secure solution. To securely and manageably connect a BlackBerry PlayBook tablet to your mail server, the best route to take is through the BlackBerry® Device Service component of BlackBerry® Mobile Fusion. This provides end-to-end encryption, device management capabilities, remote wipe, and much more.

How to Connect with ActiveSync

Note: You may be required to setup a device password and “work” partition. But don’t sweat it; with BlackBerry Balance technology included, you’re well set-up for personal and work use of the tablet.

1. Tap > Accounts > Add New Account > Email, Calendar, and Contacts
a. Enter your enterprise email address and password. [Your enterprise password is typically the password you use to log in to your work computer]
2. Tap Continue.
3. Type a description for the email address and change any synchronization settings.
4. Tap Save.

The Account Setup process, detailed above, may return an error stating that “Please check your username and password and try again”. The two most common causes for this are:

a) The username or password entered is incorrect.
Tap Show Password to ensure the password was entered properly.
b) The Autodiscover Service for your company’s Microsoft Exchange Server is not available.
Use the Advanced Setup process to manually enter in configuration details for your account.

What is the Autodiscover Service? The Autodiscover service simplifies the provisioning of your mobile device by returning the required system settings after you enter your e-mail address and password.

Configuring your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet to access your enterprise email through Advanced Setup:

1. Tap > Accounts > Add New Account > Email, Calendar, and Contacts
2. Tap Advanced Setup.
3. Tap Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync.
a. Enter the appropriate information into all of the fields marked with an asterisk. You may have to consult your IT Help Desk for this information.
4. Adjust the remaining sections as appropriate.
5. Tap Continue.
6. Type a description for the email address and change any synchronization settings.
7. Tap Save.

If you run into any issues, feel free to check out the Support & Documentation section of the BlackBerry Mobile Fusion website. If you have an IT department, they may need to review the Exchange ActiveSync configuration or guide you through importing a certificate to your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.

Do you have corporate mail set up on your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet? How has it improved your ability to take care of work on the go? Share in the comments.

About Luke Reimer

@Luke_Reimer is a Senior Marketing Manager at BlackBerry helping to design, launch, and manage enterprise marketing programs - particularly concerning content across digital mediums. Beyond spreading BlackBerry goodness in enterprise communities, you can find Luke cooking up a storm, out on his motorcycle (when Canadian weather allows), or digging into a good science fiction book.

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