Comparing WirelessMail with BlackBerryTM Enterprise Server

BlackBerryTM Enterprise Server for Domino (BES) by Research In Motion (RIM) is a server product for wireless-extension of Lotus Notes mail to RIM pagers. WirelessMail for Domino by is a low-cost feature-rich alternative to BES, and also extends Lotus Notes mail to RIM pagers as well as any other email-addressable cell phone, PDA, or pager. Both server software products "push" selected Lotus Notes emails to RIM pagers via the Motient and Cingular nationwide wireless data networks. This comparison identifies the differences in functionality and cost between these two products when used with RIM BlackBerry pagers.


WirelessMail provides almost all of the major features of BES. Compared to BES, WirelessMail is more closely integrated with Domino, which results in a seamless extension of the Notes Mail interface and provides a few more Notes-specific features than BES such as support for various Notes mail types. WirelessMail also involves a very simple installation that a user can perform without IT support. WirelessMail involves no additional hardware, Domino server licenses, Directory or firewall changes, or network utilization that are associated with BES. WirelessMail works on any client and server platforms that run Notes and Domino. BES works only with RIM pagers and data services, while WirelessMail works with any internet addressible destination or device, such as RIM pagers, Palm devices, text/email pagers, most cell phones, and even other email accounts. BES has one major advantage over WirelessMail: BES encrypts transmissions to and from the pager. Users who only want to forward emails received from the internet will not benefit from encryption. However, sensitive internal correspondence not intended for the internet would be forwarded out to an internet address by WirelessMail. WirelessMail does allow the user to filter out internal email messages and only relay internet messages. The total cost function of BES is on the order of 4 - 6 times that of WirelessMail, and BES also requires additional Domino server licensing, increased setup time and increased administration effort. If you don't need or are prohibited from using encryption, WirelessMail is easier to setup and use, is virtually as functional, and is more economical than BES.

Background has been evolving WirelessMail since Version 1.0 in 1999. WirelessMail Version 3.x was released in Summer 2001. WirelessMail works with any wireless service and handheld device that can receive internet-addressable email. WirelessMail works with services such as BlackBerry Internet Edition (Cingular, Motient), WebLink, Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, Nextel, Palm.Net, Alphapage, VoiceStream, Worldcom, and others. WirelessMail works with hardware such as RIM pagers, Palm compatible devices, Danger Sidekick, Handspring, Nokia, Motorola, Qualcomm, Kyocera, Sony, Samsung, Sanyo, Ericsson, Siemens, Audiovox, Mitsubishi and others that support SMS (Short Message Service) or other internet addressible text messaging services. RIM introduced BES for Domino in Spring 2001. BES for Domino is functionally very similar to BES for MS Exchange. BES server software works only with compatible BlackBerry wireless service brands (approximately $40/month) via either the Motient or Cingular networks. Compatible hardware devices are RIM pagers. BlackBerry Internet Edition customers can use WirelessMail in place of BES to forward Notes email to their RIM BlackBerry pagers. WirelessMail fills the need for a very low cost substitute for the BES software when combining the wireless features of the BlackBerry "Internet Edition" service with the Domino mail integration functionality of WirelessMail. RIM developed BES for Domino as a reimplementation of their BES for MS Exchange. MartinScott, on the other hand, built WirelessMail specifically for Domino by taking advantage of the fact that, unlike Exchange, Domino is an application development platform. The result is that WirelessMail functionality is seamlessly integrated into the user's Domino mailbox. WirelessMail requires no additional client software, Domino server licenses, server tasks, firewall port changes, Directory changes, or additional server hardware. This results in WirelessMail installation and administration being much simpler than BES, while still providing almost all of BES functionality to push selected messages from a Notes mail database to a BlackBerry RIM pager, or even to a cell phone, PDA, or conventional text pager. Each product includes some features not included in the other. The price points of BES and WirelessMail are also very different.

Compare Functionality


WirelessMail exists as a highly configurable Domino mail forwarding agent running on the user's Notes mailbox. Since the agent and the configuration profile are stored directly in the user's mailbox, WirelessMail polling and processing uses no network bandwidth. The WirelessMail agent runs within a few minutes of new mail delivery (or, optionally, immediately upon deliver), checking messages against rule criteria, applying optimization processing, and forwarding the mail to the wireless destination email address via the Domino mail router. The BlackBerry compatible wireless data network (or any other text messaging service) receives the forwarded email message and sends the corresponding text message to the user's RIM handheld device (or other mainstream device). If a mobile user replies to such a message, the message is sent back through the BlackBerry compatible wireless data network, where the service provider routes the message directly via the internet to the recipients.


BES exists as a server task which runs on a dedicated Domino server on the network. The BES module uses Notes Remote Procedure Calls (RPC) just like a Notes Client to check for new mail on the users' mailboxes every 20 seconds. This polling activity uses network bandwidth. When new mail is found, rule criteria are checked, and the message is encrypted and passed through a special port in the internet firewall to the BlackBerry compatible network. The BlackBerry network receives the encrypted message and passes it to the RIM handheld device, where it is finally decrypted. If a mobile user replies to such a message, the reply is encrypted, sent back via the service network and through the internet firewall to the BES server, where BES places a copy of the message in the user's Sent folder, and then deposits the message into the Domino mail server's database, where the router delivers the email to the recipients as if it were sent from the user's Domino mail file.


Both BES and WirelessMail feature sets include:

  • User configurable rule-based filtering on criteria such as sender, subject, priority, importance, etc.
  • "Push" transmission of emails to the handheld, so users don't need to check for (pull) messages.
  • Up to 32,000 characters of text can be forwarded per email.
  • Original Sender name and ReplyTo information is retained for use in replying from the handheld device.
  • Copies of messages sent from the RIM pager are retained in the Sent folder in Lotus Notes.
  • Support for file attachments

Nominal functional differences:

WirelessMail includes user configurable scheduling settings to specify any number of time periods during which WirelessMail should forward messages. Users can also toggle forwarding on and off while at their workstation. Version 4.0 includes an option to suppress forwarding when the user's Mailbox is open. BES automatically suppresses forwarding when the handheld is in the cradle.

Advantages of BES over WirelessMail include:

  • BES wireless messages are triple DES encrypted, whereas WirelessMail messages use SMTP to forward messages to the user's handheld device. WirelessMail security is the same as that of BlackBerry Internet Edition service or BlackBerry Redirector for MS Exchange.
  • Messages sent from the handheld to other Notes users in the home organization appear to come from the user's internet Notes email address (e.g.,, as opposed to the sender's internal Notes email address (e.g., First Last).
  • Deletions on the handheld are propagated to the Lotus Notes mailbox.

Advantages of WirelessMail over BES include:

  • Works with any email enabled device, including Palm/Treo, RIM, PocketPC, SideKick, and others.
  • No changes needed to the Domino directory or firewall port settings.
  • One-click installation to one or all mailboxes.
  • Can be installed by a user without corporate IT involvement, or to a server or site-wide installation by corporate IT.
  • No external client software requirements - 100% integrated into the Notes mailbox. Works on any operating system that runs Notes.
  • No need for an additional Domino server box or licenses. Runs as an agent in each user's mail file.
  • No network bandwidth used for polling and processing of email messages.
  • Filtering and other customization settings can be replicated and configured locally by the user when they are disconnected.
  • Allows wireless full text searching of emails and adjustment of configuration settings.
  • Works with all Notes mail document types: Invitations, To Do's, Phone messages, etc.
  • Works with any mix of SMS or internet addressable handheld devices such as RIM pagers, cell phones,
  • Palm devices, and text pagers. Text abbreviation, clipping, and long messaging splitting are useful for services and devices with limited message length capabilities (such as SMS).
  • Can forward to multiple pagers or email addresses for group paging.
  • Customizable and intelligent spam filter.
  • Can also forward Notes Mail to personal email accounts (e.g., AOL, Hotmail, Yahoo) for home access.
  • Forwarded messages are optionally marked with a special icon in the Notes Inbox for easy recognition in Notes.
  • Optional "Forwarded-to-pager" confirmation is automatically sent to original sender if return receipt was requested.

Compare Costs

BlackBerry Enterprise Server 2.2 for Domino

Total Setup Costs per 500 users (including required additional Domino software and server hardware)

Add'l Domino server license $2000 per 500 users
Add'l Server box $2000 per 500 users
BlackBerry Enterprise Server (adjusted to credit first 20 users) $5000 per 500 users
BES user licenses $40 per user
Total cost function $10,000 per every 500 users + $40 per user
Long-run avg. cost = 10,000/500 + 40 = $60 per user.

WirelessMail 4.0 for Domino

Total Setup Costs

WirelessMail Personal License 28 or fewer users $59 per user
WirelessMail Server-wide License 29+ users on same server, or more than 143 users and fewer than 5 servers $1999 per CPU server, unlimited users on server
WirelessMail Organization-wide License custom quote per organization
Total cost functions $59 per user (28 or fewer users)
- or -
$1999 (33+ users on same server) = $10 to $59 per user
- or -
Lowest costs-per-user via custom quote for larger organizations

At any user quantity, WirelessMail costs on the order of 1/4 the cost of BES, even when including the optional maintenance and support costs for WirelessMail. For a one time fee of $59, a user can download and install WirelessMail directly to their Notes mailbox. In addition to Personal licenses, server and site licenses are available which install to the organization's mail template and propagate automatically to all users. A license for all users on the same Domino mail server is $1999. A license for all users in the same organization is a one-time fee and is priced based on organization size. There are never any monthly fees to the customer other than what they pay for their wireless messaging service. When using a cell phone, pager, or Palm device, the customer's existing wireless service may suffice as their WirelessMail compatible messaging service.