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Use Showtime to send Message, Browser, and Channel Push requests to BlackBerry Enterprise Server-maintained Groups

Showtime: Blackberry 
Enterprise Server Push Utility for the Lotus Notes Client - Release v0.1 Showtime, my BlackBerry Enterprise Server Push Utility for the Lotus Notes Client, just got a whole lot more admin-friendly!

A customer using my open-source RIM BlackBerry Enterprise Server MDS API Utility asked if it was possible to create a Channel Push to an existing BES Group.

Today I learned a few things about the BES MDS Push API...

See, I believed that you needed to supply the recipient SMTP Address or the PIN of the recipient BlackBerry device. I didn't think to look into what was required for delivery to a BES-maintained User Group until the customer asked.

I'm glad they did!

The current version of Showtime is a total Client-side Utility App. It initiates a direct HTTP Request to the BlackBerry Enterprise Server MDS API via a Lotus Notes Client Java Agent.

Application Logic Diagram

It's pretty simple really. Showtime uses the Preference NotesDocument and the given Job NotesDocument to build a URL using the BES MDS API syntax, and then initiates the HTTP Request via the URLConnection in my showtime Java Script Library. This means that all you need is a Lotus Notes Client (no Domino Server required) and network access to the BES server (access via the MDS port required).

The target recipient device is defined by the DESTINATION Query String Parameter, and up until today was defined via an SMTP Address or the device PIN.

Today, I found out the syntax for sending to a BES Group: <urlencode>$Group Name</urlencode>.

Since we're interacting with the BES MDS API via HTTP Request, it only makes sense that the Group Name (preceded by the $ character) would need to be URL encoded!

This takes $Group Name and makes it %24Group%20Name... and it works like a charm!

My customer is now able to deploy Channel, Message, and Browser Push (and Delete) to BES-maintained User Groups, simply by using the URL Encoded version of the User Group name (preceded by a $ of course...).

I'll make sure that the next version of Showtime auto-URL Encodes the recipients to makes things easier, but I figured this bit of information would help anyone that's currently using Showtime in their enterprise today.

About the author: Chris Toohey

Thought Leadership, Web & Mobile Application Development, Solutions Integration, Technical Writing & Mentoring

A published developer and webmaster of, Chris Toohey specializes in platform application development, solutions integration, and evangelism of platform capabilities and best practices.

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