In this article, we will look at where, and how to download and install the Lync client for the BlackBerry. Lync 2010 is available for Android phones, BlackBerry, iOS, Symbian and of course Microsoft Windows Phone. However once Lync 2010 has been configured for a company, users will still be unable to use the Lync application unless they download the Lync mobile client application. From a BlackBerry perspective, locating and downloading the BlackBerry client can be a little tricky and many users have wasted a little time trying to locate the client in the BlackBerry App World store.
Even searching for the client on Google can be confusing, as the Lync client for the BlackBerry is called the "BlackBerry Client for use with Microsoft Office Communication Server or 2007 R2 and Microsoft Lync Server 2010. Once you've found the BlackBerry Lync client, installation is also not as straight forward as downloading an app and installing by double tapping.
Downloading the BlackBerry Lync Client
The Lync BlackBerry client can be found on the BlackBerry website. The first page on the website provides a description of what the client does and also refers to Lync 2010's previous moniker, Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007.
To get to the download screen, users need to scroll down and click on the appropriate link at the end of the description.
When you eventually get to the download you will be asked which version of Lync 2010 is being used. Be sure to select the correct version to avoid any problems.
In our example, we've selected the Lync Server 2010 v2.6, which provides two further options. The first option, On The Air (OTA), is for downloading the Lync client directly to the BlackBerry, the second option is the Lync client desktop computer for download directly to a computer.
The Over The Air option is the easiest option to use, but probably best used by users or administrators who understand how to install non-BlackBerry App World apps whereas the Desktop option is best used by BlackBerry support staff to support users who do not have or know how to use the BlackBerry Desktop Manager but wish to have the Lync client.
Tip: If you have an SD card and are using the OTA option, installation file management will be easier if you download to the SD card.
Installation of the Lync client is a little tricky because you will need to plug the BlackBerry device into a computer and install via the BlackBerry Desktop Manager no matter which method of download used. There are two versions of the BlackBerry Desktop Manager, BlackBerry Desktop Manager for Microsoft Windows and BlackBerry Desktop Manager for the Apple Mac. Be sure to have the BlackBerry Desktop Manager (BDM) installed prior to the following installation steps, as you will need to connect your BlackBerry to the computer. When you first connect your BlackBerry to the BDM, it will display useful information such as the version of the operating system software being used. This is crucial information required for OTA installation.
Warning: To avoid unnecessary stress and heartache, if you have never used the BlackBerry Desktop Manager before it would be best for you to speak with the administrator who first set up your BlackBerry otherwise you may inadvertently reset your phone and lose data and contacts. This situation is not totally un-recoverable but you will lose your phone for a little time whilst it is being re-synchronised and you will have to re-setup any apps you had previously installed. The BlackBerry installation method will vary depending on whether the original download was made to the BlackBerry or the Desktop Computer.
The OTA method is the fastest way to install the BlackBerry Client. Once you have downloaded the Lync client to the BlackBerry phone, use the following steps to install the Lync client.
1. Ensure you have the BlackBerry Desktop Manager installed and turned on. Plug your BlackBerry into your computer. Your BlackBerry will display three options.
2. On your BlackBerry device, select the USB Drive option.
3. Return to your computer. If you have an SD Card, two removable drives should appear labelled BLACKBERRY1 and BLACKBERRY2 in the BlackBerry Desktop Manager. In our example, BLACKBERRY1 is our SD card.
4. In the BlackBerry Desktop Manager make a note of the operating system version of your phone. You will need to use this information later in the installation. In our example, the version of OS being used is Version 7.0
5. From this point onwards you do not have to use the BlackBerry Desktop Manager. Using your computer OS file system, navigate to the drive and folder where you downloaded the BlackBerry Lync client to.
6. Unzip the OTA (in our example it is oc2007_OTA_2.6.15c) file to your SD card. In our example, the SD card is the BLACKBERRY1 Drive. If you only have BLACKBERRY1, then unzip the file there.
7. Once the OTA file is unzipped to your BlackBerry's storage, unplug your BlackBerry from the computer.
8. Navigate to the BlackBerry Media folder.
9. Click the BlackBerry (Menu) button.
10. Select the Explore option.
11. Navigate to the folder you extracted the OTA file to. In our example, we used the default F:\OC2007 folder.
12. Navigate to the OC2007 folder, and then to the folder that displays the OS version your BlackBerry device is running. In our example, it is version 7.0.0
13. In the operating system folder, scroll down to the bottom of the list where you will find seven language files with the .JAD extension. Select the language that you wish to install. The language is indicated by the final underscore and the two letters that follows it.
14. Click the appropriate language JAD file, a browser download window will open.
15. Click the Download button to download and install the BlackBerry Lync client app.
16. Once downloaded and installed, you will find the BlackBerry Lync client in the Instant Messaging folder (it is the yellow folder on your BlackBerry).
17. To finish up delete all the installation files on your BlackBerry.
Tip: If you have an SD card, delete all OS versions apart from your BlackBerry OS version. If you regularly wipe your BlackBerry, you will then be able to quickly reinstall the Lync client from step 12 onwards.
Desktop Installation Option
Once you have downloaded the Lync client to your computer, use the following steps to install the Lync client.
1. To use the Desktop version, unzip the Desktop version to a folder on your computer.
2. Start the BlackBerry Desktop Manager
3. Click on the Applications folder
4. Click on Import button
5. Navigate to the folder you unzipped the BlackBerry Client to. In our example, we used the default OC2007 folder.
6. Scroll down to the bottom of the folder until you see a set of eight .ALX folders. Select the language that you wish to install. The language is indicated by the final underscore and the two letters that follows the underscore.
7. Click the language that you wish to use. The Application Loader will get all the information it needs from the .ALX file and display the uninstalled application.
8. Click on the [+] button to install the Lync client.
9. During the installation process, you will see a progress bar and your BlackBerry device will reboot several times.
10. Once installation is complete, the status bar in the Desktop Manager will change to Installed to verify the installation of the Lync client.
11. Unplug your BlackBerry from the computer.
12. Navigate to the BlackBerry Lync client in the Instant Messaging folder (it is the yellow folder on your BlackBerry).
The BlackBerry Lync client isn't the easiest client to install, perhaps because of the extra security built into the BlackBerry. Hopefully, as Lync 2010 and Office 365 become more mainstream, BlackBerry will improve the download and installation procedure. If you (or your users) are unfamiliar with how to use Lync, you may wish to read the Microsoft Office Communications Server client documentation from BlackBerry.
Unlike the Lync client applications for other mobile phones, there is a backend server step that you will need to have configured. To ensure your BlackBerry Lync client works you must have provisioned the BlackBerry Collaboration Service as a trusted application in Microsoft Active Directory as per the BlackBerry documentation and do make sure your BlackBerry server has the collaboration prerequisites.