Recently Inside BlackBerry gave you a firsthand look at the new BlackBerry® Beta Zone, covering the basics of sign up and beta program registration. Today, I’d like to dive deeper into the BlackBerry Beta Zone feature list, to make sure you get the most of your experience as a BlackBerry Beta Zone member.
Let’s get started!
Nominating an Organization for Enterprise Beta Programs
In our last post, we focused on BlackBerry Beta Zone from the perspective of the average BlackBerry smartphone user, and what was needed for them to participate in beta programs. However, as you may know, Research In Motion (RIM) also makes enterprise-focused products, and many of these products will find their way into BlackBerry Beta Zone as well. If you’re part of a team looking to beta test enterprise-focused BlackBerry software (for example, BlackBerry® Enterprise Server v5.0.2) you must first nominate your organization for beta programs.
The easiest way to nominate an organization is by clicking the relevant link in the right-hand column of the BlackBerry Beta Zone Members Area (for non members, there is also a link on http://www.blackberry.com/beta). This link will take you to the organization nomination form, where you’ll have to fill out basic information about your organization, as well as the types of IT platforms employed within. The latter information is very important, as it dictates which beta programs will be applicable to your organization!
Feedback, FAQs and Surveys – oh my!
There’s more to BlackBerry Beta Zone than enrolling in beta programs! Half of the experience lies in providing useful feedback to the BlackBerry development teams, as well as engaging with BlackBerry Beta Zone members on the products you’re testing. Here’s a quick rundown of the various feedback outlets contained within BlackBerry Beta Zone.
Discussion Boards: The discussion boards are the heart of BlackBerry Beta Zone conversation. It’s the number one place to ask questions and talk shop with other BlackBerry Beta Zone members. Currently, the general boards available are ‘Welcome to New Members’ and ‘Rants and Raves’, with a board for each beta program – which is the one and only place to discuss these pre-release products. Discussing a beta program outside of BlackBerry Beta Zone violates the terms and conditions of the site. So keep the chatter inside BlackBerry Beta Zone!
Surveys: BlackBerry Beta Zone Members represent an important segment of the voice of the BlackBerry smartphone community. The BlackBerry Beta Zone team will have various questions for the community, and surveys are the quickest and most targeted way to obtain answers. So if you are already a BlackBerry Beta Zone Member, go fill out the current BlackBerry Beta Zone survey right now, and make sure to be as honest as possible. All individual responses will of course remain anonymous.
General Feedback Form: If you have feedback that can’t be articulated in a survey, and is too long or not appropriate for the discussion boards, the general feedback form, found in the right-hand column of the BlackBerry Beta Zone members area, is your best option. The feedback form itself is one big text field, so don’t hold back your ideas (but please do be polite!). However, before you fire off random questions into the feedback form, please take the opportunity to scan the BlackBerry Beta Zone FAQ, which contains more information than we could ever cover here.
Now that you’ve got the rundown on BlackBerry Beta Zone, here’s your to-do list: take some time to think of organizations to nominate for enterprise beta programs, check out the new beta release of BlackBerry Messenger v220.127.116.11, and stay tuned for more great software to test in the coming weeks!