As many of you may already know, web services originally were implemented via a technology called SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) but over time the industry has evolved and transitioned to REST (Representational State Transfer). BlackBerry had web services for BES (BlackBerry Enterprise Server) called BWS (BlackBerry Web Services) and Good Technology had GC (Good Control) web services which were both based on SOAP. Following BlackBerry’s acquisition of Good Technology, BES was enhanced with Good’s technology and the combined platform evolved into UEM (Unified Endpoint Management). UEM has supported both BWS and GC web services, with certain limitation, to ensure backward compatibility for existing clients.
Whereas backward compatibility is great for clients who have previously built solutions, on a now legacy technology, it often makes it harder for new client development and the vendor’s ability to add new features. The UEM team decided several years ago to start a multi-year effort to develop a set of new web services based on REST called UEM web services. There were a lot of legacy APIs available so with each release they supported more use cases by implementing more REST web service APIs. For those that have developed new solutions during this period thanks for your support as our guidance has been to develop anything new based on UEM web services but if you did find something which was not yet supported then use either the legacy BWS (usually MDM capabilities) or GC web services (usually MAM capabilities).
It has been a couple of releases now for which the UEM team believes they have implemented, in the UEM web services, all the client use cases covered by the legacy BWS and GC web services. If that sounds like I have left a little wiggle room in that statement you would be correct. BWS dates back to BES5 and BES10 so it had a lot of granular control for our BBOS and BlackBerry 10 devices which are no longer applicable. As a result on the BWS side a detailed analysis has been completed to try and catch any outlier APIs which someone might still be using. The UEM team is fairly confident they have all the use cases handled but they are standing by just in case something you are still using happened to get overlooked. On the GC side there has not been the legacy concerns so they are fairly confident that all the necessary APIs in place. We have had many clients migrate over the past couple of years so we are not expecting any issues. If you do happen to run into any problems migrating, BlackBerry Support is always available to assist.
We recommend that anyone with existing BWS or GC SOAP web services code start the planning for the migration to the UEM REST based web services. As with all BlackBerry Developer resources, they can be found at here. We are not yet announcing any details around end of life plans for the SOAP based web services but supporting both the new and legacy web service platforms is slowing our ability to add new features to the platform so please help us help you by making this transition sooner rather than later