On July 26 2016 BlackBerry released "BlackBerry Enterprise Service 12 Service Pack 5a" (BES 12.5.0a) without release notes. So there was no direct way of finding out what the "a" really changed.
Digging through the KB articles I found this:
So the short answer is: The "a" fixes one specific issue that would block you from upgrading from a previous BES version to 12.5.
If you already have upgraded to BES 12.5.0 successfully, you don't need to apply 12.5.0a. If you could not upgrade (e.g. from 12.4), version 12.5.0a now lets you upgrade.
Find below the full text of the KB, in case Blackberry deletes or changes it:
Unable to upgrade to BlackBerry Enterprise Service 12 Service Pack 5
- BlackBerry Enterprise Service 12
- JI 1557439
When attempting to upgrade to BlackBerry Enterprise Service 12 Service Pack 5 the upgrade fails during the database deployment phase.
Looking in the db_start_command_log log file in the deployment directory (the default location is C:\Program Files\BlackBerry\BES\Logs\deployment) the following error is seen:
2016-07-12T17:04:17,596 main MDMLogger ERROR Problem processing sql: /* 59.13.4 */ UPDATE def_policy_setting_definition SET name = './Vendor/MSFT/Policy/Config/Privacy/AllowInputPersonalization' WHERE internal_id = 'IT_CONFIG.WP.dataprotection.allow.input.personalization.x' AND name = './Vendor/MSFT/Policy/Config/DataProtection/AllowInputPersonalization' AND id_device_os_family IN (SELECT id_device_os_family FROM def_device_os_family WHERE name = 'WP'); com.microsoft.sqlserver.jdbc.SQLServerException: Violation of UNIQUE KEY constraint 'AK_def_policy_setting_dfn'. Cannot insert duplicate key in object 'dbo.def_policy_setting_definition'. The duplicate key value is (IT_CONFIG.WP.dataprotection.allow.input.personalization.x, ./Vendor/MSFT/Policy/Config/Privacy/AllowInputPersonalization, 6).
Please run the attached script only once against the SQL server that hosts the BlackBerry Enterprise Service 12 database following these steps:
- Backup the BES Database.
- Download and execute the attached script.
- Re-run the BlackBerry Enterprise Service 12 Service Pack 5 setup.exe file to upgrade BES to the latest version.
Repeat step 3 above on the BES12 instances installed in the same BES12 domain (sharing the same database).
On July 26 2016 BlackBerry released "BlackBerry Enterprise Service 12 Service Pack 5a" which includes a fix for this issue for customers who did not already upgrade to Service Pack 5. This version can be used to upgrade without the need to manually run an additional script.
Note: If the server is already running Service Pack 5 and the above issue either did not occur or was already corrected, there is no need to upgrade to Service Pack 5a.