Get the latest information on the next version of GroupWise. Code named Ascot, this version is scheduled to release in calendar Q4. Here is what you will be getting….
1) Manage information overload and get things done (with the GroupWise Home View, which brings dispersed information to your fingertips, and a new "relevance" focus that makes your most-used contacts and information even easier to find)
2) Collaborate across virtual and organizational boundaries (with cross-boundary calendaring)
3) Transform static contacts into valuable business currency (with integrated contact management capabilities)
4) Turn your inbox into an effective way to manage business priorities (with robust task management features)
5) Mobilize your data and productivity (with anytime/anywhere access via Data Synchronizer and coming support for iPads and other tablet devices)
Key Features New to GroupWise Ascot
1) iPad Support
2) All-new Web access interface (making mobile and remote users more productive than ever)
3) Calendaring enhancements (recurring appointments, modified appointments, multi-user calendars)
4) Integrations with Novell Vibe and Skype (presence, SMS and click-to-call)
5) Information sharing (sharing a folder tree, relevance sorting so that your most-used contacts, folders and categories appear first in lists)
GroupWise Ascot Windows Client Enhancements
Appointment Place Update – When creating an appointment in GroupWise 8, if the “Place” field is empty, and the “To” field contains at least one resource, the “Place” field is populated with the name of the first resource in the “To” field. In Ascot, the empty “Place” field will be populated with the names of all the place-type resources found in the “To” field. It will not be populated with non-place-type resource names. Using multiple place-type resources is handy when scheduling a conference meeting with two or more locations.
Auto-accept Appointment – With GroupWise 8, users could send an appointment, and all occurrences would be auto-accepted for the sender, even if there were conflicts on the sender's calendar. With Ascot, if there are conflicts in the sender's calendar, the sender will receive a prompt noting the conflict and verifying whether the appointment should still be scheduled.
ConsoleOne Client Settings for Reply Format – This enhancement allows administrators to lock the 'Reply Format' for Plain Text to 'Include Headers' in ConsoleOne
Delegated Appointment – When an appointment is modified by the original sender, the changes take effect for both the original recipients and all those to whom the appointment was delegated. A side effect is that a delegated appointment always includes the place, date, time, and duration of the appointment being delegated.
Modified Appointment – After an appointment has been sent, the sender can modify that appointment with minimal redistribution of the message. If changes are limited to attachments, subject, body, etc. the changes will take effect on the calendars of all recipients without a new message appearing in their in-box. Recipients added to the appointment will receive the message, and recipients removed from the appointment will receive a notification. If the date, time, or place of the appointment changes, all recipients will receive a new appointment that they will need to re-accept. Recipients of a modified appointment will see indications of the changes on their calendar and within the individual appointment. Notification banners, badges and unread (bold) text will indicate that an appointment has been modified by the originator.
Multi-user Calendar – In the GroupWise 8 calendar view, there are buttons to display a day, a week, a month or a year. The Ascot client adds a new button labeled “Multi-User Columns.” This option allows you to select several individuals or resources and display the appointments for each in separate columns. The new multi-user functionality mirrors the multiple calendar model established in previous GroupWise releases. Check boxes next to 'proxy' accounts are also available, allowing users to overlay calendar data from multiple proxy accounts in a day, week, or month view. This new feature makes it easy to show/hide data for a set of individuals and create 'groups' of proxies so their data can be viewed together.
Name Completion Relevance Integration – GroupWise uses name completion in various contexts to find the right person in the address book. The name completion in GroupWise 8 uses frequent contacts and an alphabetical sort. Ascot also uses frequent contacts, but it uses a relevance (rather than an alphabetical) sort. This means that if you frequently contact John Smith and rarely contact John Adams, as you type the letters of the name it will bring up John Smith before it brings up John Adams. This relevance ranking applies to recently used folders, name completion, and categories.
New Spellers – Novell has upgraded the speller technology in Ascot to use an open source speller engine and dictionaries. This gives us more flexibility and higher quality for the supported product languages.
Novell Vibe: Message in a Browser Pane – In GroupWise 8, notification messages from Vibe Cloud or Vibe OnPrem contain a hyperlink users can use to launch a browser and go to that message. In Ascot, opening a Vibe Cloud or Vibe OnPrem message brings up a GroupWise panel containing a browser with the Vibe message visible in that pane.
QuickFind Distribution Lists – GroupWise creates an index of the recipients of each message. This index is used in message searches. When the recipient of the message is a distribution list, GroupWise 8 does not index the various recipients who are members of the list, but Ascot does. The user interface will not change, but search results will improve.
Recurring Appointment – When creating an appointment in Ascot, a “Recurrence” button appears on the appointment panel. It allows you to specify a recurrence pattern for daily, weekly, monthly or yearly appointments. The default is a “one instance” appointment. There is also an option for a custom recurring appointment which leverages the same year-at-a-glance view used in the GroupWise 8 client.
Save As Dialog – Ascot includes an improved dialog for saving a message or attachments. The Ascot implementation is more like the standard Microsoft Windows file dialog and is more intuitive to use. To access this feature, open a message and choose File => Save As.
Send Modified Attachment – A colleague sends you a message with a document attached. Your assignment is to add some text to the document and return it to the sender. With Ascot, you open the message and double click to open the document. Add the text you need to add and close the document. Click “Reply”. Ascot asks whether you want to include the modified document as an attachment. If you say yes the reply message opens with the modified document attached.
Share a Folder Tree – In Ascot, users can share a folder and all nested folders in a single action. Share rights/deletions/adds/changes will then all be treated as a single action affecting the entire shared folder tree.
Simplified Properties – The message properties panel shows status information about the message or appointment, such as who has read the message and whether they accepted the appointment. In GroupWise 8, there were two types of property panels: Basic and Advanced. In Ascot we introduce another type: Simple.
Skype: Click To Call – Ascot recognizes telephone numbers embedded in a message and converts them into a hyperlink. When users click on the link, it uses the default dialer, specified in Tools => Options => Environment => Default Actions, to place the call. If Skype is the default dialer, the call is placed through Skype. Users can also select the Contacts view in Ascot and click on a phone number for the person they want to call.
Skype: Presence Integration – Next to the sender's name in an email message is a person icon that is either enabled (colored) or disabled (gray). Disabled means that the person is not “present;” enabled means they are. Clicking on this icon in Ascot provides a menu of available options for contacting the person. In addition to Novell Messenger chat and GroupWise SMS, these options now include Skype chat, call and SMS. The person icon also appears in the Contacts view.
Skype: Send SMS from Skype – In the Contacts view for an individual, users can specify a “carrier” associated with a mobile phone number. If a carrier is provided, users can send a text message to that person's mobile phone. By default, they will be able to send the text message from the Ascot client. If Skype is enabled and running on the system, the user can choose to send a text message using the Ascot client or Skype.
Skype: Start a Skype IM Conversation – The Ascot client provides integration with Novell Messenger for initiating instant message communications. If Skype is enabled and running on a system, the user can choose whether to use Novell Messenger or Skype to host the instant message.
Windows 7 Task Bar Integration – With Ascot, right-clicking on the GroupWise icon in the Windows 7 task bar presents a number of tasks you can choose, including new mail, new note, new contact, calendar, and so forth. This provides quick access to these features while users are running other applications. In addition, there is new “unread” message count displayed on the GroupWise icon in the task bar.
Year in Contact Data – In Ascot, users may add a birth or anniversary year to a contact in the personal address book.
GroupWise Ascot WebAccess Enhancements
Address Selector – As users compose new messages in Ascot WebAccess, they can access this new dialog to easily search GroupWise address books and select message recipients (without having to open the GroupWise address book, itself).
Busy Search – We have made major improvements in the busy search feature of Ascot WebAccess. For example, in the appointment panel there are three tabs for Appointment, Send Options, and Busy Search. Selecting the Busy Search tab provides a graphical view of appointments for all recipients. Users can also easily view conflicts and choose an appropriate time for a meeting.
Contact Pictures – Using Ascot WebAccess, users can add photos to their personal address books. Standard graphic formats (.ping, .jpg, .gif, and .bmp) are supported.
Cross-client Signatures – Signatures created in Ascot WebAccess can be used in the GroupWise Client for Windows and vice versa. It does not matter where the signature was created.
Group Management – In Ascot WebAccess, new groups/distribution lists can more easily be created and edited using this new dialog and functionality. The experience is similar to the personal group functionality found in the GroupWise Windows Client.
HTML Signatures – On the “Compose” tab in the Options panel, users can create a signature for their messages. With Ascot, this signature can be either plain text or HTML.
iPad Support – The Apple iPad is a popular new end-user platform. It is currently supported by GroupWise through Novell Data Synchronizer, which enables. messages, contacts, and appointments to be synchronized between the GroupWise post office and the iPad. However, some users want to access GroupWise directly from their iPad. In Ascot, we have created templates so that when an iPad browser (Safari) connects to WebAccess, the user can log in and perform all the basic operations right on the device. The templates take advantage of the unique features of the iPad and conform to the iPad user interaction guidelines, making it a seamless experience. The basic functionality includes mail (read/compose/reply/forward), calendar (accept/decline/personal/group), find and name completion.
Recurring Appointment – When creating an appointment in Ascot WebAccess, a check box labeled “Repeats” appears on the appointment panel. Selecting that check box brings up a panel allowing users to specify a recurrence pattern for daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly appointments.
Sort Columns – In Ascot WebAccess, users can sort messages based on any field shown in the list by clicking the column header. Clicking the same header again sorts the messages in reverse order for that field.
Supported on OES and Windows Server - GroupWise Ascot will be supported on the server platforms of OES and Windows. NetWare is not a supported platform for the Ascot release.
GWINTER - The architecture is changing for GroupWise Ascot for Web access. The agent known as GWINTER is no longer part of the GroupWise system architecture. Web access now connected directly to the POA through our SOAP interface.
Installation Changes - Several of the architecture changes with GroupWise Ascot has made the installation of several components also change. Web access, Monitor, Viewer agents are now easier to install and different to configure as there are no longer objects in the directory to support them. They will be managed through cfg files.
GroupWise Ascot remains on schedule to ship in calendar Q4. The team is preparing their 5th update/refresh to our authorized beta sites. Novell IS&T has deployed Ascot agents (POA, MTA, GWIA) into production and they are supporting over 3000 Novell employees. The corporate Web access system has been updated to Ascot and roll out of the Windows Client has begun.
Looking forward to seeing and speaking with many of you at the upcoming events….GWAVACon Munich on October 1st -3rd and BrainShare in Salt Lake City October 10th-14th. Please stop me and say hello!
Kari Woolf, the GroupWise Marketing Manager, will also be at both of these events and she is responsible for much of the content in this blog - so Thanks Kari!